2017 November

TATTOOS and Their Side Effects

You have heard the saying, “Beauty is only skin deep.” Well, the current fad of tattooing takes some definitions of beauty beyond the skin and into the body systems in ways seldom recognized. Tattooing includes the graphic pictures applied to the skin with multiple skin pricks with an ink carrying needle as well as permanent makeup.

Did you know…the American Association of Blood Banks requires a one-year wait between getting a tattoo and donating blood specifically due the risk of infection?

The Mayo Clinic lists side effects of allergic reactions, skin infections (redness, swelling, pain, pus-like drainage), granulomas and keloids (bumps and scar tissue over-growth), potential MRI complications, and bloodborne diseases due to contaminated equipment (Hepatitis B and C, tetnus, and HIV). Documented conditions caused by tattoo pigments have been melanoma, carcinoma, hyperplasia, tumors, vasculitis, and even keratoacanthoma which mandates excising of the tattoo! Ouch!!

Did you know…that people with tattoos sweat less and that their sweat contains nearly twice as much sodium which leads to quicker dehydration and cramps?

It is worth stating again that allergic reactions to tattoo ink, in particular red and yellow, are common. One allergic reaction is photosensitivity, which is a more severe burning of the skin when exposed to the sun. Here is Florida that is a definite bummer! Often a person does not know they are allergic until after the tattoo is done and then may not contribute itching, rashes, and overall malaise to having gotten a tattoo. But the FDA cautions against this, not just immediately but also long term.

Did you know…the FDA has not approved any ink the injection into the skin thus making all tattoo ink not FDA approved?

To address the serious concern of the growth and transferring of pathogens from one person to another a disbursing flow agent is added to the tattoo pigment though this does not fully help and, not all of the time but at times, toxic and hazardous substances like methanol, ethylene glycol, and formaldehyde are used as flow agents. Unfortunately, the pigments are not any more healthy as they are made of plastic, mercury sulfides, cobalt albuminate, cadmium and chromium. The unregulated amounts of these ingredients are ‘trade secrets’. The metals can cause growth retardation and effects on the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems.

Did you know… 10 out of 11 black inks studied for the Danish government contained concentrations of the carcinogen, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon?

And beyond these things the piece of this tattooing process that is even less frequently considered is that tattooing adds stress to the lymphatic system because 90% of the pigment goes directly into the lymph nodes and stays there. An abstract in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health reports of a 40-yr old man with a tattoo and nodes in his armpit appearing as melanoma. Read more.

Although Manual Lymphatic Drainage cannot reverse ill effects related to getting a tattoo it can help the body recover to its best possible state. And remember, MLD is cumulative. One treatment can be helpful but A SERIES ARE HIGHLY EFFECTIVE in increasing lymphangiomotoricity and putting the lymphatic system back into a good flow. If you would like to have a healthy lymphatic system I can help. Call today to begin your treatments today.

Back to Top