The Effects of Tattooing

By: Madeline Rogers, Dora Egbuziem, Joseph Penfield

Health Effects of Tattoos

Allergic reactions- Tattoo dyes can cause allergic reactions such as an itchy rash at the site of the tattoo, lasting for years.
Skin infections- Skin infections are possible after the tattooing process. Infections include: redness, swelling, and puss-like drainage as well as more serious infections like granulomos and keloids.
Bloodborne diseases- If the equipment used in creating your tattoo was contaminated in infected blood, it is possible to contract various bloodborne diseases.


Process of Tattooing

The process required in order to get a tattoo involves a few different steps in order to ensure safety. These steps include where the designated area for the tattoo must be properly cleaned using rubbing alcohol or soap and distilled water first before initial injection of the ink. Next, any bodily hairs in the area for the desired tattoo must be removed as well. After proper cleaning and hair removal, a needle with ink pigments is then injected into the dermis (the area of skin beneath the epidermis). This part is the outlining of the tattoo, which can cause stinging and pain. After the outlining, the inner part of the tattoo is then created using a variety of different colored ink pigments through a homogenized layer of the skin. The process then ends with the use of distilled water to clean the needles used, as well as the use of a disposable towel to clean any blood or plasma that bled during the process.


Potential Future Aesthetic Consequences of Tattooing

You have to think about the emotional connection you would have to the tattoo in the future, as well as the appearance:

  • Tattoos usually stretch over the period of time. Yuck!
  • Small tattoos with a lot of elaborate details will look like a giant blob in years to come
  • If you want to be loving mother with kids in the future consider the fact that pregnancy will change the shape of the tattoo!


Effects of Tattoos on Skin Layers

  • Tattoos puncture the dermis layer.
  • Ink spreads from the puncture site to the dermis.
  • The epidermis (upper layer of skin) contains keratin-producing cells that heels the tattoo
  • The dermis also contains cells involved in immune responses that recognize the tattoo ink as foreign.
  • Tattoo ink is trapped in the dermis in a meshwork of fibroblast cells and collagen that form granulation tissue.
  • If a tattoo is done properly, tattoo ink won't reach the bottom layer, the hypodermis
  • When tattoo ink is injected deep into the skin, the body reacts to defend itself by stimulating emergency collagen and fibroblast production to rush in and surround the invader.