When it comes to the health risks associated with tattoos, the first concern is about the ink and what effect it has on our immune system. Some of the inks they use for tattooing can be toxic and loaded with carcinogenic compounds, which go against the international health safety regulations.

One study revealed that 83% of the black inks are carcinogenic and aren’t considered safe for human use.

In 2013 it was revealed that tattoo ink contains barium, copper, mercury and numerous other toxic chemicals which aren’t listed in the ingredient list on the ink containers.

The FDA admits that after thorough research they were able to discover that the inks are in fact industrial colors which are used for printers’ ink and auto paint and are now looking into how these chemicals are breaking down in the body and what effect they have on our overall health.

Tattoos can lead to medical testing errors

The tattoo ink is filled with metals, as we reviewed before, which can conflict with MRI, and even though these cases are rare, radiologists have watched them happen. Pathologists, on the other hand, say that they’ve had cases of tattoo ink in biopsy specimens of lymph nodes. Doctor suggest against using iron-based ink for tattoos.

There was one patient who was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2015 which had spread to the lymph nodes. She had scheduled a surgery to remove the nodes and upon opening her up the doctors found that the lymph nodes cancerous tissues were, in fact, tattoo ink. And this is just one of the many cases of misdiagnosis on account of a tattoo.

They might cause infections

By getting a tattoo, you put yourself at a risk for many infections. There are a lot of cases where people get pseudomonas or Staphylococcus aureus as a result of improper skin preparation or sterilization of the instruments. And we’re well aware that staphylococcus is rather serious and are difficult to get rid of even with antibiotics. 3% of tattooed people claim to experience some type of infection after getting it and more than 4% of them say they experience a lot of pain for up to a month after the tattoo.

A several of years ago there was a mycobacterial skin infection epidemic across 22 states in the US which was connected back to a couple of brands for tattoo ink. After thorough research, the CDC was able to stop the spread of the epidemic. Numerous experts now relate tattoo ink to problems such as sarcoidosis, lichen planis and lupus-like symptoms. All of which are pretty difficult diseases, much more serious than infections, and leave behind scarring on the skin.

A recent study shows that tattoo ink is associated with hepatitis C, an infection 10 times more infectious than HIV. Which is usually transmitted by the needles used for tattooing.

A rash decision from the youth with social implication in your adulthood

Many people regret their decision to get a tattoo mostly because they hadn’t done their research in time and got them when they were young. Another reason is that the tattoo they got when they were teenagers doesn’t fit their adult lifestyle. Whatever the tattoo represents, it’s probably something they’ve hold precious back in their youth but that has no value for them right now and can cause problems in their relationships, jobs and overall life.

Tattoos hold a different meaning for everyone and even if something has one meaning, when 100 people get the same tattoo the meaning is lost and they’re just following trend. Moreover, many people believe that having a tattoo on a body part that’s visible can hurt their job hunting prospects and it seems that they’re right.

Harris Poll researchers discovered that older people aren’t as tolerant to visible tattoos as they climb up the business ladder. The middle aged people tolerate athletes having tattoos all over their body but when they see tattoos on their doctor, presidential candidate or teacher they’re shocked.

A tattoo is a permanent decision, one that you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life so that’s why many people who’ve made such a life-changing decision in their youth regret it.

Not all tattoos can be removed

The laser technology has its limits as well, and the lasers used today aren’t capable of erasing all the colors. Also, people with a darker skin color are less successful in removing the tattoos and more commonly need more sessions to remove the tattoo without causing damage to the skin.

What the laser does is shatters the pigment particles underneath your skin and this consequently increases the risk of scarring and infections. And if the tattoo is larger the risk is that much bigger and you’ll probably need to go to multiple laser removal sessions which can drag on for a year or two,

Laser removal of tattoos carries along a certain risk of unwanted side effects like ink darkening, blistering and scarring. As with everything else, the laser technology is rapidly progressing and maybe in the near future we’ll have more powerful lasers with higher success rates and without the side-effects they have today, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.