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Posted by Priya Markanda on July 22, 2009
Dying to have that tattoo on you? Whatever you do, don't toy with that tat. Getting a tattoo is serious business.

Tattoo and the Sewing Machine
Tattoos are a permanent mark or design, made on the skin with pigments inserted through pricks into the skin's top layer.

The procedure starts by using a needle, connected to a small machine with tubes containing dye, which pierces the skin repeatedly (an action that resembles that of a sewing machine).

With every puncture, the needle inserts tiny ink droplets into the skin. The process, may last up to few hours, causing some bleeding and pain.

Following are the various risks involved in the art of 'permanent make-up':

1. Blood Bourne Diseases
If the equipment used to create the tattoo is contaminated with the blood of an infected person, you can easily contract many serious blood borne diseases. These include HIV, Hepatitis-C, Hepatitis-B, tetanus and tuberculosis.

2. Allergic Reactions
Tattoo dyes, especially red dye, can cause allergic skin reactions, which in turn can result in an itchy rash on the place of the tattoo. People may even develop allergic reactions to tattoos that they have had for years.

3. Skin Disorders
The body may form bumps or nodules know as granulomas around the tattoo ink, particularly if the ink is red. Tattooing can even cause some areas of raised and excessive scarring known as keloids. It can form anytime you injure your skin.

4. Skin Infections
Tattoos can result in various bacterial infections. Typical signs of an infection include redness, swelling and a pus-like drainage.

Antibiotic-resistant skin infections can even lead to pneumonia and blood infections with a painful, flesh-destroying condition, know as necrotizing fasciitis.

5. MRI Complication
Tattoos may cause swelling or burning sensation in the affected areas, when one undergoes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations.

In some cases, when a person with a permanent eyeliner undergoes an MRI of the eye, tattoo pigments may interfere with the quality of its image.

6. Dissatisfaction
Most common problem with the people having tattoo is dissatisfaction. In some cases, tattoo aficionados want their tattoos off.

Also, if the tattooist injects the pigment too deeply into the skin, chances are that pigments may migrate beyond their original site.

Tattoo Removal
Tattoos or the permanent make up are meant to be permanent. Therefore, their complete removal is difficult and painful at times.

Nowadays, several removal techniques exist, but regardless of the method used, skin color variations, allergies and scarring are likely to happen.

Main tattoo removal techniques available today are: laser technique, dermabrasion, salabrasion, scarification, surgical removal and camouflage. The laser technique, most famous of all tattoo removal techniques, is used on different tattoo colors. It breaks the pigment into small particles so as to get it eliminated from the body.

All these removal techniques are available with good dermatologists. Never try removing a tattoo on your own.

Tattoo Removal Risks
Scarring: While removal, not every tattoo comes off easily. Immediately after the treatment, there can be a white patch, the place where you once had the tattoo. Normal skin color will appear, but with time.

Allergic Reactions: Usage of laser technique breaks down tattoo pigments, giving rise to the possible allergic reactions. Several laser treatments can also cause blistering reactions, which can be very painful. Though, with routine skin care, these reactions can subside.

Temporary Tattoos Risky Too
Some feel that a popular alternative to the permanent tattoos are temporary tattoos that use henna-based ink to paint the skin.

It has been observed lately that 'black henna' or 'blue henna' cause allergic reactions on the skin area, as the 'blackening' may come from coal-tar. It has therefore been advised to stay away from these temporary tattoos too.

Tattoos are permanent, and getting them removed is twice as painful as having them on. Think twice before you decide to have them. But once you’ve decided to have a tat, take the necessary precautions and good care to reduce the risks involved.

When getting tattoos done, always make sure that your tattoo artist uses nothing but the cleanest and safest equipment available to avoid infections or any other health hazards.

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