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The Toxic Truth About Tattoos: Scarring, Inflammation, MRIs, Cancer

Tattoos have a big role over the past several decades. Americans gave more than $1.5 bilion per year on tattoos, and there are more than 45 milions Americans that are with no less than one tattoo. Statistics exhibits that about 36 percent of Americans with age between 18 and 25 and 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 26 and 40 have no less than one tattoo.

No matter of the fact that the popularity of tattoos has dramatically raised, science doesn’t agree with the benefits of tattooing.

There are some not so good health effects from tattooing and here is what you should know:

Tattoo Health Risks


Infection has the main role when we talk about health risk. You should be very careful if decide to get a tattoo because using unsterile utensils and needles might cause a wide specter of health problems, from staph infection and hepatitis C to HIV.

As CDC says:  “Some important research studies haven’t shown Hepatitis C to be expanded through licensed, commercial tattooing facilities. Nevertheless, the transference of Hepatitis C (and some different diseases) is likely, when there is a bad infection-control while tattooing or piercing. Day by day, tattooing is becoming very popular body art in America, and there are a lot of not regulated tattooing and piercing as in the prisons and other informal places. We need more research to conclude if this types of places and exposures are the main reason for Hepatitis C virus transmission.“

Contaminated tattoo ink is still a way through which this infection or virus can expand, no matter if the tattoo artist has done all of the sterilization procedures. According to a research made by Dr. Robert Haley of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Dr. Paul Fischer of the Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, the people who have tattoos are 9 times more likely to get infected with hepatitis C related to those without tattoos.

Metal Toxicity

As you can see, there is a chance of being tattooed with infected ink, we have to tell you that the materials from which the ink is made have a few big health effects on the person being tattooed.

Tattoo ink is made from colors from different metals. For example, the red color might be composed of mercury, the blue ink might be composed of cobalt, the yellow may contain cadmium and the green ink contains chromium.

A lot of work was done to enhance the safety of injecting these materials, but there are still tattoo inks that are composed of worrisome colorants such as cobalt, lead, arsenic and nickel.


There were a lot of people who have spoken about their allergic reaction of tattooing with metas. They may experience the allergic reaction after their first, second or maybe third tattoo. This happens to a lot of people because those tattoo ink are composed of different materials and once they might not be exposed to the one they are allergic to, as far as, they have already gotten some.

You can notice itching, swelling and hive at the tattooed zone that range from less to life-threatening, in case you have allergies. There are people who tend to scarring and the risk is raised if the tattoo artist is not careful to the skin type and applies more pressure.

In agreement of a 2002 study on the effects of MRI’s on people with tattoos, 2 of 135 members shared “slight tingling” or “burning” sensations during MRI.







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