Risks of Tattoos and Body Piercings

Topics: Body piercing, Body modification, Tongue piercing Pages: 5 (1893 words) Published: February 9, 2009
Some teenagers believe that tattoos and piercings are the best thing ever; however, they do not understand the effects they could have on their body. Although tattoos and piercings could take hours to get, and some may take no time at all. The risks of tattoos and piercings could affect the rest of their lives. People can get anything from a skin rash to HIV just by getting a tattoo or piercing. Before anyone gets a tattoo or piercing it is best to know the risks of it all. Tattoos are permanent designs that are made on someone’s body. Tattoos are made permanent by pigments being inserted into the top layer of skin through pricks with a hollow needle. How this is done is “during the procedure, a needle that is connected to a small machine with tubes containing dye pierces the skin repeatedly.” (Mayo Clinic, 2006, Para. 3) This process can go on for several hours depending on how large and colorful the tattoo is. There might be some bleeding after everything is complete. There will be some redness and swelling around the area. Getting a tattoo will be a bit painful. Right after the tattoo is completed ensure that the tattoo artist explains the instructions on how to clean and care for the tattoo. Cleaning the tattoo is extremely important. Someone who has a tattoo should know how to clean the tattoo. Cleaning the tattoo should be done with soap and water only, followed by applying some type of moisturizer regularly. Do not put the tattoo in direct sunlight or submerge it underwater for the first couple of weeks while it is healing. Tattoos could take days or possibly weeks to heal. As it heals it will itch and scab over a little. The most important thing is not itch or pick at the scabs. Picking at the scabs will increase the risks of getting and infection and ruin the tattoo. After the tattoo heals and one wants the tattoo to be removed due to their dislike, there are three different procedures that can be done to get the tattoo removed. The first procedure is laser surgery. Laser surgery is the best way to remove a tattoo. What happens is “pulses of laser light pass through the top layer of skin and the energy of the light is absorbed by the pigment in the tattoo.” (Mayo Clinic, 2006, Para. 8) Laser surgery could take up to 12 treatments just to lighten the tattoo; it may take up to 30 treatments before the tattoo goes away. The second procedure is Dermabrasion. “Dermabrasion is when the tattoo area is chilled until numb; the skin that contains the tattoo is sanded down to deeper levels.” (Mayo Clinic, 2006, Para. 8) Although this process sounds extremely painful; it is not. The only thing that may happen is that some scaring may occur. The last procedure is to remove the tattoo surgically. “A doctor can surgically cut out the tattoo and stitch the edge back together.” (Mayo Clinic, 2006, Para. 8) Having this procedure will leave a scar afterwards. This is why everyone should think about what kind of tattoo they want to get. The tattoo may have cost a hundred dollars, but if it is not what was expected, someone could spend much more getting it removed. “Body piercing is the insertion of jewelry into an opening made in the ear, nose, eye brows, lip, or other area of the body.” (Mayo Clinic, 2006, Para. 9) Body piercing is done without any sort of anesthesia. What happens is “the practitioner pushes a hollow needle through a body part.” (Mayo Clinic, 2006, Para. 10) After that the practitioner will pull out the needle then replace it with a piece of jewelry. There are two types of jewelry that should be used when getting a piercing. The first is gold. Gold should be at least 18 karat for new piercings. Titanium is also a good type of jewelry to be use. Gold and titanium jewelry should be used when getting pierced; these types of jewelry will help prevent infections. Taking care of the piercing is very important. If it is not taken care of it will get infected and the piercing will most likely have to be taken out....
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