Tattoos are all the rage nowadays. In previous generations, having a tattoo indicated that you were a rebel or on the fringes of society and not afraid to show it off. That is not what a tattoo means anymore. Almost everyone seems to sport this body art, from straight-A college students and young professionals to parents and working executives.
Does this mean, though, that tattoos are safe? Or does it mean that people are willing to take on the risk of tattooing just to have cool body art? Find out what the latest research says about tattoos before you make your next appointment.
What Happens to Your Skin When You Get a Tattoo
When you sit down in that tattoo chair and your tattoo artist gets out their needles, they are using pigmentation to permanently alter the color of your skin. The pigment in the tattoo needle gets deposited into your skin, where it settles and makes its mark permanently.
Historically, people have believed tattoos to be a fairly safe form of self-expression. However, if you think about it critically, you may be wondering about the risks yourself. How can permanently marking your skin with chemical-filled ink be healthy?
This is especially perplexing since your skin is your biggest organ and the first line of defense in your immune system.
Possible Health Risks
Of course, there are the standard health risks that come with any procedure using needles. There is the risk of needles that have not been properly sanitized or stored after the last customer. If the last customer had any pathogens or diseases and the needles were not adequately cleaned, you may be exposed to these pathogens when these needles are used on you.
Furthermore, there are many different types of tattooing. Studies have shown that there is little consistency in the quality and chemical makeup of ink. This may mean that you are getting exposed to more chemicals than you previously thought.
The main problem here is that tattoo inks are unregulated. If they were as tightly regulated as, say, medications and beauty supplies, they would all be of consistent quality and chemical makeup.Research conducted by the University of Bradford indicates that tattoo ink is not as harmless as once thought.
In fact, it permanently alters the collagen in your skin. Not only can this reduce your skin’s elasticity, it can lead to permanent changes in the cell makeup of your body.The more tattoos you have or the larger your tattoos are, the more you are at risk of cell mutation and loss of collagen.
Should You Get a Tattoo?
Knowing all this, should you get a tattoo? This is a personal decision. Life is full of risks, and it is up to you to decide which risks are worth it. If you do choose to get a tattoo, check with your local Department of Health to ensure that you pick a tattoo artist with a long history of excellent sanitation, cleanliness, and hygiene.
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