A tattoo may be a work of art; it may symbolize a belief, or simply youth and the fact that one is ‘clued in’ with the times. But tattoo lovers and youngsters aiming to be tattooed, had better be forewarned about the health issues of body art.
1. Tattooing makes the skin grow more vulnerable to infections:
Tattooing is about puncturing the skin and introducing chemicals/ink into it. A tattoo, therefore, is like a wound with germs pumped in. It heightens the risk of infections and burdens the epidermis of the skin to work overtime, producing a fluid to protect the body from germs.
2. Tattooing prevents one from maintaining regular cleanliness:
Tattooed skin surfaces cannot be cleaned frequently for fear of the tattoo losing color. This means the skin cannot be cleaned thoroughly with soap and can only be dabbed with a wet cloth. This can invite infections and is very unhygienic.
3. No long showers, no swimming with tattoos on:
You can’t shower to your heart’s content or go for a swim if you want your tattoo looking as good as new. This means you lose out on the invigorating experience of a good bath and a refreshing swim in the pool for fear of scabs that might form (in reaction to the chlorine) and discolor your tattoo.
4. Disruption of exercise routine:
One can’t exercise for the first 15 days after getting a tattoo for fear of sweating. This is because the salt in the sweat causes the same damage to the tattoo as chlorine or sea water–it forms scabs and one gets a paler tattoo.
5. End of sunbathing and applying sunscreen:
People who get tattooed minimize outdoor sports and activities. They don't go out into the sun for fear of their tattoo getting discolored. Also, if one does get out in the sun, one cannot apply sunscreen on the tattoo. Also one has to wear long sleeves in the tropical heat to protect the tattoo.
6. Shaving is taboo:
Till the tattoo is healed, one may not shave. This is another unhygienic pre-condition to getting a tattoo. Shaving, they say, causes the skin to peel and the tattoo to erode.
7. You may not scratch your skin:
Immediately after a tattoo, one’s skin begins to itch (within the next 5 to 6 days). But you cannot scratch your skin even when you need to, for fear of spoiling the tattoo ink.
So, if you are ready to adjust to all the irritants mentioned above and still think a tattoo is worth it, then do go ahead and get tattooed!