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Are Tattoos Safe?

How do you know if getting a tattoo is a safe idea for your body? Dr. Bobby Buka explains to you who should and shouldn't be able to get a tattoo.

Tattoos come in all sizes, shapes, and colors, and people get them for a variety of different reasons. Although they're less controversial now, there are a lot of people out there wondering if it's safe to get tattoos or if there are any adverse affects on your body from them. 

We called Dermatologist, Dr. Bobby Buka, to answer all our questions about whether getting a tattoo is safe or not. Some people may fear any possible long term affects on the body from tattoos, but Dr. Buka explains that tattoos are actually very safe, especially when it's done with instruments that are disposable. Others may be concerned about an issue with vitamin D deficiency from tattoos, but he says that this has actually not been a problem related to tattoos. He says that tattooing is actually very safe for vitamin D absorption. 

If you're wondering if there's any location in the body you should or should not have a tattoo, Dr. Buka explains that if the tattoo is in the palm of your hands or on your feet that the tattoo won't stick around as long. 

It is also best not to get any tattoos on moles if you have a significant family history of melanoma, so doctors can monitor them and make sure there are no signs of early melanoma on them. There are other medical or skin conditions someone may have that could mean avoiding getting a tattoo. Patients with Sarcoidosis, Lichen Planus, or Psoriasis should be cautious about getting a tattoo because it would end up being a hot spot area for that condition to flare up. 

There are also allergies that may come up if you are getting a tattoo that you should be aware of. Two of the most common cases are allergies to cadmium, which is found in yellow tattoo ink, and cinnabar, which is in red ink. Sometimes when patients get tattoos in these two colors, they can get a really brisk inflammatory reaction. 

Unless you fall under any of these categories, it should be perfectly safe to get a tattoo!

Dr. Bobby Buka

This video features Dr. Bobby Buka. Bobby Buka, MD, is a section chief at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Buka is also a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology & Society for Pediatric Dermatology.

Duration: 1:54. Last Updated On: Jan. 27, 2016, 11:44 p.m.
Reviewed by: Dr. Preeti Parikh, . Review date: Jan. 25, 2016
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