Health Tattoos

Tattoo, an artwork which is made by piercing the skin of the body, has been practiced in the world over since time immemorial. The tattoos could vary from a simple design to a complex one and indicate the design to the initials or name of your loved ones, be it your spouse, kids or parents.

People get tattoos engraved on their bodies for different purposes – decorative, spiritual, identification, cosmetic health or medical.

Health tattoos are the ones which are used to indicate the disease or allergies suffered by its bearer so that they may be taken to a doctor in case of an emergency. In some societies, people get tattoos engraved on their bodies for healing purposes too.

  1. Health tattoos and healing: In many countries, including  Tibet, people get tattoos related to their sacred chants, symbols, mantra flags and mantra wheels engraved on their bodies as they believe that such tattoos would enable them to achieve balance, harmony and peace in their lives. Interestingly, Tibetans mix some medical herbs into the tattoo inks or pigments and insert them in some acupuncture points to get relief from some kinds of pains or diseases.

    People in South Asia believe that getting a tattoo of their deities or religious symbols like Om would get them rid of their problems. It is a belief among Maori girls that if they get their lips and chins tattooed, they will remain young for a long period. Also, Ainu women, in order to restore their eyesight, get their hands and mouth engraved with tattoos.

    1. Health tattoos and identification of diseases: Health tattoos are increasingly used by people suffering from various diseases like diabetes and allergies to give its details on the tattoo. In case of an emergency, such health tattoos enable the doctors to provide appropriate treatment to its wearer.

    Many people who suffer from diabetes get it engraved on their bodies so that in case they lose consciousness due to low blood sugar, they may be given appropriate treatment. Sometimes, diabetics wear medical alert bracelets but they break quite often so sporting a tattoo with diabetes inscribed on it is a better and permanent option.

    An American association of Clinical Endocrinologists report also indicated that such a trend of people getting tattoo engraved on their bodies was emerging world over.

    While going for a health tattoo, diabetics must first consult their physician on the issue since tattoo is pierced into the skin, causing wounds and may lead to infection. So it is better that you first cross check with your doctor on whether to go for a tattoo. You must ask him to check your blood sugar level and if it is in control, it may help prevent you from getting infection.

    You must conduct a thorough research for the tattoo artist. You must ensure that the tattoo artist observes strict personal hygiene and that his studio or parlor is clean and sterile. You must also ensure that uses sterile equipments and disposable needles.

    It is advisable that people getting health tattoos must get it engraved on their wrists or part of the body which will be easily visible. Diabetics should avoid getting tattoos on legs and feet as these areas have worse circulation.

    1. Health tattoos and radiotherapy Health tattoos in the form of dots or points help radiotherapist in identifying the areas where radiotherapy has to be given, thus reducing the damage to surrounding healthy tissues.
    2. Health tattoos is used to replace areola which is removed from breast cancer stricken patients during surgery.

    Interestingly, some scientists in the United States are developing a medical tattoo which will help in measuring glucose levels in the body. In the tattoo, yellow-orange ink comprising of nano sensors would be injected into the skin through a needle which is hollow. When glucose comes in contact with nano sensors, it will lead to a change in the pigments color, indicating the glucose level.

    Like tattoos for other purposes, health tattoos too have become a rage the world over for its life-saving properties.