Getting inked seems to be the newest fad among millennials. And why not? Tattoos are fun, and cool, and give the body an extra oomph of character. However, for people with tattoos, or people hoping to get inked soon, the side effects of the cool crusade might be a resourceful ponder.
Though most maverick minds jump at to the prospect of getting inked, few actually stop to think of any long term consequences. Body art is truly great, and even inspiring. But apart from the social stigma against it, there are more serious things to consider before getting permanently marked.
- Unwanted allergic reactions
For people who have never got inked before, it might be a good idea to find out if they are allergic to ink. Negative reaction to tattoos is common. For some, it may cause short term irritation, but some may not stand to be so lucky. Thus, it might be worth a shot to research what inks to use, and think twice before impulsively getting inked.
Though most people may not be allergic to tattoo ink right off the bat, some allergens take time to cause a side effect. This is most common with lighter colours such as yellows or greens, which may reach unfavourably once exposed to sunlight. Darker colours such as blues or purples or blacks usually do not cause such reactions.
As they say, once you go black, you never go back. But for tattoo virgins, going black may be the best and the safest idea.
- Beware of HIV and hepatitis
When getting inked, if the place isn’t sterile, and if the needles that work on your body are being reused, this may be cause for some concern. Reused needles may cause severe diseases such as HIV or hepatitis. Thus, for the mavericks getting inked, going to a top notch tattoo parlour might be in their best interest. Most students who want to get a tat usually seek out any cheap tattoo parlour to suit their budget. However, where long term health and precautions are concerned, you should splurge a little on your ink (and needles) to get just your money’s worth, and not the unnecessary trouble that shady places might bring with them.
- Not all scars are cool
If your luck is out, your new tattoo may cause undue scarring around the area. Though it usually fades, some may not stand to be so lucky, and then they are stuck with a permanent tat and the permanent markings around it.
If people are really unlucky they may have the appearance of keloids around the tattooed area Keloids are essentially an accumulation of collagen in an area, and may cause redness and bumps and nasty scarring. Though there is no sure fire way to say if a tattoo will cause scarring, it is something people should be informed about before hastily getting inked.
- Skin infections
Apart from scarring, tattoos may also cause other skin infections such as rashes. These can usually be treated with medication and will fade over time. However, people do need to be informed of these side effects. Areas around a tattoo can even be infected with a sterile needle, and it might take some time for the negative effects to show.
- Scanning complications
For people with tattoos who are getting scans such as X rays or MRIs, they should be warned that this could lead to complications. For starters, the tattoo may interfere with the scan image, which may cause problems. Additionally, the magnetic or UV rays may react unfavourably with the tattoo, and the area around it could get infected.
- Are you a blood donor?
For people who donate blood regularly, they must be warned that there is a certain time frame for which they cannot donate blood after getting inked. This time period usually spans a week or too, but certain centres can even ask for it to be extended over a month.
In addition, the tattoo parlour in question, where the tattoo was drawn should be a regulated one. If the tattoo parlour is not regulated under these rules, then people may never be qualified to donate their blood again. Thus, for people getting inked who are or want to be blood donors, it is imperative to check with the tattoo parlour beforehand whether they abide by such regulations.
- Unhealthy bruises
If the needle punctures a blood vessel at the time of getting inked, it may lead to a hematoma. This essentially means that the blood vessel under the skin is punctured and the blood has formed a clot beneath the skin. Though with time, such bruises may fade, it is a good idea to get it checked out to be relieved of undue worry.
- Nobody likes cancer
Though a regulated tattoo parlour usually does away with HIV or hepatitis complications, people should also be aware that cancer is a hazardous side effect of tattoos. The most common complication is skin cancer, which doesn’t raise its ugly head until it is too late.
The tattoo ink may cause toxins to enter the bloodstream, which may lead to cancerous results. Though it isn’t a proved medical result, experts do believe this to be a dangerous side effect.
- Stress to lymphatic system
Getting inked may cause undue stress to one’s lymphatic system. It is usually caught when inflammation occurs around the tattooed region. The accumulations of nodules that appear around the tattooed area are known as granulomas.
In severe cases, granulomas are a permanent side effect. They usually appear around areas of the skin where the lymphatic system detects a foreign substance on the body – i.e., the tattoo ink. There may be abnormal tissue growth around the area, and the result can be rather painful.
- The constant judgement
Apart from the medical hazards, tattoos can also be emotionally taxing. Though many get a tattoo as a result of emotional rebellion, it might be a good idea to also explore the societal constructs before getting inked.
For people coming from orthodox backgrounds, tattoos may be a negative sign and cause a lot of emotional harassment, even from people close to us. In addition, tattoos may be perceived as a mark of unprofessional behaviour in a workspace, and one may have to always keep their tattoos covered – something that may not be easy with all tattoos, depending on where one wants to get inked.
Thus, though tattoos may be cool, these are some things to consider before making such a commitment. For those getting tattooed, one should be emotionally ready to deal with any and all complications just as effortlessly as the appreciation that a tattoo may bring.