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Body Art

Piercings and tattoos carry health risks

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

(HealthDayNews) -- Body piercings and tattoos are practically a rite of passage for some teens and young adults. But there are also health risks associated with these trendy practices, such as localized infections, allergic reactions, scarring, and even exposure to life-threatening blood-borne infections, such as hepatitis C and HIV.

If you're thinking of getting a body piercing or tattoo, the University Of Michigan Health System recommends you go to a reputable studio with well-trained staff. And to evaluate the establishment's cleanliness and safety, check that:

  • Equipment is sterilized in an autoclave machine between each use.
  • Needles are sterile; they should be unwrapped in your presence and thrown out after use.
  • Inks are never reused from one person to the next.
  • Gloves are fresh and replaced between procedures or after touching non-sterile objects.


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