Tattooing has been in vogue since times immemorial. An artistic way to beautify the body, tattoos can be a great way to reflect your personality, religious thoughts and beliefs or even your attitude. Gaining immense popularity, tattoos are, today, available in an extensive range of designs and styles, to suit the needs and styles of every person. Be it fairy tattoos exclusively designed for girls or cross tattoos, for people with a religious bent or dragon tattoos, the options is almost endless. The number of people, captivated by this mesmerizing body art, has been continuously on the rise. However, with the growth of the art of tattooing, the safety issues and risk concerns have also increased. One such safety issue concerned with tattooing is the striking of diseases.
Disease - Causes & Precautionary Measures
Tattoo is a body art that involves injection of ink into the skin of a person, using needles. The needle used, comes in contact with blood and bodily fluids of a person. If more than one person is tattooed with the same needle (without sterilization), chances are that the subsequent person may fall prey to disease. Hence, sterilization of the needle becomes highly essential. Though most of the reputable tattoo shops use fresh disposable needles for each client, there are tattoo artists, who sterilize reusable instruments between clients. However, in case of reusable needles, make sure that it is properly cleansed using an autoclave.
In addition, it is important that needles and other instruments used in the tattooing process do not come in contact with inks, which will be used on other clients. The best way to avoid disease through infected ink would be to pour the required amount of ink from the larger bottles into disposable cups. This way, the ink taken out would be used for a single session on a client and later, discarded off, lessening any chances of contamination through ink. It is very important for the tattoo artist to be well-versed with the risks of diseases that are associated with tattooing.
It is possible to get infected with diseases, such as HIV Virus and hepatitis, syphilis, tetanus, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases, at the time of tattooing. However, such a misfortune is likely to take place, only if tattoo artist use non-sterile equipments. Though there has never been a case wherein an individual contracting HIV as a direct result of getting tattooed, you cannot rule out the probability completely. Nonetheless, it is imperative for a person to be aware of the potential risks of tattooing. The universal precautionary measures, such as washing hands, wearing latex gloves and the thorough cleaning of floors and surfaces, are crucial and trim down chances of getting infected with diseases.
It has been noticed over the past few years that the modern tattoo inks are causing more and more complications. This includes grave infections, allergic reactions and skin cancer like symptoms. This is probably because the ink used these days in engraving tattoos has been changed composition wise. Now days instead of metal salts, lead, carbon and cobalt material like organic azo dyes with plastic based pigments is used in tattooing. These are the materials that are basically used in printing, textile and car painting industries. It is not completely understood how these materials interact with the skin cells and trigger the complications. These materials are especially found in concntrated red and yellow inks. Allergy is the most common complication that the tattoos trigger in the body. It is not necessarily an instant reaction; it can take years after getting a tattoo to develop. If someone is already suffering from skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema then tattooing can cause their skin conditions to flare up aggressively. There is another complication called sarcoidosis, which is an autoimmune disorder that is easily triggered by getting a tattoo on the skin. It is typified by swelling of the skin and itching. It has the capacity to affect other organs of the skin, like lungs and eyes. Studies show that cancerous cells can develop easily under the tattooed region on the skin. Some people suffer from a bump on the top of their tattoo which ruins it completely. It is called the squamous cell carcinoma. This bump is so similar to skin cancer that it calls for a biopsy and in extreme cases requires a skin surgery. Amongst the other breakout issues, it is recently noticed that atypical breakout caused by mycobacterial infections is very common now and the distinctive feature of this outbreak is the development of painful pustules with red bumps and itchiness. This bacterial infection is much harder to treat than the regular staph bacterial infections caused by tattooing. This is the reason why it takes months and months to treat it as the only possible solution to cure it is to take oral antibiotics.