Tattoos are a very mainstream form of body art, and to some people they will always be considered socially and culturally taboo. To others, tattoos are completely acceptable. No matter what your personal opinion on tattoos, the health risks of body art can’t be ignored.
Tattoos are made when ink pigments are inserted into the top layer of the skin with a needle. Some of the obvious health risks come from tattoo artists using unsterile needles or unsterile equipment. This can spread infectious diseases such as hepatitis. This problem is common enough that the American Association of Blood Banks requires people to wait one year after getting tattooed before giving blood. These risks can be minimized by making sure you go to a reputable tattoo shop that is licensed and takes proper precautions against the spread of diseases.
The materials in ink pigment and carrier solution can also cause health problems, such as allergic reactions. There is no regulation about what goes into the tattoo ink and tattoo ink companies are not required to disclose this information. These risks can be minimized by choosing tattoo artists that use ink companies that list their ingredients or by providing your own ink.
One lesser known health complication of tattoos is complications with MRIs (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). An MRI uses magnets and radio frequency waves to obtain images of the body and is useful for detecting tumors and other abnormalities not picked up by other imaging methods.
Tattoos can possibly interfere with an MRI or react to the magnetic forces because of the metals found in the ink, especially iron. There have been reports of cases of MRI reactions reported where the tattooed skin gets hot and red. Cosmetic tattoos or tattoos on the face are of particular concern because the area can be quite sensitive to excess heat.
Our advice? If you are tattooed and need an MRI, it is important to talk with your doctor and the technician about your concerns. Removing your tattoo is one way to make sure you are able to get an MRI done in the future. Remove a Tattoo – laser tattoo removal clinic offers the best source of physician performed laser tattoo removal in the Milwaukee area. If you have questions or would like to schedule your free consultation, call us at 414-617-2849.