Risks associated with tattooing: precaution, preparation and follow-up


A tattoo is a type of body modification where a person uses a needle to inject ink, pigment, or dye into the dermis layer of the skin. Although tattooing has grown in popularity and complications are rare, these procedures still pose health risks.

Before a person gets a tattoo, it is important that they consider the risks, how to prepare for them, and how to care for them.

In this article, we cover the potential health risks of tattoos and provide advice for people who are considering their first tattoo.

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Choosing a licensed tattoo parlor can help minimize the health risks of getting a tattoo.

Getting a tattoo has several risk for the health that a person may wish to consider. These include:


A person can have an allergic reaction to the pigment in the ink. Research suggests that some red pigments may be more likely to cause an allergic reaction.


A keloid is an enlarged scar that looks like a to bump on the skin. It is made up of extra scar tissue and can result from skin trauma. When the tattoo needle pierces the surface, it can cause tiny injuries, where keloids can develop.


An infection can occur if bacteria Where virus get into broken skin after a tattoo session. This can happen immediately after a person has a tattoo, or in the days or weeks after, while the skin is healing.

Signs of tattoo infection include:

  • depending on the skin tone, the area may appear red, dark brown, or purple
  • bumpy or raised skin
  • swelling
  • pain
  • eruption
  • itching

In more extreme cases, a person may have a fever, open sores, or pus on or around the tattoo.

Read more on tattoo infections.

Bloodborne infections

If the tattoo material contains infected blood, the infection could spread to another person during the tattooing session.

Some examples of blood borne infections include:


Swelling around the tattoo is a common problem. In the process of tattooing, the skin experiences trauma due to needle penetrations, which results in swelling.

To minimize potential health risks, a person can take the following precautions:

Choose a licensed studio

Due to the potential health risks, tattoo licenses regulate and govern the practice of tattooing.

There is no federal law on the regulation and practice of tattooing in the United States. However, states pass their own licensing laws, and not all of them require tattoo artists and locals to be licensed.

the National Conference of State Legislatures has information on the state’s requirements for tattooing.

Check that the studio and equipment are clean

Signs that a tattoo studio has a good standard of hygiene include:

  • They have a sharps box to throw away used needles.
  • After a tattoo, a person cleans all stations and surfaces.
  • The tattoo artist uses gloves and changes them between sessions.
  • The tattoo artist uses a new needle for each client.

Discuss pre-existing medical conditions with a doctor first

If a person has a pre-existing condition, such as diabetes, it may be helpful to discuss the tattoo with their doctor first. Indeed, when a person suffers from poorly controlled diabetes, they may experience a delay or an alteration in their healing processes.

The following steps can help a person before starting a tattoo session and promote healing afterward:

  • eat a meal
  • avoid alcohol for 24 hours before
  • Drink water
  • wear the right clothes
  • sleep well the day before

To make sure the tattoo heals well, the tattoo artist will usually provide aftercare advice. First, since the tattoo is an open wound and bacteria could infect it, it is best to avoid the following:

  • swimming pools up to 2 weeks
  • direct sunlight for up to 2 weeks
  • intense exercise for up to 48 hours

To keep the tattoo clean and promote healing, a person should consider:

  • Gently clean the area: Advice can vary from tattoo artist to tattoo artist, but a person should clean their new tattoo two or three times a day with antibacterial soap and lukewarm water.
  • Application of moisturizer: After washing and drying the area, a person should moisturize the tattoo. The moisturizer should be fragrance free. Some tattoo artists recommend a diaper rash cream.
  • Drink water: This is important because it will help keep the skin hydrate.
  • Doesn’t itch: As the tattoo heals, it is normal for it to be itchy. If a person is scratching and pulling off the scabs, it can increase the risk of infection. It can also make the tattoo appear slightly faded.

Learn more about tattoo tracking.

Getting the first tattoo can be a nerve-wracking experience for some people. It may be worth considering some of the following tips to make the experience more comfortable:

  • Do a lot of research: If a person wants a particular tattoo style, it is worth looking for artists who have a good portfolio of these designs. It can help to make sure that a person is happy with their tattoo.
  • Be 100% sure: A tattoo is usually a permanent body modification. Someone has to be completely sure they want to commit to it.
  • Discuss your concerns with the tattoo artist: The artist can explain the tattoo process and allay any concerns.
  • To eat: Before the appointment, a person should eat a meal. This will reduce hunger during the session and may reduce the risk of fainting.
  • Dressed properly: A person should wear comfortable clothing and avoid tight or restrictive clothing.
  • Do not drink alcohol: It is best to avoid alcohol as it can thin the blood and cause excessive bleeding. This can cause difficulty for the tattoo artist, and it can also dilute the ink and make the tattoo look discolored.

The most common and safest way to remove a tattoo is laser removal, which involves the use of lasers to break down the pigment in the tattoo.

The color of the tattoo and a person’s skin type will play a role in the kind of laser selected.

Laser tattoo removal is often a painful procedure. However, this can vary depending on a person’s pain threshold.

Results can vary and the number of laser sessions a person needs depends on the color and size of the tattoo.

Although laser tattoo removal is a promising option for a person who wants to get rid of a tattoo, it can be painful and may not remove the entire tattoo.

A tattoo is a body modification in which a person uses a needle to inject dye, ink, or pigment into the dermis layer of the skin.

Getting a tattoo comes with some risks, like infection, keloids, and swelling. However, if a person takes the necessary precautions, they can help minimize them.

A person who wants to get a tattoo should be sure that they want to commit to it. It is possible to remove them with lasers. However, this is a painful procedure and may not completely remove the tattoo.


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