Skin piercings are a very popular fad and both body jewelry as well as tattoos are common. As a result, thousands of tattoo parlors and body piercing centers have emerged. Before you rush out to get your body pierced and poked, it is good to do your research. Price is not necessarily the best way to judge services and not all tattoo parlors and body piercing centers follow strict medical standards. As a result, there can be skin complications after these procedures are performed. Let’s just take a look at why and how this can happen.
Generally, if the procedure is done correctly with sterilized needles and medical-grade dyes, complications are minimized. However, specific risks that that may happen with skin piercings include skin infections, allergic reactions or metal sensitivity.
The skin is the largest organ and flexible to cover joints and muscle but it hard enough to prevent evaporation of body fluids. Remember that piercing creates a hole in the skin. Fans of body jewelry may do single skin piercings or multiple piercings. As the skin heals, the new opening is kept open with jewelry and encouraged to heal quickly. In tattoos, however, multiple skin piercings are made into skin. These multiple skin piercings deposit a range of dyes into the skin creating an image called a tattoo.
What Are Possible Skin Complications
• Allergic reactions – Skin reactions to the dyes that are used in tattoos can occur. The intensity of the reactions will vary from person to person. There are chances of the tattoo blistering and ulcerating as the body attempts to throw out the offending material.
• Skin infections – Skin infections are common if the needles used in the tattoo gun or the piercing gun is not sterilized. Usually, directly after the skin piercing a little redness and swelling is common but this reaction does subside with time. Sometimes, over-cleaning the area may result in increased redness and swelling along with a pus discharge. Most skin infections may be easily treated with antibiotics and proper care. However, improperly sterilized needles and tattoo guns may result in infections like HIV, Hepatitis B and A etc.
• Metal hypersensitivity – Some people are allergic to the metals that are used in body jewelry. People who are allergic to metal watches, buttons and metallic attachments on clothing are generally allergic to nickel that is commonly used to make metallic fittings in the clothing industry. As a result, these patients are advised to use gold-plated or silver-plated body jewelry that will not provoke allergic reactions. To protect yourself in case of an allergy, ask for ‘nickel-free’ surgical steel, Titanium and or acrylic jewelry.
• Scarring – Skin damage in patients may result in excessive scar formation resulting in the form of raised and thickened scars called as keloids.
Can Skin Complications be Prevented?
Yes, most skin complications due to piercings or tattoos can be controlled. The tattoo artist should wear gloves and follow strict medical standards of sterility to ensure no medical complications. The tattoo parlor should be licensed and the operator should use recognized medical equipment that is single-use. After the piercing, you should also ensure that you keep the area clean. Follow instructions given and check area to assure natural healing.