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Body art has been around for ages but in the 21st century, tattoos are more common than ever before. Some get it as a style statement while some attach personal ideologies to it. According to statistics, the number of Americans with at least one tattoo has jumped 50% in the past 4 years. That being said, some people get tattoos like they are getting Tshirts from a sale while some people go through a long process of thinking and contemplation as they are worried that the tattoo might pose a threat to the healthy functioning of their body.
This brings us to the big question, are tattoos safe or harmful? Let’s look at what experts have to say:
According to Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, co-director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, D.C., and assistant professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins University, “When you are injecting a substance into the skin, you risk infection. Although small, the risks include hepatitis, staph, or warts.
Dr. Bryan Wasson, an internal medicine physician at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center at Irving, Texas says that “A tattoo is like a minor surgery. You clean and shave the skin like you’re going to operate. You use surgical tools. There are dangers. So be careful in your selection.”
Dr. Donna Casey, an internal medicine specialist at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital says “When you get a tattoo, you bleed and because you are bleeding, anything in contact with the tattoo – bacteria, viruses – can get into the wound and your entire body. It’s like having a bite on your leg or a gigantic abrasion.”
According to Tina Alster, Dermatologist at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C, “Some tattoos make a person’s skin tender and itchy. This usually is due to an allergic reaction to some ingredient in colored inks, such as chromium or cobalt. In some people, the skin around a tattoo may get bumpy or scaly. “This is also due to inflammation and irritation in response to the tattoo inks and may also indicate infection.”
However, it is very hard to conclude whether tattoos are safe or harmful but we will leave you with one thought- think before you ink!
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