How to Get Tattoos Safely


Desk of Contents[Hide][Show]

Tattoos have turn out to be a very talked-about (but nonetheless controversial) magnificence assertion lately. On the similar time, many people wonder if they’re good for our our bodies. Is there such a factor as pure tattoos? The reply is sure! There are pure and non-toxic choices. You’ll be able to take part on this fashionable physique artwork development and nonetheless maintain your physique free of additional toxins

I’m personally as much as 18 tattoos now, though they’re very small ones. On one wrist, I’ve the Latin phrases “memento mori.” Loosely translated, this implies, “Keep in mind your demise.” It jogs my memory that I’ll die at some point and that I ought to concentrate on residing life within the current second. 

On the opposite wrist, I’ve “Amor Fati,” which principally means, “Love what’s.” It’s an vital reminder to not simply be okay with what occurs in life, however embrace it. Even when one thing in life appears tough, there’s typically one thing we will study from it. Byron Katie even has a e book on “Loving What Is.”

Earlier than I received too far down the tattoo path, I did my analysis to verify they weren’t going to be damaging to my physique long-term. On this article, I’ll share my analysis and expertise with find out how to get tattoos safely. 

What’s A Tattoo?

A tattoo is a type of human physique modification or everlasting ornament that’s performed by a needle inserting ink into the dermis (the second layer) of the pores and skin. The phrase comes from a Polynesian phrase: Ta, which suggests “to strike.” The phrase ultimately developed into the Tahitian word tatau, which suggests “to mark one thing.” 

Tattoos are utilized in many various methods. They could be used as a small ornament on the higher arm or as a big work of tattoo artwork like a chest piece, half-sleeve tattoo, leg tattoo, or leg sleeve. They could seem on all completely different elements of the physique, together with the genitals. They are often made up of vibrant colours or be so simple as a reputation inscribed with black ink.

A Brief Historical past of Tattoos

Tattoo use goes again to historical instances once they have been utilized in Egypt as early as 2040 B.C. Historic Greeks and Romans used tattoos as a type of punishment and likewise to mark criminals and prisoners of conflict. It made these people straightforward to establish in the event that they occurred to flee.

Sure native cultures additionally used tribal tattoos to establish who was “considered one of them.” 

Tattoos was seen as a cultural taboo—related to riot or particular teams of individuals, like jailed criminals, gang members, and even the navy. They often had a sure stigma hooked up to them and have been typically seemed upon with raised eyebrows—significantly when younger folks received their first one. Nevertheless, their recognition has been growing during the last couple of a long time.

Athletes and celebrities have been one affect within the improve. Nevertheless, tattoos are additionally typically used to cowl up surgery-related or injury-related scars.

A survey done in 2004 discovered that 24% of individuals between the ages of 18 and 50 had tattoos, and one other 21% stated they’d thought-about getting one. A newer survey performed in 2015 with a bigger group (2,225 folks) discovered that the tattooed group had elevated to 29%.

Issues With Conventional Tattoos

Conventional tattoos aren’t essentially innocent phrases or photographs in your physique. There are various considerations round what will get injected into your pores and skin and the way it will have an effect on your physique long-term. Listed here are among the considerations round conventional tattoos:

  • Most cancers-causing ink – Black tattoo ink is the commonest shade utilized in tattooing. It’s additionally very excessive in cancer-causing components, like benzo(a)pyrene. The Worldwide Company for Analysis on Most cancers (IARC) lists benzo(a)pyrene as a carcinogen. A 2018 review study listed 51 publications and 63 most cancers circumstances related to tattoos. Black, blue, and pink inks have been probably the most cancer-promoting.
  • Allergic reactions to ink – For those who’re delicate to different chemical compounds or topical components, watch out for tattoo ink. The dyes utilized in tattoos are stuffed with artificial components that would trigger an allergic response. Many of the reactions are to red ink, however folks might also react to the cadmium in yellow ink, chromium in inexperienced ink, and cobalt in blue ink. 
  • Contamination with microorganisms – In Could of 2019, the FDA despatched out a Safety Advisory to shoppers, tattoo artists, and retail retailers warning that some inks had been contaminated with micro organism and had been recalled. Infections from these inks might result in allergy symptoms, rashes, or lesions and will trigger everlasting scarring.
  • Injury to the pores and skin – Bacterial infections can result in blemishes within the pores and skin, resulting in everlasting scarring. Typically keloids (ugly scar tissue) additionally kind as a response to the tattoo ink. They generally want surgical procedure to take away them. Inks could also be made up of metal-containing compounds, comparable to paraphenylenediamine, which may trigger points with pores and skin pigment.
  • Tattoos can impression sweating – You are likely to lose more sodium and electrolytes in tattoo-covered areas. This in all probability gained’t make a distinction in the event you simply have a small tattoo right here or there. Nevertheless, vital ink protection can get in the best way of regular sweating, shedding among the well being advantages of perspiration.
  • Unknown long-term results – The FDA has famous that, though analysis is ongoing, we nonetheless don’t know all of the potential long-term effects of tattoos. Whereas folks report most of the opposed reactions instantly, some results don’t occur till years later. 

The toxicity resulting in allergic reactions, cancers, and unknown long-term results comes from the truth that tattoo inks are full of chemicals. Listed here are only a few (there could also be as much as 100 completely different substances in any given ink):

  • Solvents, like ethanol, isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), glycerin, and propylene glycol – The solvents are in all probability the most secure of the components
  • Emulsifiers, quite a lot of esters
  • Binders, like Polyethers, polyvinylpyrrolidone, block-copolymer, and shellac
  • Anti-foaming brokers, like polydimethylsiloxane
  • Preservatives, like parabens, phenols, formaldehyde, methylisothiazolinone, and petrochemicals
  • Metals, like nickel, cobalt, chromium, cadmium, and mercury. (Mercury could also be a hidden contributor to candida overgrowth)
  • Microorganisms, like Staphylococci, Streptococci, and Pseudomonas subspecies
  • Nanoparticles, particularly in black ink. These nanoparticles can enter the bloodstream and create toxicity all through the physique.

Sadly, most individuals don’t know tattoos pose any threat to them healthwise. A survey of over 200 people was revealed within the Journal of Scientific and Aesthetic Dermatology in 2018. Researchers needed to search out out what folks knew concerning the medical dangers of tattoo ink. 

The research included each those that’d gotten tattoos and those that had not. The typical age was 26.9 years. Of the questions on well being dangers, over 50% of the solutions have been answered incorrectly. Clearly, folks don’t totally perceive tattoo dangers and problems.

That stated, there are alternatives on the market with out the toxicity of dyes and contamination.

Well being-Acutely aware Tattoo Choices

Crucial factor to search for in the event you’re all in favour of getting a tattoo is that it’s non-toxic. You might be able to discover one of many following choices at a health-conscious tattoo parlor: 

Vegan Tattoos

Vegan tattoos are made with none animal-based components, comparable to glycerin from animal fats. As a substitute, they use plant-based glycerin. The colours are additionally free from animal and even insect-based components or dyes, like shellac, which comes from beetles. 

Vegan ink takes its colours from natural plant- and mineral-based sources, for instance:

  • Black dye from carbon and logwood
  • White dye from titanium dioxide
  • Purple dye
  • Blue dye from sodium, copper, and aluminum
  • Inexperienced dye from monoazo, from carbon
  • Yellow dye from turmeric
  • Pink dye from naphthol 

As a result of the dyes come from pure components, they’re much less prone to trigger points with toxicity, allergy symptoms, and most cancers.

What About Henna?

Henna is a well-liked selection for these all in favour of pure magnificence. This tattoo possibility comes from India. Henna is constituted of a tropical flowering plant that’s grown in Africa and Asia. The henna is dried, floor right into a paste, and used as a dye. It could be used as a tattoo, hair dye, or colorant for silk, wool, or leather-based. 

The great factor about henna is that it’s not everlasting. It solely lasts for a few weeks at most. Henna sits on the floor of the pores and skin—the dermis, relatively than the dermis. Whereas it looks as if it will be safer as a result of it’s pure and short-term, the FDA has issued a warning about short-term tattoos. 

Henna dye is probably not utterly pure and pure. Conventional henna could also be superb, however now one thing known as “black henna” is fashionable. So-called “black henna” is usually a mix of henna and different components, like a hair dye containing the chemical p-phenylenediamine (PPD). Typically “black henna” doesn’t even include henna. As a substitute, it’s simply the PPD hair dye. PPD is dangerous to the pores and skin, and by regulation, it may’t be utilized in cosmetics. It’s vital to do your analysis in your henna artist to make sure you are receiving pure henna.

Natural Tattoos

Are there actually natural tattoos? Not in the best way that you simply would possibly suppose. There’s no USDA-organic tattoo ink. “Natural” is a method of tattooing. The time period doesn’t discuss with pure components however the design. “Natural” refers back to the parts which are utilized by the tattoo artist in creating the design. 

Natural tattoo designs embrace pure parts from the earth, animals, birds, bones, claws, and human anatomy, together with the digestive system, particular person organs, muscle tissue, tendons, and bones. It’s fashionable amongst followers of science fiction. 

For a lot of throughout the natural neighborhood, biomechanical tattoos (or “biomech tattoos”) are additionally fashionable. These sci-fi-looking tattoo ideas embrace machine elements, typically mixed with the natural thought to create an natural cyborg tattoo. 

Potential Toxicity of Pure Tattoos 

Even in the event you discover a parlor that makes use of pure tattoo ink, you could possibly nonetheless end up reacting to them. It is smart as a result of many individuals have allergic reactions to completely wholesome meals. Whether or not you react relies on your immune system. Nevertheless, there’s additionally at all times the potential for bacterial contamination. 

Tattoo Suggestions

For those who determine to get a tattoo (or add to your assortment), listed below are some tricks to be sure to have the most effective and most secure expertise: 

  • Discover a respected place – Do your analysis forward of time and discover a licensed, respected tattoo studio. 
  • Verify hygienic practices – When getting your tattoo, watch to verify the power makes use of good hygiene and sterilizes chairs, work surfaces, and tools between purchasers. Additionally, be sure that your artist washes his or her fingers and dons a contemporary pair of gloves earlier than beginning. Needles must be taken from a brand new, sealed bundle.
  • Be certain correct care is taken of pores and skin beforehand – Your pores and skin must be correctly cleaned with a disinfectant like rubbing alcohol earlier than tattooing.
  • Maintain your tattoo afterward – New tattoos ought to solely be bandaged for 1 or 2 hours. After eradicating the bandages, apply a pure antibiotic cream or perhaps a colloidal silver spray. In a while, gently clean the area with soap and water and gently pat dry. 
  • Control it – Be certain the realm is clear and freed from an infection. For the primary few days, maintain the realm moisturized with shea butter, jojoba oil, or a light unscented cream. (If you wish to DIY, attempt this one.)
  • Give it time to heal – It may take two weeks in your pores and skin to heal after a tattoo. Which means the pores and skin goes to be delicate and fragile for some time. Keep away from touching the tattooed space and keep away from direct solar publicity till it heals.

You may additionally wish to test this page from the Nationwide Convention of State Legislatures to see what the legal guidelines and statutes are for tattooing in your state. 

Have you ever gotten vegan or henna tattoos? How was your expertise? Share beneath!

  1. Mark, J. J. (2017). Tattoos in Ancient Egypt. World Historical past Encyclopedia.
  2. Belden E. (n.d.). Tattoo’s Dark Days – Ancient Greece & Rome.
  3. Laumann, A. E., & Derick, A. J. (2006). Tattoos and body piercings in the United States: a national data set. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 55(3), 413–421.
  4. Paprottka, F. J., Krezdorn, N., Narwan, M., Turk, M., Sorg, H., Noah, E. M., & Hebebrand, D. (2018). Trendy Tattoos-Maybe a Serious Health Risk?. Aesthetic cosmetic surgery, 42(1), 310–321.
  5. Høgsberg, T., Loeschner, Okay., Löf, D., & Serup, J. (2011). Tattoo inks in general usage contain nanoparticles. The British journal of dermatology, 165(6), 1210–1218.
  6. Rahimi, I. A., Eberhard, I., & Kasten, E. (2018). TATTOOS: What Do People Really Know About the Medical Risks of Body Ink?. The Journal of scientific and aesthetic dermatology, 11(3), 30–35.
  7. U.S. Meals and Drug Administration. (Could 2019). FDA Advises Consumers, Tattoo Artists, and Retailers to Avoid Using or Selling Certain Tattoo Inks Contaminated with Microorganisms. Cosmetics Remembers & Alerts.
  8. Luetkemeier, M. J., Hanisko, J. M., & Aho, Okay. M. (2017). Skin Tattoos Alter Sweat Rate and Na+ Concentration. Drugs and science in sports activities and train, 49(7), 1432–1436.
  9. U.S. Meals and Drug Administration. (Could 2019). Think Before You Ink: Are Tattoos Safe? Shopper Updates.
  10. Bäumler W. (2016). Tattoos and Their Potential Health Consequences. Deutsches Arzteblatt worldwide, 113(40), 663–664.
  11. Rahimi, I. A., Eberhard, I., & Kasten, E. (2018). TATTOOS: What Do People Really Know About the Medical Risks of Body Ink?. The Journal of scientific and aesthetic dermatology, 11(3), 30–35.
  12. Edelgarde, E. L. (October 11, 2021). What Are Vegan Inks? The Black Hat Tattoo
  13. Schonwald, J. (2022, February 21). Bio Organic Tattoo Meaning, Designs & Ideas. Tattoo search engine marketing web site.
  14. Simon, Employees Author. (2020). Bio-Organic Tattoo Design: Anatomy Sci-Fi Style With Interesting Variations. Tattoo Artwork From The Coronary heart web site. 
  15. Mayo Clinic Employees. (2022, February 25). Tattoos: Understand risks and precautions. Mayo Clinic web site.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here