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Tattoo Safety: What to Know Before You Get a Tattoo

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Tattoos are increasingly popular and normalized in America today. Not all that many years ago, tattoos were considered alternative, but today, at least 30% of Americans have one or more tattoos. While tattoos are safe when administered correctly, there are some things that you should be aware of before you go to the Tattoo Shop.

Tattoos and Hepatitis

One of the biggest risks associated with Tattoos is Hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a bloodborne disease that is easily transmitted through poor tattoo practices. Needles must be sterilized carefully and professionally because it only takes a minuscule amount of blood to pass the virus to a new victim. While Hepatitis C is now often curable, it's still a dangerous disease that leads to Liver Cancer and Cirrhosis.


The most common complications associated with tattoos are temporary. Some people are allergic to particular dyes and chemicals used in certain inks. There's also a chance that tattooing can lead to infection, especially if the tattoo area is not cleaned and disinfected properly before inking or during the healing process.

Tattoos and MRSA Staph Infection

Aside from Hepatitis B & C, the most dangerous risk of getting a tattoo is getting infected with MRSA. Drug-Resistant Staph Infection is tough to treat and can even be deadly. Conditions related to staph infection include toxic shock syndrome, cellulitis, food poisoning, impetigo, and boils. Aside from allergic reaction, most risks associated with getting a tattoo involve contamination during the healing process or the inking itself.

There are some concerns that tattoos may contribute to cancer risk. This is because some dyes may contain carcinogenic ingredients. There's not much medical data on the potential link between tattoos and cancer, but it's important to be aware of the risk. Some dyes contain heavy metals like cadmium. If you are particularly concerned, you should find a tattoo shop that works with certified non-toxic ink ingredients.

Things to Know About Tattoo Removal

While most folks are happy with their tattoos, there are always some folks that will have buyers remorse. Most people that regret their tattoos get them on impulse. 75% of individuals that experience tattoo regret get a tattoo after three weeks or less of deliberation.

If you've been waiting at least a few months to get a tattoo, you're most likely in the clear. Of course, life happens and tastes change, and laser tattoo removal is available for those willing to pay the price to erase a memory. Expect to pay $50-$70 per square inch for laser removal. Risks associated with tattoo removal include skin discoloration, mild scarring, protracted healing, and infection.

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