Planning To Get A Tattoo? Here Are Five Health Risks You Should Know

Did you know tattoos can pose potential risks and can cause issues such as allergic reactions, skin infections, and blood-borne diseases?

Sushmita Sharma
Written by: Sushmita SharmaUpdated at: Feb 23, 2023 15:05 IST
Planning To Get A Tattoo? Here Are Five Health Risks You Should Know

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Many people are fond of tattoos and use them as a mode of expressing themselves. From teenagers to adults, you can see the craze of getting inked in almost all age groups. A tattoo is made with a tattoo artist using a needle to inject ink into the dermis layer of the skin. But how many of you know that tattoos can also pose potential risks? Were you aware that tattoo inks are not approved or regulated by the Food and Drug Administration? You may witness swelling, pain, or allergic reaction in the tattoo area. Therefore, it becomes essential to understand the potential risks of tattoos to avoid complications.

5 Potential Risks Of Tattoos

Here are five potential health risks after getting a tattoo.

Allergic Reactions

There are chances of an allergic reaction due to dyes or tattoo ink on your skin. It can cause rashes, or itchy skin, especially in those with sensitive skin. Therefore, performing a patch test before opting for tattoos is advisable. 


Many people notice swelling or redness around their tattoo area just after getting the tattoo. Some may even see these reactions after a few days or months of getting a tattoo. It is normal to experience these symptoms; however, if you notice blisters, bumps, fever, and chills, you should immediately visit a healthcare expert.

Also Read: Tattoo Infection: How To Indentify And Prevent This Infection

Blood-borne Diseases

If the needle used to create the tattoo is not clean or disinfected, it may cause infections. Moreover, you may get blood-borne illnesses like HIV, tetanus, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C if the tools used to make your tattoo are contaminated with infected blood. Therefore, make sure to ask the artist if the needle is sterilised and unused.

Also Read: Skin Rashes: Symptoms, Causes, & 9 Ayurvedic Remedies To Treat Them


Many people fail to take care of their tattoos which may result in scars on their skin. The risk increases if you have skin infections or allergic reactions. You should avoid scratching your new tattoo and visit a healthcare expert if your scar does not heal. Did you know tattoos that leave scars can lead to uneven ink distribution and raised bumps, known as keloids? 

Complications During MRI

Tattoos may pose a problem for people who are getting an MRI scan. There may be swelling or burning during the scanning process. In addition, some people may even experience inflammation and rashes. Therefore, consult with your doctor to avoid such reactions if you need to get an MRI.

Things You Should Keep In Mind 

  • If you plan to get a tattoo, consider getting it from a licensed and experienced expert.
  • Check if the tattoo studio has maintained hygiene and the equipment is clean. Not only this, but you should also see if the tattoo artist uses gloves, uses a new needle for every person, and disposes of the used ones.
  • People who have pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes should consult with a tattoo artist. It is essential for ease in the healing process of the tattoo. 
  • It is better to avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours and keep yourself hydrated before getting a tattoo. In addition, you should avoid wearing tight clothes and eat your meal. These measures will help in the recovery process.