One of the probable drawbacks of getting a permanent tattoo is the complications linked with sensitive skin. People with sensitive skin are more subjected of getting rashes due to the ink that has been used to make a tattoo.

Disadvantages Or Health Risk Associated With Tattoos

December 20, 2019 by Dr. Sandeep Bhasin

There Could Be Many Disadvantages Or Health Risk Associated With Tattoos


One of the probable drawbacks of getting a permanent tattoo is the complications linked with sensitive skin. People with sensitive skin are more subjected to getting rashes due to the ink that has been used to make a tattoo.

Signs of Allergic reaction caused by tattoo

These signs differ depending on the kind of allergic reaction and the component used in the tattoo ink that is causing it. The most common signs of an allergic reaction to a tattoo include:

  • Red Rashes or bumps
  • Red or purple nodules around the tattoo
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Flaking
  • Scaly appearance

Types of allergic reactions caused by Permanent tattoos:

  • Acute inflammatory allergy– This allergic reaction can trigger in form of acute inflammatory reactions in some people who get tattoos. Under this condition, the skin becomes red, a bit swollen, and inflamed at the area of the tattoo. This mainly occurs due to the irritation caused by the tattoo ink and tattoo needle. It is not serious or a matter of anxiety, and usually fades within about 2-3 weeks.
  • Dermatitis– Some of the common tattoo allergic reactions include kinds of dermatitis —allergic and photo-allergic contact dermatitis. Red tattoo ink that contains mercury sulfide causes these types of allergic reactions.
  • Lichenoid allergic reaction-This is quite rare but is largely linked to red tattoo pigment, and featured by small bumps that occur around the red ink parts.
  • Photosensitivity-Tattoos that are immediately revealed to the sun rays may also cause an allergic reaction, specifically those that contain yellow ink. Yellow and a few red pigments contain cadmium sulfide, which can result in an allergic reaction when revealed to the sun.
  • Pseudolymphomatous allergic reaction– Caused by sensitivity to a particular ingredient in the tattoo ink, this is not a prompt reaction — it does not appear instantly after getting the tattoo. Red tattoo ink is mostly the culprit for this allergic reaction, but in some cases, blue and green as well as blame.
  • Granulomas-These kind of small bumps that can occur as an outcome of an allergic reaction. Red tattoo pigment is most often the wrongdoer, but blue, purple, or green, tattoo ink may also result in these bumps to develop bumps around the site of the tattoo.


Infection or septic is another major disadvantage of getting a permanent tattoo. However, it generally occurs to those who choose to visit an unsanitary tattoo studio to get inked. Hepatitis is a prominent infection that is usually caused by infected or used needles.

Hyper or hypo pigmentation

This is usually a delayed condition of the skin tattoo that may not result right after the treatment. In some cases, it occurs just after the treatment, and in both situations, it generally clears up within six to nine months of the treatment. There are also few chances for burns, scars, and skin textural changes by permanent tattoos. To avoid the adverse effects of hyperpigmentation caused by permanent tattoos, patients should make sure to receive optimal treatment and good care by seeing a skilled dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon.

Health Risks

Some tattoo inks have been known to be associated with causing infections, allergic reactions, and illness from tattoos. In most places, recognized tattoo studios are governed by authoritative bodies and are required to follow standards of sanitary for needles and instruments, and inks. However, the risk of infection still prevails. These infections can consequentially vary from bacterial illness to hepatitis and HIV.

Sub-Standard Quality

Tattoo dyes act as foreign bodies and could react with the skin. Tattoo dyes act as foreign bodies and could react with the skin. In India, it is essentially important to go to a good tattoo artist to get the ink down right. The country is facilitated with a large chunk of aspiring artists who typically apprentice themselves to be reputable artists and that they guide upon a certain number of tattoos before riding solo. Tattoo artists in India are using dyes like acrylic dyes which are not suitable for the skin and could result in allergic reactions, itching, eczema, autoimmune disease, and multi-toxicity. Sometimes tattoo artists in India also use mercury which is very toxic in nature and harmful to the skin. Needles used during the procedure if not sterilized could give you HIV infection.

Blood Donation

We assume that many of you may be unaware of the fact that people with permanent tattoos cannot donate blood. However, this restriction is for a certain period of time, which is about 1 year. Yes, it is one of the major drawbacks of getting a permanent tattoo.

Tattoos are only acceptable if they are being made by a state-governed entity using clean new needles and color ink pigments that are not reused. Cosmetic tattoos are given by a certified set up in a regulated state using new clean needles and ink that is acceptable. A person with a tattoo should disclose a particular situation to the health historian during blood donation.

Or else you will have to wait for 12 months after a tattoo was applied in a state that does not administer tattoo facilities. Presently, it is nowhere unregulated in any state of India. The only states that DO NOT regulate tattoo amenities are Massachusetts, Nevada, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, New Hampshire, Georgia, Idaho, Utah Maryland, New York, and Wyoming. This condemnation is largely linked to concerns about hepatitis.

The disadvantages of tattoos could also be one of the reasons that more people are seeking tattoo removal. Talk to people who have gotten remarkable body art, so that you do not regret it later.

So, if you want to get a tattoo, make sure that the tattoo artist uses a sterilized new needle and does not put the gun down in an unhygienic way during the procedure. The tattoo artist should also be wearing gloves since you are likely to bleed a little during the process.

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Dr. Sandeep Bhasin

Dr. Sandeep Bhasin is a highly skilled cosmetic surgeon and the owner of Care Well Medical Centre in Delhi. With extensive expertise in cosmetic and plastic surgery, he is dedicated to providing exceptional care and transformative results to his patients. Dr. Sandeep Bhasin obtained his MBBS and MS in General Surgery from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and served as a consultant at Bhaktshreshtha Kamalakarpant Laxman Walawalkar Hospital, Diagnostic & Research Centre. Specializing in various procedures such as face-lifts, rhinoplasty, liposuction, breast augmentation, hair transplant and many others, Dr. Sandeep Bhasin is committed to enhancing his patients' natural beauty and self-confidence.

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