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Teens, Tattoos and Body Piercing

Armen Hareyan's picture

Tattoos and body piercing are quite popular and are seen as a fashion statement, but there are health risks associated with tattooing and body piercing.


Tattooing and body piercing risks

My 15-year-old daughter really wants not only a tattoo, but she also seems to think everyone in her "group" is getting a nose stud. I have heard these things can pose a threat to your health. What information can you offer?

Answer: Tattoos and body piercing are quite popular among young people these days, both boys and girls. In some instances, tattoos and piercing are seen as a fashion statement, while others take part to enhance their self-esteem and peer image. Popular or not, there are definite risks and concerns.

Whether or not your daughter goes through with this, here are some things you should discuss as the two of you consider this move.


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Teenagers who pursue a tattoo or piercing don't always do their homework to learn which parlors are routinely inspected and licensed. If tattoos are administered by a licensed professional who follows recommended precautions, there is probably a minimal health threat. Teens who are considering a tattoo should realize the following:

  1. Tattoos are expensive and painful.
  2. Removal is not impossible but it is expensive, painful and very time consuming. It is certain that the skin will never be the same. Be wary of skin creams advertised as a sure method for removal; they are not proven.
  3. What is considered "in" during the teenage years, may turn out to be an embarrassing regret as an adult.
  4. Disease can be transmitted through unclean needles.
  5. Infection of the skin under the tattoo can be severe and sometimes disfiguring.

Body Piercing

Body piercing is not safe. Dermatologists object to all forms of body piercing, with the exception of the ear lobes, and dentists oppose oral piercing to the point of calling it a public health hazard.

Health complications associated with body piercing include prolonged bleeding, scarring, tetanus, abscesses, boils and chronic infections such as halitosis (bad breath) from tongue rings. Infection of Hepatitis B and C also are a threat, with no effective cure. Any time permanent holes are made in the lips, nose and eyebrows they are not easy to repair. Ear piercing of the cartilage of the upper ear is frequently associated with prolonged infection and occasionally permanent disfigurement. Studs and rings can catch in clothes, and can cause large tears in the skin, lip, tongue, etc.

When you discuss the dangers of tattoos and body piercing, be sure your child knows you are concerned about their safety, rather than trying to tell them what to do. Children, especially teenagers, often rebel against their parents' wishes. Ask your daughter why she wants a tattoo or piercing, and it may help you in finding an alternative solution. She may also talk to a dermatologist and you can conduct other research for photos of tattoos that have gone awry or are disproportionate after a person gets older, gains weight, or decides to have them removed. The unappealing sight of the effect years can have on a tattoo may change your daughter's mind very quickly.

Teenagers must be encouraged to think long-term when considering tattoos or body piercing. Regardless of what practices their peers are taking part in, teens must realize that what's considered "trendy" today may not fit what they want for themselves later on in life. Encourage your teen to make a mature decision and then support her and teach her how to respond when she faces that dreaded peer pressure.



i think that the information given about tattoos is not enough info
I think that the info given is a load of crap. Tattoos are not always painful. It depends on who you are and where you are tattooed. And why in the world would anyone go to a tattoo shop with out it being licenced? Also, most tattoo shops will not give teens a tattoo that they belive will be regretable, even with parental consent. And as to piercings, you can bleed from anything and some people are more of a bleeder than others. A piercing is also less harmfull. If you regret it, leave out the piercing and it eventually goes away.
i thin this is not information
I think people who have tatoos are losers
your dumb for thinking that at all
There are threats with doing anything to your body. Walking down the street could pose as a threat. There are ways to prevent infection. You should have discussed that issue more rather than emphasize the damage that could be done. Piecrcings go away if you take them out after a short period of time. They are rapidly increasing in social demands and i really think that they should be more accepting.
wow. okay. this is a load of poop. tattoos are accepted in the world but some people will judge you. just because you have tattoos doesnt mean your gunna have a bad job or anything of that sort. piercings are safe when you get them at a professional establishment. if your gunna do them on your own you should make your that you have a sterile needle (piercing needle that is) and make sure your not going to do any permenant damage. you may not have a mark there after taking a piercing ot it all depends on your skin type and how prone you are to scarring. i think tattooing and piercings is a great way to express yourself and i dont see how it is wrong.
I have seven tattos and im 18 i started when i was 16 i do regret were i got them at but i dnt regret getting them. They not painful nor expensive.
Thats a really dumb desicion..especially when you can't even spell tattoo.
I dont care what the info says i am still getting a tattoo and im only 17. Im thinking about getting my zodiac sign on my sholder blade or on my upper arm.
i have a tattis and i am only 16 yres old its kind of cool but i dont know thanks to my husband
What are you even trying to say?
i have a tattoo im ma lower arm wen i was 17