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tattoo reaction

Photo Courtesy of NYU Langone Medical Center

Once thought taboo, about one-quarter of American adults have at least one tattoo.  A study published by the New York University Langone Medical Center focused on individuals who experienced a reaction to getting a tattoo that lasted 4 months to several years.  The longest complications stemmed from red and black ink, and in particular, the quality of ink and how the immune system responded to it.

The data gathered for the study was on 300 individuals, aged 18-69.  Most of the participants had up to 5 tattoos with 67% being on the arms.  There was a high rate of chronic complications tied the tattoo(s).  Of the participants who had a reaction, one-third saw a physician while the majority returned to the tattoo parlor to complain or ask for guidance.  A follow-up study is being done to see how clients are directed to get help to resolve their skin issues.

The majority of reactions seen were redness, swelling and itching.  The reactions were treated with a combination of oral antihistamines and oral or injectable steroids.  In the case of blistering, the area was treated with antibiotics.

To read more on this topic, click on the following links:

Ghose, T. (2015). Healthy Living Health News, “In addition to regret, tattoos can pose serious health risks”. Retrieved June 8, 2015, from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/28/tattoos-health-risks_n_7461484.html?cps=gravity_2685_8601650037651081610

Gold, G. (2015). Yahoo Health, “Study: Tattoos can cause serious, long-term, adverse reactions”. Retrieved May 29, 2015, from: https://www.yahoo.com/health/tattoos-could-come-with-a-long-term-medical-risk-120050986797.html