SlingerVille Articles
Dear Dr. Roach: Health risks of tattoos are few
Article by:
July 08, 2013

Dear Dr. Roach: I would appreciate your insights concerning the health risks of tattoos (body art). I have heard that tattoo ink can get into the bloodstream, and over time can damage the liver and kidneys. The tattoo craze seems to have spread everywhere recently, and I wonder if people know all the health risks. β€” P.B.

A: Tattoos do have health risks, but they can largely be managed. The biggest risk is of infection. Amateur tattoos are very risky. Reputable tattoo parlors use good technique: sterile water to clean the area, alcohol to disinfect, gloves for the tattoo artist. Tattoo needles should be sterilized, individually wrapped and opened in front of the person getting the tattoo. If you are going to get one, get a tattoo from a well-established parlor.

The second medical risk is an allergic reaction to the dye. Serious reactions are rare. I have not read of liver or kidney problems from professional tattoo pigments.

The major problem I see is regret for having gotten one. My advice is to wait a good while before deciding on a tattoo β€” never do so spontaneously or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Talk to people who have had a tattoo. Visit several studios and watch the process. Consider placing the first tattoo on an area you can cover with clothing.

What causes dizziness?

Dear Dr. Roach: What causes constant dizziness? Could it be low blood pressure? Are there medical reasons for this condition? β€” D.P.

A: Dizziness means different things to different people. In the medical world, we distinguish between two major types: vertigo and lightheadedness.

Vertigo is the sense that the world is moving (usually spinning), but sometimes it’s the person who feels like he or she is moving. Vertigo usually is caused by problems in the organ of balance in the inner ear, or by the nerve that connects it to the brain.

Lightheadedness does not have a sense of motion, but induces a sensation of being about to faint. This can come from low blood pressure, especially if it occurs upon standing, but a whole host of problems can cause it, including blood sugar problems, hormonal changes, medications and just getting older.

Login to comment

Posted By: Mary7Mount | 7/08/13 10:40 PM
The pic above (whatever that's called) I don't like that type of tat/work.
Posted By: MallyOMay7 | 7/09/13 8:29 PM
That thing looks infected to me. Yuck!
Posted By: sarcastikchik | 7/10/13 3:33 PM
UGH! Is that supposed to be an infected tattoo??? What the hell is that and why does it look so disgusting?! OH MY GOSH! I feel sick looking at that!
Chat: Enter