TATTOOS: Are They Worth It? Essay

IntroductionPeople do a lot of varied things just because of art, at times, some of these art hurts. If a person intends to have a tattoo for all the right intentions, then it can be an attractive piece of artwork. However, having tattoo apart from being painful, it as well carries some potential heath risk coming from the needle used in tattooing.

As Winkler (2002) indicates that there is a possibility of getting hepatitis from tattoos. Apart from that one can also get allergy from the ink used in tattooing. Thus, the question being asked is, are tattooing worth all these risks. This paper seeks to give a brief analysis of the risks that are posed by having tattoos.

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Winkler (2002) explains that, the two main dangers of inappropriate tattooing processes are being exposed to blood borne diseases as well as allergic reactions to the pigments that are used in the tattooing ink. Nonetheless, mistake by the novice artists could as well result in permanent skin damage.  Remember that this, paper discuses that most common complications. However, there have been many incidents of other types of bacterial as well as viral infections resulting from tattoos, that we can not discuss all of them in this section.

The basic message is that having tattoos carries certain risks.Hepatitis A and CHepatitis B has been established as the most widespread infection that is transmitted by tattooing processes. In many occasions this is due to using one needle for many clients without properly sterilizing it. At the same time, Alayon (2007) clearly explains that, usage of same ink receptacles on many clients is as well risky; this is because blood can get mixed up with the ink.

But, it is true that tattoos themselves are not a risky factor when it comes to chronic viral hepatitis, what is risky is the unsanitary procedures of tattooing which increases the danger of infection.Hepatitis C (HCV) is another viral disease that can frequently be transmitted through using contaminated tattooing ink. Winkler (2002) warns that even in situations where there is correct sterilization, there is a remote chance that the disease could be transmitted.  Studies  appear o indicate that an increased danger for viral hepatitis amongst those people who are tattooed by their friends in comparison to those tattooed by professionals, who are likely to perform correct sterilization of  the needles used. In deed, recently some states in the United States, tattooed people who wish to donate blood are rejected owing to the relationship that has been established between hepatitis and tattoos.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)De Jong (2006) assert that,  whereas injection drug abusers transmit HIV through the sharing of hollow needles where blood is deposited, but tattooist use non-hollow needles, still they are at risk of transmission of HIV.  In tattooing, the needles used move in and out through a hollow tube which is used as an ink reservoir.  This needle pricks the skin when it has been coated by tattooing ink. The customer then bleeds a little through the prick. Thu, it is possible to transmit HIV, if the needle used is not well sterilized after it has been used on a person who is infected with HIV. Nonetheless, data indicates that a needle prick is not enough to result in an infection, and a substantial measure of fluid has to be shared in order to have an actual risk.

According to studies from the Center of Disease control, there is no HIV infection case that has been reported from tattooing in the United States (De Jong, 2006). However, with the understanding of how HIV is transmitted and knowing the tattooing methods, clearly there is a risk.  It is also possible that HIV could be transmitted trough ink used in tattoos since it has been established that the virus keep their infectivity properties for nearly 15 days id they are in liquid forms.Other disadvantagesAnother risk of tattoos is the tattoo gun, the gun used for tattooing is dangerous equipment and it has to be wielded with a lot of care.

Supposing a tattoo artist holds the gun on the skin, the needles could pierce the fats or muscles under the skin. This could result in to permanent skin bruising or excessive bleeding.The fact that tattoos are permanent causes another problem, De Jong (2006) points out that, studies indicate  more than 50% of people who initial tattooed the bodies eventually regret having them and try removing them. There are a number of ways that can be used to remove or conceal the tattoos, however, even the highly expensive way, the laser-technique, is not able to guarantee a complete erasure the tattoos.ConclusionHaving a tattoo is something that keeps attracting more people both the young and the old. Sadly, getting that tattoos done on your body carries a number of risks that may result from the tattoo. Apart from the physical pain of the tattoo, there is a possibility of contracting hepatitis A or C from needle used, if the sterilization was not well done.

Another risk that tattoos carry is allergy. It is possible that the ink used could be allergic to certain individuals. Thought studies have continuous proved that HIV is not transmitted through tattooing, which clear knowledge of how HIV is transmitted, one can never be sure of that remote possibility of the risk. Apparently it seems that that tattoos are not worth all these.Reference:Alayon, E (2007): Secrets of Tattooing: – A Guide to Rediscovery; Book Surge.De Jong, P (2006): What are the disadvantages of tattoos and piercing? Available at:  Accessed on 22/12/2008Winkler, K (2002):  Tattooing and Body Piercing: – Understanding the Risks: Berkeley Heights, NJ; Enslow Publishers, 


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