Radio Shows | Tatoos | mp3 … wma … wav
Today, we'll explore whether an old artform that's trendy - is safe.
What was once a form of expression reserved just for soldiers and sailors is mainstream. People from all walks of life now sport tattoos.
More than 10 million Americans have at least one. Those aged 25 to 29 make up the largest segment of the tattooed population.
The question is: are they safe?
Tattoos are created using an electric device that looks and sounds a lot like a dentist's drill. When the needle penetrates your skin about one millimetre, ink is deposited into the dermal layer, where it remains for life.
Like anything else involving needles, getting a tattoo is not without some risk. The artist must follow universal precautions to prevent illnesses.
It's vital that everything is sanitary. Insist on single-use and sterile needles, inks, cups and gloves. Make sure packaging is opened in front of you. And, make sure reusable equipment and materials are sterilized in an autoclave.
If precautions aren't met, tattooing can transmit life threatening diseases including HIV, TB, hepatitis and syphilis.
The pigments used in tattoos are yet another issue. Commercial ink manufacturers don't have to reveal their contents. Plus, some artists mix their own colors, so you may not know what's being injected into your skin. And, then, there's also the risk of an allergic reaction.
If you have to get a tattoo, here are some precautions: Treat the area with an antibacterial ointment to reduce the chance of infection while it heals. Protect it from excessive exposure to sunlight and water. Barring any complications, the tattoo should heal in one to three weeks.
Since tattoos are difficult and painful to remove, think long and hard before you choose this form of expression.
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