Health Risks Associated With Tattoos

NYU Langone Medical Center Investigators discover that approximately 6% of New Yorkers who get a tattoo have experienced tattoo-associated rash, serious itching or inflammation that has lasted over 4 months and for some, several years.Lion-Tattoo-Designs1

With respect to Dr. Marie Leger, senior study researcher and NYU Langone dermatologist, an approximated 20% adults in the US has minimum one tattoo.

“Given the increasing popularity of tattoos, doctors, public health representatives and consumers have to be aware of the threats involved.” Leger and his team published their results in journal Contact Dermatitis.

The research outcomes resulted from survey interviews with some 300 people in New York’s Central Park in June 2013. The results reflect those identified in studies performed by European nations – which have only recently begun to keep track of medical issues related with tattoos.

Survey individuals ranged in age from 18-69 years, with a greater part claiming to have not more than 5 tattoos, with the arm being the very popular tattoo site, at 68%.

“We were instead alarmed at the great rate of reported chronic issues tied to getting a tattoo,” .While some undesirable skin reactions can be handled with anti-inflammatory steroid medicines, others may need laser surgery.

Surgery is often essential in serious cases to take out the tattooed areas of the skin or built-up scar tissue and granular skin lesions, which can increase several millimetres on the skin and lead to significant itching and psychological distress.

The research exposed that areas of skin injected with two of the very common tattoo ink colors, red and black, experienced the most durable issues.

Chemical composition of colored tattoo inks are “improperly understood and not standardized”

Nearly half (45%) of chronic side effects were because of red ink, although only slightly more than 1/3rd (36%) had tattoos with red ink. 1/3rd of chronic cases involved black ink, while above 90% of the participant’s tattoos used black coloring.

Leger suggests:

“It is not yet identified if the reactions being noticed are because of chemicals in the ink itself or to other chemicals, like preservatives or brighteners, combined with them or to the chemicals’ breakdown over time. The absence of a nationwide database or reporting requirements also hinders reliable supervising.”

Leger suggests that the truth of complications linked to tattooing are partially due to lack of regulatory oversight, and also the truth that the chemical composition of colored inks used in the procedure is improperly understood and not standardized among dye producers.

Adding to above statement she says

“The skin is an extremely immune-sensitive organ, and the long-term effects of repeatedly examining the body’s immune system with injected dyes and colored inks are improperly understood.”

“Some of the side effects appear to be an immune response, yet we do not know who is most probably to have an immune response to a tattoo.”

Another key finding from the study signifies that identical types of short-term complications, which include delayed healing, pain, swelling and infection within weeks of getting tattooed, take place in 10% of people.

Furthermore, the data revealed that only a third of those who experienced a reaction wanted medical advice or assistance. Many instead, re-visited the tattoo store for assistance.

Leger and team have future plans to perform a huge study to identify particularly what color inks and dye components are most closely connected to adverse reactions. They predict that their investigations may reveal other factors that may put individuals at a higher risk of struggling chronic complications from getting “inked.”