Tattooing is a form of body art created by injecting ink into the skin. About 21 percent of adults have tattoos, and approximately 36 percent of 18 to 25 year olds have them. Tattoos are created with a machine that acts like a sewing machine, which pierces one or more needles into the skin repeatedly. People generally experience mild to moderate pain. Tattoo inks vary in color, with red, green and yellow being the most popular.
What are the risks in getting tattoos?
Even with sterile needles, a tattoo site can become infected. This happens when bacteria contaminate the ink. Red rashes, swelling and pain are symptoms of an infection. An infection generally occurs two or three weeks after you get your tattoo. Antibiotics kill most infections, but some tattoo infections don’t respond to antibiotics. If the tattoo artist is using needles that have been used on other people, these needles can infect others with diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.
Written by Guido R Zanni.
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