Are Tattoos Safe? Find out before you ink your skin!


Table of Contents

Are tattoos safe

Tattoos have become such a popular form of self-expression that almost everyone wants to get inked. Some have minimalist tattoos hidden on their fingers or peeking out from behind their ear while others have intricate designs running up and down their bodies. You might even come across a tattoo that spurs you into considering getting one yourself. However, it is vital you understand all about tattoo health risks before committing. So, before you start researching tattoo designs, read on to know exactly how safe are tattoos.

Are you allergic to tattoo ink?

Tattoo inks typically consist of a carrier and a pigment and, more often than not, tattoo artists purchase pre-mixed ink. While some artists choose to mix their own ink, this is a rarity in India. If you go to a tattoo parlour, chances are that the tattoo ink is the pre-mixed type. Tattoo ink manufacturers do not generally reveal their core ingredients, as the information is proprietary. However, there are certain elements that are used by almost every manufacturer. Store-bought inks are made from iron oxidisers, plastics, or even metal salts. Homemade ink can be made from soot, blood, pen ink, dirt, or other natural ingredients. If you are wondering who uses homemade ink – think of all the tribal folks across the world with beautiful patterns all over their bodies. Having said that, homemade inks are not safe. As legitimate medical bodies do not regulate them, there is no telling what kinds of infections and side effects you may expose yourself to by using homemade ink.  Finally, it is also important to consider the carriers mixed in to disperse the ink evenly. Some of the most common carrier bases include glycerine, ethyl alcohol, methanol, rubbing alcohol, propylene glycol, and denatured alcohols. While you make up your mind regarding whether or not you should get a tattoo, you should take into consideration your allergies. If you are allergic to any of these ingredients, you may have to check with your tattoo artist if he/she has other inks with different ingredients. Since different heavy metals create pigments for coloured ink, your allergies can also help you narrow down the tattoo colours to avoid.

Can tattoos get infected?

Apart from researching the ink used in tattoos, it is also a good idea to know as much as possible about any tattoo risks. A crucial step in understanding these risks is to be able to answer this question - how do tattoos affect your skin?A tattoo gun has a needle that buzzes up and down to puncture your skin little by little. The needle punctures the epidermis (top layer) of your skin and then deposits the ink on the dermis (the deeper layer). This is why the pigment stays in your skin forever. If the artist does not follow the necessary tattoo health and safety guidelines, he/she puts you at risk of an infection. Therefore, most artists make it a point to show their customers that they are using a fresh needle. If your artist does not show you the same, you can always ask them to replace the needle in front of you. Do not worry about coming across as rude or high-maintenance. After all, the needle will puncture your skin, and you will bleed. Sterilized equipment is compulsory!As there is bleeding involved, there can be a risk for blood borne diseases. Hepatitis B is one of them. Other risks include staph and warts. Do keep in mind that these risks are rare.

Precautions to take before getting a tattoo

You can take the following measures to prevent exposure to infections:

  • Only go to a reputed tattoo parlour, even if it means shelling out a few extra bucks.
  • Scan the parlour for any hygiene red-flags.
  • Keep an eye out for the equipment used. All ink generally comes in single-use bottles.
  • Needles must be unwrapped and placed in front of you.
  • Keep your surroundings contagion free. Don’t carry your bag or other items to the tattoo chair. You expose yourself to millions of germs and dirt on a daily basis so hygiene is important.
  • Avoid getting inked during the monsoon. The humidity and heat is the best time for germs to breed and infection to spread.
  • Follow all post-tattoo-care instructions to the letter. Tattoo artists are professionals and can guide you in the best way to prevent infection while your tattoo heals.

[av_promobox button='yes' label='Book A Specialist With MediBuddy' link='' link_target='' color='blue' custom_bg='#f00' custom_font='#ffffff' size='large' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello']Usually, a tattoo artist knows the nitty-gritty of how to deal with tattoo going awry. If the allergy or rash persists, though, you might want to consult a specialist.[/av_promobox]