Tattoos: common overreaction

Addy Dean, Reporter

Tattoos are a common thing for young people to debate adding to their body. However, the legal age to get a tattoo without a parent consent in the state of Maryland is 18. 

      On one side of the spectrum people are known for arguing that tattoos are unprofessional, unattractive, or plain old stupid.  

    In contrast, you have those who find tattoos to be a representation of who you are on the surface of your skin. They celebrate that this type of art is self-expression and is harmless.

  Either way, these reasons are based in morals and emotions, not in science or health studies. 

      So, are there any health studies that support that getting a tattoo actually puts at risk for real danger? The short answer is yes.  However, there are two sides to every story. 

     According to Tina Alster, a dermatologist at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. notes on the dangers of the ink itself in tattoos. 

      She explains that tattoo inks are made to be injected into the skin but the pigment that gives these inks their color were made for printer inks or car paints.  

     This sounds extremely intense but what this means is that essentially there are no FDA approved inks to be used on human skin. This of course is subject to change due to an increase in research that could give the FDA the ability to approve these inks. 

     It is also common for allergic reactions to occur after or during a tattooing session, the reactions that are common are inflammation and irritation. With proper care and priming done to the skin these results can easily be minimized. 

      The idea of being sensitive to a tattoo stopping you from ever getting one is like saying you should never try certain foods you may love just because other people are allergic. Which sounds a little ridiculous. 

      Senior Caitlyn Allen got a tattoo the day she turned 18. This is fairly common considering that 40% of adults between 18 to 29 have at least one tattoo. More than half of them have two or more.       

      Allen got a tattoo very meaningful and personal to herself, she had put planning and thought into the idea and it wasn’t necessarily spontaneous. 

     The senior’s tattoo is only a couple inches long and is located on her wrist, as for the pain when getting it she described it as “feeling burning of the needle going into my skin.”  

     She also described taking care of it and the regimen she followed every day to ensure there would be no infection “I took care of it by using aquafor on it twice a day and rubbing it gently with antibacterial soap once a day for two weeks. I also had to avoid rubbing it or irritating it for a while.” 

     Overall tattoos are forms of self-expression and are very personal to the one who decides to get one. If the argument is that you shouldn’t get a tattoo because it’s dangerous, as long as you take the right precautions injuries and infections can be easily avoided. 

     In a time where tattoos are becoming more and more normal by the day the social stigma behind tattoos being trashy and unprofessional should be left in the 20th century.  

     Tattoos are beautiful pieces of art and if you do one day regret it you can always look back at it and have it remind you of a specific time in your life, almost like how a picture is worth a thousand words.