You may have finally made up your mind to get that tattoo you have been planning for a long time. However, you should know that this lasting memory comes with its own set of risks and health concerns. According to experts, getting tattoo It can lead to several adverse effects such as skin cancer, cardiovascular disease, and bone disease, among others. In the same vein, nutritionist Anjali Mukerji took to Instagram to share, “At a time when tattoos are getting more and more prevalent, it’s important to understand the risks associated with them. Most people probably don’t know that tattoo ink can be toxic. They wouldn’t do it if they knew it was harmful.”

In addition, Mukherjee shared that one can, without knowing it, expose oneself to “a wide range of ingredients which includes heavy metals such as arsenicAnd beryllium, and cadmium, and lead, and mercury, and all these heavy metals, “which, she said, can lead to a lot of degenerative diseases like”Cardiovascular diseases cancer. It also leads to skin diseases, bone, liver, and lung diseases kidney disease;“.

Detailing how tattoos can make you susceptible to such deadly diseases, Mukerjee shares that once tattoo ink is within the surface of your skin, it begins interacting with your body to produce toxins such as PAH, highly toxic PAAS, and carcinogenic in nature. “They also cause a lot of allergic reactions inside your body,” she continued.

Speaking with indianexpress.com, Dr Deepa Krishnamurthy, Consultant Dermatologist, Manipal Hospital, Sarjapur, Bangalore added that tattoo ink can contain heavy metals like lead, cadmium and mercury, which can be toxic to the body. Additionally, some studies have indicated that tattoo ink may contain other harmful substances such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and phthalates as well.

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A post shared by Anjali Mukerjee (@anjalimukerjee)

Does tattoo ink contain heavy metal?

“Yes, tattoo ink can contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury. These heavy metals are often used as pigments to create different colors in tattoo ink,” said Dr. Krishnamurthy.

Can tattoos cause allergies?

Yes, tattoos can cause allergic reactions in some people. Allergic reactions to tattoo ink can manifest in a variety of ways, including itching, redness, swelling, rashes, and bumps. These symptoms can occur immediately after getting the tattoo, or they may develop days, weeks, or even years later. The most common reason for Allergic reactions To tattoo ink is the presence of nickel which is used as a coloring agent in some tattoo inks. Other allergens in tattoo ink include cobalt, chromium, and many pigments and dyes,” said the expert.

Are tattoos carcinogenic?

Since tattoos contain high levels of benzo(a)pyrene, they can be carcinogenic. “As of now, benzo(a)pyrene has been classified as a known carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). However, evidence regarding the potential carcinogenicity of tattoo ink is limited and conflicting,” said Krishnamurthy.

Tattoos are carcinogenic Tattoo ink may contain cancer-causing compounds. (pic source: Pexels)

Health risks of getting a tattoo

Here are the health risks of getting a tattoo, as shared by Dr. Krishnamurthy.

Allergic reactions: Some people may have an allergic reaction to tattoo ink, which can cause itching, swelling, and redness.

infection: Tattooing involves piercing the skin with a needle, which can introduce bacteria and other pathogens into the body. If proper safety precautions are not followed, it can lead to injury.

Bloodborne diseases: If tattoo tools are not properly sterilized, they can transmit bloodborne diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.

Scarring: Tattoos can cause scarring or keloid formation.

Granulomas: A granuloma is a small nodule that can form around tattoo ink.

Complications of MRI: Some tattoo inks contain metal particles that can cause complications during an MRI scan.

Things to consider before getting a tattoo

Dr. Krishnamurthy also shared things to consider before getting a tattoo. they:

Tattoo artist experience: Find an artist who has experience, and uses quality inks and equipment.

Check the cleanliness of the tattoo studio: Ensure that the tattoo studio is clean and that the artist follows proper hygiene and safety procedures. The studio must have autoclaves for sterilizing equipment and the artist must use new needles and gloves for each tattoo.

Be aware of potential health risks: Getting a tattoo can carry some health risks, such as infection, allergic reactions, and bloodborne diseases. Make sure you are aware of these risks and take steps to reduce them.

Follow appropriate aftercare instructions: After getting your tattoo, it is important to follow proper aftercare instructions to promote healing and prevent infection.

Consider consulting a dermatologist before getting a tattoo, if you suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

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