Medical Concerns About Tattoos and Piercings

Share article

Tattoos and piercings can cause serious medical problems. Doctors and parents need to discuss the risks with patients and teens.

Many teens these days have a hard time being themselves either because of a lack of self-esteem or the need to belong to the crowd. Because of this tattoos and piercings are sadly becoming very common. I live now in a small beach town and was amazed this summer to see so many tattoos. I wondered if the teens had permission from their parents to get these or if there was even any discussion about the problems that could develop from piercings or tattoos. 

I had a teenage patient several years ago who was on cortisone (prednisone) because of a serious muscle disorder (dermatomyositis). She came in one day to be checked and said "You are going to be upset with me, Dr. Thompson." I asked why and she stuck out her tongue. In the center was a silver ball. I explained to her the risk she was taking because of her disease and taking prednisone. Then I said, "Either the ball comes out and stays out or I can no longer be your doctor." She turned a little pale, but the ball came out and stayed out.

As parents, I think a serious discussion is needed about the risk of both tattoos and piercings. Even if there is not a medical problem, teens need to know the risks. Infection is one, as is the fact that tattoos are permanent. They can be removed but severe scarring can result. Patients with any kind of medical problem are at a particualr risk. Also a ball on the tongue can cause chipping of teeth.

Image copyright: lifrita lifi/flickr/CCBY

Article last time updated on 21.11.2017.

0 rating(s) (0 ø)
Users must be logged in to comment Login
Click here and become a medical blogger!
I was teaching medical students last week and urged them to always get a chest X-ray if they were puzzled about a more...
It is always painful to hear accounts of doctors who make statements that are false for which they  have no basis. more...
Jennifer Dunaway, the mother of a son with hemophilia, has kindly written the guest post below. My great thanks to more...


PR-blogs on DocCheck are sponsored blogs which are published on DocCheck by commercial providers additionally to regular userblogs. They may contain promotional statements. DocCheck is not responsible for this content.

Copyright © 2018 DocCheck Medical Services GmbH
Follow DocCheck: