Understanding the Risks You Take when You Get Tattooed 

by Jamie Wilson

Reviewed & fact checked: August 14, 2023 by Jamie Wilson (BA)

Tattoos are cool. Full stop. In the 2020s, the variety of tattoos and the artistry involved has become its own artform. For instance, there was a time when you had maybe three or four broken-heart tattoo varieties to choose from. Now you can choose dozens or even hundreds depending on the studio and their reputation for both artistry and safety. 

But what about the safety part of the ink program? How can you be sure the tattoo you’re about to get won’t get infected or cause you personal injury in the short or long-term? While it’s a rare occurrence to suffer severe injury from getting a tattoo, your first step after seeking medical attention is to contact a reputable personal injury attorney. 

What should you look for in a personal injury lawyer? Says Duejustsice.com (Dolinsky Law Group) a Hollywood personal injury lawyer, while no one can take away the pain and suffering that goes with a personal injury, you do have the right to hold the responsible parties plus their insurers accountable to both you and your family. If the court awards you with the compensation you deserve, you can heal in peace while your bills get paid without a paycheck coming in.  

That said, what are the health risks you should take the time to understand prior to getting inked? According to a recent report by the Mayo Clinic, these days you can be the new owner of a highly artistic tattoo in a matter of a few hours. However, you should not allow the relative ease and speed of the process prevent you from carefully thinking over what is intended to be permanent body art.  

Prior to getting a tattoo it’s important to understand what’s involved along with the possible risks involved. 

The Tattooing Process

At base, a tattoo in a permanent design or mark that’s made on your skin with pigments that are inserted through pricks directly into the skin’s top layer. Under normal circumstances, a tattoo artist utilizes a hand-held machine that mimics a sewing machine with one or even several needles piercing the skin repeatedly. With each pierce, small amounts of ink droplets are introduced to your skin. 

If you think the process sounds painful, it is. That’s because it is performed without anesthesia. It can even cause a small amount of bleeding. 

Understanding the Risks You Take When You Get Tattooed

Says the Mayo Clinic, tattoos pierce the skin. This means that skin infections are a major possibility, including other serious physical complications including but not limited to: 

Bad allergic reaction: Normal tattoo dyes such as yellow, blue, green, and red, are known to cause allergic skin reactions, including a severe itchy rash all along the tattoo site. Keep in mind, the allergic reaction might not be temporary and that it can last several years after acquiring the tattoo. 

Skin infection: Skin infections are a possibility after being tattooed. Skin can inflame causing a granuloma which can form around the tattoo ink. The tattooing process can also lead to keloids. These are personal injuries that cause an overgrowth of scar tissue that can last forever. 

Blood Diseases: This is where legalities might come into play. If the equipment the tattoo artist is utilizing isn’t sterilized and contaminated with infected blood from a previous client, you can easily contract a number of bloodborne diseases. These include methicillin-resistant hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). 

MRI problems: Tattoos and other permanent makeup procedures can result in burning or swelling in the affected areas during an MRI or magnetic resonance imaging exam. In certain cases, tattoo pigment can potentially interfere with the quality of the image. This can pose a real problem if your doctor suspects the presence of a serious disease like cancer.      

Medication and other medical treatments will likely be required if you find yourself experiencing an allergic reaction to your new tattoo or if you develop a skin problem or infection on or around the tattooed area. 

Make Certain You are Fully Prepared for Your Tattoo

You should not only give yourself plenty of time to think about getting a new tattoo, but you need to be certain you won’t regret it once it’s done. If you’re concerned about this, you probably need more time. If you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol, do not head to a tattoo parlor. 

But once you’ve made the decision to go forward with being inked, you need to choose your tattoo artist carefully. You must insist on all safety precautions being followed. This means Googling the tattoo operation and going over all the reviews. If possible, speak with a few previous clients to get their take on the cleanliness and safety measures practiced by the ink artist. 

A beautiful tattoo can be something you’ll be very proud of. But if it’s applied improperly, it can cause you irreversible personal injury and grief. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a real broken heart. 

Feature Image Photo by steven lozano on Unsplash

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