To tattoo or not to tattoo

Once considered a rite of passage for service men, tattoos have grown in popularity and gained acceptance by people from all walks of life. In fact, approximately 40 percent of adults ages 26-40 have tattoos in the U.S. While a lot of thought goes into the location and design of this permanent body art, the health risks generally don’t receive as much attention.


Before getting inked, consider a few of the most common health risks:

* Pain – Tattooing is generally performed without anesthetics, so the pain level can range from minimal to intense, depending on the body part and the individual’s pain tolerance.

*  Allergic Reactions – Tattoo dyes can cause allergic skin reactions, even years later. Certain dye colors like red, green, yellow and blue seem to cause the most complications.

* Skin Irregularities – Bumpy areas can form around the tattooed area, including granulomas (small nodules) and keloids (irregularly shaped scar tissue).

* Bloodborne Diseases – If tattooing equipment is not properly sanitized, it can transit diseases like tetanus, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.


In rare cases, people with tattoos can experience complications like swelling or burning around the tattooed area during MRI procedures. And some tattoo inks can interfere with the quality of the test.


When considering whether tattoos are right for you, make an informed decision by thinking beyond the artwork.


Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus and in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Schedule an appointment online today.