If you currently have a tattoo or are considering getting one, you are not alone. According to Pew Research Center, as many as 36 % of Americans ages 18-25 report getting a tattoo. Some people raise red flags at the thought of permanent ink markings on your skin. Will you always want that picture or word art for the rest of your life? However, a dermatologist’s raises more important concerns at the threat that tattoos make to your skin health. Skin complications such as allergic reactions, serious infection and difficult skin cancer detection should all be at the forefront when you think of getting the ink.
- Allergy: Allergic reactions are among the most common problems after getting a tattoo. Your allergic skin reaction could be bumps, itching or a rash that appears days or even years later. Eczema or psoriasis suffers may find that their condition worsens after getting a tattoo, making it a very high price to pay for body art. A dermatologist, such as Olansky Dermatology Associates, can provide allergic skin reaction treatment as well as confirm the specific cause of your discomfort.
- Infection: If you decide to get a tattoo, it is extremely important that you do your part to lessen your risk for infection. Serious bacterial infections have been reported after tattoo procedures. Be sure to choose a licensed tattoo artist that uses tools in sterile packaging. Always consult your dermatologist before getting a tattoo if you have keloids, eczema or psoriasis skin conditions.
- Skin Cancer: What does skin cancer have to do with tattoos? If you choose to get a tattoo over a mole, it can make it very difficult to diagnose any signs of skin cancer. Furthermore, some tattoo reactions involve bumps that mimic skin cancer and will thus require a biopsy.
There are many unknowns surrounding the relationship between skin and a tattoo. For instance, the tattoo ink used today has evolved greatly and its reaction in the skin has not been fully determined yet. Tattoos can be beautiful works of art on the body that gain a lot of positive attention. However, nothing is worth compromising your skin health. Talk to you dermatologist about any specific risks you may need to think about prior to a tattoo procedure.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Jodi E. Ganz, Olansky Dermatology Associates