By Miriam Aliberti —
“Look” says your friend as she presses down the waist of her yoga pants to reveal a butterfly tattooed on her skin. You’re tempted to get one of your own, but wonder if this is a good idea. Permanent tattoos have become popular in recent years. Should you get one? Listed below are some of the pros and cons if you are considering body art.
Self-expression – A tattoo can be a unique reflection of something that is important to you. It’s artwork that you own and no one can take it away. A tattoo can be your statement about you.
Can use it to cover flaws or scars – A tattoo is a good way to cover a skin flaw that makes you unhappy.
Self-confidence– Some people feel that a tattoo can be a confidence booster. Maybe it offers a sense of belonging or represents an accomplishment.
Placement of tattoo – Be careful where you choose to place a tattoo. Some employers frown on tattoos and it could be limiting for your career goals.
Tattoos change with age just as your skin does. They can become faded and the colors can change. Skin changes from aging can alter the shape of your art.
What is important to you at one point in your life might not have the same meaning later. You may decide you don’t want it on your body anymore. Although there are now some techniques to remove tattoos, it can be a painful process and may not always be effective. You could be stuck with discoloration or even a scar. Not to mention the expense!
Risk of infection – It’s a good idea to check out the facility for hygiene practices. Both needles and ink can be a cause of skin infections, blood borne diseases, and problems related to contamination with bacteria or mold. Equipment and surfaces need to be properly sterilized as well.
Allergic Reaction – Some tattoo inks can cause a serious allergic reaction. Consumer Reports says that some inks contain impurities and are even used in car paint.
Make sure your tattoo artist has lots of experience.
Ask for references and examples of their work.
Ask where the ink comes from and make sure there are no metals in it.
Make sure the artist wears sterile disposable gloves, uses sterile pre-packaged needles and tubes, and practices sterilization of equipment and surfaces.