Kassidy Emmerson, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Feb 9, 2007 "Share your voice on Yahoo! websites. Start Here."
You probably know that a body tattoo is injected into the skin by using a machine with a sharp needle and ink. What you probably don't realize, is that a tattooing machine can pierce the skin as many as 3,000 times a minute. Each one of these holes can be as deep as 1/16 of an inch. These open wounds scab over, but they can still cause health problems... and maybe even death. Before you even consider injected in this fashion, you need to know the deadly dangers of body tattoos.
As far as tattoo parlors are concerned, it's the responsibility of the operator to make sure his/her equipment and shop are clean and sanitary. It's also their responsibility to use hygienic procedures. Tattoo parlors are governed by state and local laws to do so. But, these laws aren't always strictly enforced. So, no matter if you have your neighbor give you a tattoo in his basement, or you visit a legitimate tattoo parlor, your new body marking can be a deadly danger.
While some tattoo parlors do pay strict attention to sanitation, they are in the minority...
One of the most common health problems with body tattoos is allergic reactions to the ink. Body tattoos can also cause skin infections and chronic skin ailments. Examples of recurring skin ailments include psoriasis and dermatitis. Body tattoos can also cause tumors which may be benign, or even malignant.
If these deadly dangers don't make you think twice about getting a tattoo, then consider the fact that getting a body tattoo puts you at the risk of contracting tetanus, HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, and even Syphilis. Hepatitis C alone claims more than 10,000 lives every year!
The results of research performed by Dr. Bob Haley and Dr. Paul Fischer of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School shows that getting body tattoos at parlors may well be the "number one distributor of Hepatitis C." The doctors found that getting tattoos at an establishment "accounted for more than twice as many Hepatitis C infections as injection-drug use." The research also shows that people who get a body tattoo in a parlor are "nine times more likely to get Hepatitis C" because of infected needles and unsanitary conditions. This is the reason that people who get a body tattoo aren't allowed to donate blood to the American Red Cross for an entire year. Medical experts recommend that anyone who gets a tattoo get tested for Hepatitis shortly afterwards.
And finally, if you still aren't convinced about the deadly dangers of body tattoos, think about this: the ink that's injected in your skin contains metal filaments. If you need to have an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), these bits of metal can cause you to feel a burning pain during the test. Some hospitals and testing locations refuse to do an MRI on people who have body tattoos. That means, if you have a tattoo, and your doctor recommends an MRI, you may not be able to have this life-saving test performed.