Friday, November 12, 2010

Body Art: Precautions to be Taken

Tattoos and piercings are the rage these days. However, one wrong step can mean serious consequences for you. "Tattoos and piercings bring with them a great risk of infection. You should be careful when you are getting one done," says Dr Anuja Srirao, a general practitioner.

Clean Implements
Infected needles or tools can put you at risk of being infected. "Needles can pass pathogens. You could contract an STD from an un-sterilised needle. Ensure that the needle being used is new and has been sterilised properly," says Dr Srirao. "

This is one reason you should get your tattoos and piercings done by a reputed artist than from a random place.

Good Quality Chemicals
Getting a tattoo involves use of chemicals. Spurious chemicals give you infections or rashes. "Chemicals that are of an inferior quality may cause severe allergies or rashes, or could even be carcinogenic. Use only high quality material even if it means spending some more," says Dr Srirao. Make sure you check for the expiry dates of the ink used for your tattoo.

With piercings, ensure that you are not allergic to the metal being used. "Avoid oxidised metal or junk jewellery at all costs," says Mumbai-based general physician Saumil Kapadia. Some people report swellings and rashes when the metal used for a piercing does not suit their skin.

Professional Artists
Tattoos once done cannot be undone without having to undergo painful and expensive laser surgery or skin grafting. So, once again - remember to ensure that you are getting it done by a professional.
Gavin Crasto, a professional tattoo artist, says mistakes are common. "Many people come to me to get intricate and complex designs tattooed. If the artist isn't good enough, you will be left with something you never wanted for the rest of your life," he says. The same go for piercings. You don't want to get any piercing done at places that you will regret later.

"Avoid piercing on your chest, thighs or nipples as they contain fat tissues and can get infected easily or get an abscess. Completely avoid piecing your lip or tongue as they have a lot of blood supply and excessive bleeding could cause constant infection. Also tongue piercing is likely to come into contact with other parts of the mouth and food that could make it more prone to infections," Kapadia says.

All things considered, a tattoo or a piercing can be a great asset to flaunt provided it is done neatly. Choose the right design that goes with your image. And weigh all the pros and cons before deciding to go for a tattoo or a piercing.

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