5 Health Risks To Be Mindful Of If You’re Getting Inked

Getting inked can be an exhilarating experience for an individual. But it is not a cake walk. Getting inked or tattooed can be a painful process. Small needles poking the upper surface of the skin to insert ink to create desired designs can be a grueling experience. Other than the pain, there are many other risks that come with tattoos. This intrusive process can expose the interior of our skin to outside and thus, making it vulnerable to infections. That is the reason why there are a few states that prohibit minors from getting tattoos and in some other states, parental approval is required as there are many risks involved. So, here is a list of health risks that come with getting inked.

1. Infection

This is an incredible risk that comes with tattoos. Getting a tattoo can prove to be a dangerous affair if the place and tattooist is not reliable. A tattoo is obtained by pricking the skin with ink filled needles. This can open a big door for infections. Germs can get inside our skin from the surface of our skin, tattooist’s hands or gloves and even the needle. So, it is mandatory that the tattooist cleans his or her hands, uses disposable gloves, and sterile and unused needles for the inking process. If the instruments are not disposable, then they need to be autoclaved after each use. These precautionary measures ensures safety and minimizes the risk of infection.

Bacterial Infection That Can Spread

Streptococcal and Staphylococcal bacteria are two strains of bacteria that can easily enter your skin through tattooing. People who have compromised immune systems, heart disease, poor circulation and diabetes are more at risk of encountering this infection. The symptoms of this infection at the localized site would be pus, redness and swelling. This infection can also spread to the surrounding skin areas and in some cases it can also spread into the blood stream (sepsis).

Other than dirty hands and equipment, low-quality ink can also cause this infection. In the year 2014, FDA released a statement informing the public about the risk of bacterial contamination from using unopened ink from home tattoo kits manufactured by a certain company. So, it is very important that people do a thorough research before getting permanently inked.

Allergic Reaction

The process of tattooing requires ink to be inserted inside the dermal layer called dermis. This can irritate the skin both from outside as well as inside. So, it is not uncommon for people to experience allergic reactions from tattoos. This allergic reaction can range from mild to severe depending upon the sensitivity of the skin. People can have allergic reactions to the pigments present in the ink. Allergic reaction can give rise to rashes which can either be mild or severe like blistering rashes. Pure henna is unlikely to cause any reactions but black synthetic henna contains a chemical called paraphenylenediamine (PPD) which is known for causing allergic reactions.

Viral Infections

The safety standards ensure the safety of the people who get tattoos, but even then there are some incidents of unfortunate accidents that always come up. The process can cause viral infections to pass on from people to people by the use of infected needles. The virus of hepatitis C can spread in this manner. The virus can survive up to six weeks in blood drops outside the body. Also, diseases like hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis and warts can spread through this process.

5. Sun Exposure

Tattoos can make our skin more sensitive to the sun in some cases. It is generally advised that people do not expose their skin to the sun’s rays for about 10 to 20 days after getting a tattoo. But some people can have reactions to sun rays even after that. Their tattooed skin can become raised after being exposed to the sun.


now that you know all the risks involved in getting a tattoo, you can take an informed decision about yourself and your skin.