Tattoos – Designs and Health Risks

By | December 29, 2013

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When making the decision for a permanent tattoo, it is good to have all the information and help available so that there is not a visit to the hospital to have it removed when it comes to getting a job. The design can be awesome for a young and single teenager, but also ruin chances of new relationships and even a good job later on.

Reasons for a Tattoo

For some it is a chance to rebel. The parents probably will not like it and it will express those strong feelings inside. A rose on the hip or a star or Chinese character down the back can say ‘I am sexy’. A large picture across the bicep can say ‘I am tough, leave me alone’.

For others it is a piece of clothing or jewelry that cannot be lost and will not wear out. A beautiful design in a favorite color that follows or creates curves on the body.

Perhaps it is to record a relationship, a loved one gained or a loved one lost. A person who changed or saved a life and too important ever to be forgotten .

What is a Tattoo and How is it Done

Most places that do tattoos use a vibrating group of electric needles which insert ink into the skin. The system keeps driving the needles in and out at about 100 times a second. The ink gets right down into the lower layer of skin called the epidermis.

The design they draw into the skin can be absolutely anything from a tiny cross to a compete multi-colored picture of a person or animal. Some tattoo artists copy from a standard set of designs but others have incredible skill and can create a unique picture especially designed for the occasion.

Some people like to have a temporary tattoo done with either a fake tattoo or an image drawn with henna. This helps a person get used to the image and the place it will be drawn when permanent.

Some Great Tattoo Designs

There are some amazing designs. The most striking are usually either the subtle rose on a hip or ankle or the full back picture of people. The designs can be something drawn on a piece of paper for the artist to copy or a photograph or image from a tattoo design library.

There are many free design images on the internet that can be found with a simple search. Some great ones include (as of Sept 2010):

Is a Tattoo Hygienic and Healthy

If the procedure is done properly and in a non-sensitive area of the body then it is hygienic and not a risk to health. The needles are single-use needles that come packaged individually and the tattoo artist must wash not only their hands, but they must also wash the area that will be tattooed. Gloves must be worn at all times and the wound must be wiped frequently with a wet disposable towel of some kind.

Where On The Body to Have the Tattoo

You can get a tattoo absolutely anywhere. Most woman get a tattoo where it can be hidden to protect their ‘reputation’. In some cultures a lower back tattoo has been called a ‘slag tag’ or a ‘tramp stamp’. The best choice is perhaps in a secret place where only a chosen few can see it.

If its in a place that people can see, then think about what it is saying to them. When you are a teenager you might want to say ‘ I’m sexy ‘ or ‘leave me alone’ – but in ten years time you might regret that message. Men tend to get a tattoo where everyone can see it so they can get the message across. What will the boss think when you go for a job? If you don’t care now, you might when you want the job.

If it’s in a place where the skin is ‘loose’ then think about what will happen when you get old. A face might look great now – but it will look very sad when the skin starts to sag or spread out with a beer gut.

What Could Go Wrong with the Tattoo

If the tattoo is done in a well established parlor and from a recommended tattoo artist then there should not be any major problems. However there are some issues that can occur even if the proper precautions are taken.

  • An allergic reaction – some tattoo dyes can cause a reaction in the skin giving an itchy rash. It seems that red dye is most likely to cause this problem.
  • Granulomas – sometimes the body just sees the tattoo as a ‘foreign body’ and tries to get rid of it. These show as tiny nodules.
  • Keloid formation – some people have trouble with scars when they get injured and form keloids. A tattoo is like an injury and so the body will have the same reaction.
  • Skin infections – even the best tattoo procedure can end up with infections that show as redness, swelling and pain. If the procedure is not followed properly then there can be much more serious infection, like hepatitis for example, from someone else’s blood on the needles or even just from shared ink.
  • MRI problems – the pigment in some tattoos can affect the image in an MRI scan.
  • The wrong tattoo – it is extremely difficult and painful to get rid of a tattoo and it might leave an unattractive scar. It is important to choose the right one and have it in the right place on the body.


A tattoo is a big decision for someone of any age but the important advice is to make sure it is done at a regulated and recommended place – preferably where a friend has had it done without any health problems. Choose the design wisely and have it tattooed somewhere where there will not be any problems in the future. Tattoos can be sexy, fun or with the right design just say who you are.

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