CHN Health Matters

Think before you Ink

Tattoos seem to be more and more popular especially among young people. Surveys indicate that currently over 20 percent of people have a tattoo. There are over 20,000 tattoo parlors in the United States and the number is increasing. Tattoos and the process of getting a tattoo carry some health risk.

People have been tattooing the skin for thousands of years. A tattoo is made by injecting dye to stain the skin on the top layer. It generally is done with an instrument that has one or more needles that penetrate the surface of the skin and stain is applied. A tattoo is permanent and there is pain and expense when the tattoo is applied. Generally a local anesthetic is not used. The legal age to get a tattoo is 18.

The reasons people get tattoos vary. It may be to commemorate an event or a person. Whatever the reason, it is wise to think carefully, while sober, about where and what will be applied since it can be there for many years. 

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