Negative Effects of Tattoos
A well-executed tattoo, with proper hygienic conditions and materials, and the appropriate follow-up, won’t represent any risk to the client except for some complications linked, mainly, to allergies. However, getting a tattoo, especially when dealing with larger pieces, can affect the immune system and, typically, produce a mild fever after the session.
In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency of Denmark, state that 25% of tattoo inks tested in the study included carcinogenic ingredients in its formula. In this study endorsed by the Government of Australia, most of the tested inks were produced without following any international health safety standards that regulate their production.
Due to its popularity and practically obligatory use in almost all tattoo designs, the most alarming figure was found in black pigments, since 83% of black inks contained carcinogenic agents in their preparation, raising a huge alarm about tattooing risks.
Since 2013, the European Society of Tattoo and Pigment Research has been working on documenting and disseminating the risks of getting tattooed. They found that the ingredients list on most ink containers often doesn’t match the elements within: barium, mercury, and copper, among other heavy carcinogenic metals, were found in their composition.
Also, Food and Drug Agency has initiated a series of studies on these alarming figures and found that some ink brands use dyes and paints used in the automotive industry to paint cars on an industrial level. The results that this may have on the health of patients tattooed with high-density pigments are still unknown, so the agency has started the investigation to determine what the consequences of its use could be in medium and long-term, however, they haven’t conducted animal tests because being considered cosmetic products the test are banned in most countries.
Known Health Risks Associates with getting a Tattoo
Tattoo ink may also affect the immune system, as well as other vital organs and systems in the human body.
According to a 2012 statement of the Environmental Protection Agency in Denmark, some tattoo inks contain carcinogenic ingredients. The Agency found such compounds in as many as one in five inks. Most of the inks they tested weren't compliant with international health safety standards. This was a finding of a study sponsored by the Australian government. Furthermore, the study showed that a whooping 83 percent of black inks contained carcinogenic chemicals. Since black is the most common color for tattoos, it raises the alarm about the negative effects of getting tattooed.
The European Society of Tattoo and Pigment Research has been born in 2013, its main purpose being to educate consumers about the negative side effects of tattooing. They have found out that tattoo ink contains toxic compounds such as barium, mercury and copper. Besides, the society proved that the ingredients lists on the ink containers didn't match the chemical composition revealed during the testing.
Lately, the Food and Drug Agency itself has started to get involved in tattoo inks investigations. They've revealed that some of the ink pigments are nothing else but industrial-grade colors similar to the ones used in the automotive industry and in printers. The agency has started the investigation on these ink pigments and on their mechanism of breaking down in the body. The main point of these endeavors is to determine the short-term and the long-term safety of thee inks.
As tattoo inks are considered cosmetics, they can't be tested on animals. As a matter of fact, tattoo inks should fall into a category apart.
Known Health Risks Associated With Getting A Tattoo
Tattoo inks get, literally, under your skin. Each tiny incision gives way to the possible entry of bacteria, or produce other health-related problems, including:
Contact allergies are one of the main risks associated with tattooing: hypersensitivity to the gloves latex, allergy to any of the pigments or creams used, as well as the natural irritation that a tattoo session produces and the one that is subsequently generated by tattoo sun exposure without SPF.
This is entirely preventable since in a professional tattoo shop the practice of reusing needles is completely banned. Reusing needles may cause various infections such as hepatitis and HIV. Visit the parlor previously and check for its cleanliness and hygiene standards. Also, ask to see the machine assembly before your session to verify the needle packs opening.
Each pigment used in a tattoo must be placed in a small non-reusable container to prevent the entire bottle from being contaminated with each customer blood. A contaminated product can make you develop infections whose initial symptoms are: redness, swelling, and pain.
Other Skin Problems
Some individuals experience skin bumps around the tattoo contour. This is a natural reaction of their skin to the tattoo.
Scarred Tissue & Bumps
Bumps may appear around the piece as a natural skin reaction. Likewise, there is the possibility of forming scar tissue.
Potential Bruising Risk
Bruises appear when there is a trauma that affects blood vessels during the tattoo session.
One of the most dangerous, but also most uncommon risk, Tetanus can be ruled out via vaccination and using new needles.
MRI scans and other medical examinations may present flaws when the chemical agents of the pigments interfere with the process of such evaluations since the inks react to changes in temperature, which in some cases could cause inflammations in the area where the piece is located.
Other Skin Allergies
Getting a tattoo might cause you allergies many years after having done it. Sometimes it is difficult to diagnose because the relationship between the tattoo and the allergy isn't clear, but there are medical treatments that help to overcome this side effects.
You may require various medical treatments to alleviate your allergic reactions and skin issues developed as consequence of getting a tattoo.
This is why when you are looking for tattoo parlors that accept walk-ins you will have to do your research since they may try to squeeze in too many clients in on one day. So you never know if they are looking for providing quality work, or trying to make as much money as possible. Just be sure to check reviews before committing.
However, the lack of experience of some tattoo artists, often makes them ignore this simple protocol and go straight to perform a tattoo in an unknown customer. Take the initiative and request a test while you talk about the possible risks associated with the tattoo is the only method you have to protect your health and the final results, ask for it!