Tattoos and Diseases
Tattoos, which have become a rage among the young and adults alike the world over, date back to the pre-historic times when people of different regions used to wear tattoos for different reasons, be it – spiritual, therapeutic or decorative.
Tattoos not only enhance the beauty of your body, they also reflect your attitude, personality and religious faith. Tattoos come in different styles and designs from a simple design to an intricate design, a tribal design or just the initials of your loved ones.
Since tattoo is made by injecting inks, dyes or pigments into the dermis layer of the skin through needles, which comes in contact with bodily fluids and blood of a person, the tattoo recipient may be prone to blood-borne diseases. Blood-borne diseases like HIV, hepatitis-B, Hepatitis-C, tuberculosis and tetanus can occur if a person getting tattoo comes in contact with infected blood through either re-used needles or re-used inks etc.
- Hepatitis-B: Hepatitis-B can be easily transmitted from one person to another. If a person comes in contact with contaminated needle, contaminated ink, non-sterilized equipment and unhygienic work area, he might get Hepatitis-B.
- HIV or Human Immuno Deficiency Virus, which can lead to AIDS or Acquired immune Deficiency Syndrome, can be caused if the tattoo artists use re-used or unsterilized needles, re-used inks and unsterilized or improperly sterilized tattoo machines. It can also be transferred if the infected HIV infected tattoo artist pricks his hand accidently while engraving the tattoo.
- Hepatitis-C: infection, which affects the functioning of liver, cannot be cured and can prove even fatal for the victim. The Hepatitis-C infection could even be passed from one person to another through needles and inks which are re-used for the clients.
Besides the above mentioned diseases, it is also possible that the clients may get affected by:
- Skin Disorders: like allergic dermatitis, psoriasis, photosensitivity reactions, etc. which could even go to the extent of malignant tumors.
- Allergies or Infections: People who are sensitive to certain chemicals, pigments, dyes or inks are more susceptible to allergies or infections. This could range from redness, itching to severe burning sensations or even pains.
Precautions to be taken to Prevent Diseases:
- You must ensure that your tattoo artist uses disposable tattoo needles for every client. You must also make sure that the needles are disposed of properly.
If your tattoo artist uses re-usable needles, you must make sure that he uses an autoclave to sterilize the needles. An autoclave is sterilization equipment in which heat, pressure and steam is used to kill all bacteria, germs or viruses from the needle.
- You must make sure that the tattoo artist does not re-use the ink which has already been used on a client. He should put inks into a disposable cup and dispose of the cup and the remaining ink after he has finished off tattooing on a client.
- You must also make sure that tattoo machine is also properly sterilized.
- The work area should also be cleaned and sterilized after tattooing is finished on a client.
- All the needles, containers, gloves, inks etc should be discarded after these have been used for one client.
- You must also make sure that tattoo artist adopts personal practices by washing his hands frequently and wearing gloves throughout the process of tattooing.
It has been observed that in most of the cases, clients get diseases due to sheer negligence of the tattoo artists, due to unhygienic conditions or equipments or re-use of the equipments or needles. So it becomes even more important and essential on the part of both – the tattoo artist and the clients that they understand and follow these precautions while engraving a tattoo.
Keep these precautions in mind while getting tattoo done on your body and show off your tattoo to the world without any fear.