They say tattoos are addictive. Once you get one done, you will always want more. This is why we see so many people covered in black or colorful permanent ink. They will always argue that tattoos are harmless if done properly, by a person authorized to make them.
However, a new study begs to differ. A team of researchers concluded that many people who decide to have one or more tattoos are more inclined to suffer from rashes or skin itching than people who decide to pass on them.
They also found that some people who have something tattooed on them usually have to see a dermatologist a long time afterwards, before the skin is completely healed.
In order to carry out the study, they interviewed around 300 people in Central Park, New York. One in ten said that they were worried about their skin a very long time after they had the tattoo done. Some said they had to be careful with it for months or even years. Only a third of them went to see a dermatologist about their problems.
Dr. Marie C. Leger, who is a dermatologist and an assistant professor working at the New York University and also a co-author of the study stated that people who experienced different problems with their tattoos have often come to her, which made her wonder how common these problems were.
“The colored portion can sometimes raise up as much as a centimeter above the skin and can affect the texture of the skin and the way the tattoo looks,” Dr. Leger added.
The authors of the study also mentioned that more than 65 percent of tattooed people complain of skin rashes which were scaly, swollen, itchy and possibly filled with edema.
However, Mike Martin, who is the head of the Alliance of Professional Tattooists said that he did not have statistics regarding people who suffer from irritation after getting tattoos. Moreover, he added that he believes such skin rashes are quite uncommon even if they might occur from time to time because “some folks’ bodies do not like red pigments.”
Therefore, the skin rashes might be caused by allergies to the red ink that is found in the pigmentation used on the skin. This is why the irritation usually shows up where red ink was used and it only goes away after it has been removed from the skin. If someone has this type of allergy, the reactions can persist for a very long time if the problem is not solved.
Dr. Leger supported this theory, saying that people’s symptoms caused either by how our body reacts to them or by the quality of ink. Red and black are, according to her, the most common colors associated with allergies, with red being the more prevalent one (44 percent of skin reactions).
Thus, she advised people who want to get a tattoo to be extra-careful and follow their tattooist’s instructions. They should try to avoid red ink as much as possible and only go to professional places to get a tattoo.
The results of the study were published in the journal Contact Dermatitis.
Image Source: bbc