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Wednesday, December 7, 2022
HomeHealthCan tattoos cause cancer ?


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Mojatu Foundation

As someone with a bunch of tattoos, I haven’t really thought much about the long-term health effects of getting ink jabbed into my skin. Fellow newsletter editor Tim Snaith is the opposite –– not knowing those potential risks has led him to avoid getting tattooed. So, what are the possible side effects? Can tattoos really cause cancer?Skin infections, allergic reactions, and scarring are the most commonly known health complications. But there’s no concrete evidence that suggests a direct link between tattoos and skin cancer. However (there’s always a caveat, right?), studies have found that an ingredient in common inks called azo *may* be carcinogenic (cancer-causing). Some inks might also contain other harmful substances, like metals, lead, mercury, or plastics.Black and red pigments are considered the highest risk, but it’s important to note that tattoo inks aren’t approved or regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so who knows if any of them are truly considered “healthy” or “safe.”If you’re dying to get your skin dyed, there are ways to reduce the risk of health issues. First, consider getting a skin check from your doctor or dermatologist. Ask your prospective artist about their licensing, sanitation practices, and the types of ink used in the shop. Then, if you do get tatted, closely follow aftercare instructions to avoid preventable infections. On that note, get tattooed at your own risk. I know I will.


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