DO YOU KNOW THESE FUNDAMENTAL FACTS ABOUT TATTOOING?


  • About 15% of the general population is tattooed; the young generation about 30% and in the elderly fewer
  • Increasingly women and very young people are getting tattoos - this is the trend.
  • Many tattoo businesses of variable standard have opened, and in addition a large number of amateur operators are active.
  • In reality, there is no "control" or effective regulation of tattooing and tattoo ink.
  • Getting a tattoo is your responsibility. There is, practically, no room for regret. It is a decision for life, and nobody can guarantee your safety.
  • About four-in-ten of all people with a tattoo have some chronic or intermittent problems with the tattoo with periodic itching and swelling. About 1-in-5 do not tolerate sun on their tattoo.
  • More serious problems that require medical treatment are quite rare. However, they can be severe and incapacitating.
  • Allergy to red colour and shades of red are, together with infections, the most common complications. Also nodules in black tattoos can create problem and be associated with the disease sarcoidosis.
  • In spite of a theoretical possibility of cancer in tattooed skin, this has not been seen to be a problem, but neither have cancers in skin and other organs been excluded.
  • Pregnancy and tattooing is a NO GO because of potential risk to the fetus in early pregnancy related to chemicals in tattoo inks.
  • No tattoo ink is perfectly safe with regard to the chemicals it contains which can cause allergy or other harm. Inks are industrial products with known and unknown ingredients. Nearly all inks contain nickel contaminant. The ink manufacturer does not assume any liability and often is unknown. Inks from established suppliers are supposed to be safest. No authority can "sort" inks into harmful and safe inks, thus ensuring your safety. There exists no EU approval or CE quality stamp of tattoo inks even if it is claimed or sold like that. The ink is pricked into your skin, but only if you dare!
  • 10% of new stocks of ink contain bacteria from the manufacturer - bacteria such as Staphylococci, Streptococci and Coli, which can give you serious infections. The bacteria may be there even if the ink bottle is labelled "Sterile". International infections can be spread in the ink. Low cost inks, so-called “china inks” bought on the internet and produced in countries with high prevalence of bacteria resistant to antibiotics (MRSA) carries special risk. Original inks from well-established manufacturers carry less risk.
  • Many people with tattoos change their ideas as they get older, and may have problems in their work and private lives because of the tattoo, its position or the motif chosen.
  • It is not true that tattoos can be easily removed using laser treatment. It is also very expensive.
  • Magnetic resonance scanning (MR) can make tattoos sting, burn, and swell in connection with some investigation later in life. This is because the tattoo pigment in the skin can be magnetic. Cosmetic tattoos are more prone to MR burn.