Is tattooing as safe as you think?
Tattoos may seem like an attractive way to get designs on your body and express yourself. However, behind this seemingly innocuous art, there’s quite a lot of danger lurking. Agreed, most of us know that unhygienic practices and equipment that isn’t sterile can cause infection but did you know that even the tattoo ink can be contaminated? Sometimes, non-sterile water may be used to dilute the pigments but this is not the only cause for concern. Even a sealed container of ink can be contaminated and this, even if the label reads sterile.
All tattoo inks are not made equal. Research has uncovered that some tattoo parlors even use inks that are used in printer toner or in car paint and these have not been approved by FDA for injection into the skin for cosmetic purposes.
Adverse reactions to the tattoo may take the form of rash, redness or bumps. These, however are the mild end of the spectrum. More severe reactions would include chills, sweats, high fever and shaking. Sometimes scar tissue may form after getting a tattoo. Granulomas or small knots and bumps may also pop up if your body considers the tattoo a foreign body. This apart, if you have a tendency to keloids, your body may react the same way to a tattoo.
Can you develop problems in future?
You might experience burning and swelling on the tattoo during MRIs. Make sure you inform your doctor if you have tattoos and need to take a MRI. Sometimes, you could become allergic to other products for instance hair dyes, if your tattoo contains p-phenylenediamene (PPD).
What if you already have one and are facing problems?
If you have had a problem with a tattoo, first consult your medical professional. Reach out to your tattoo artist and let him or her identify the ink and avoid its use in the future. Check for the brand, color and any lot or batch number of the ink or diluent which can help determine the course of your treatment better.