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Piercing and Tattoos

Also called: Body art, Body piercing
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Summary

Piercings and tattoos are body decorations that go back to ancient times. Body piercing involves making a hole in the skin so that you can insert jewelry. This is often in the earlobe, but can be in other parts of the body. Tattoos are designs on the skin made with needles and colored ink. A permanent tattoo is meant to last forever. Permanent makeup is a type of tattoo.

The health risks of piercings and tattoos include

  • Allergic reactions
  • Keloids, a type of scar that forms during healing
  • Infections, such as hepatitis

To reduce the risks, make sure that the facility is clean, safe and has a good reputation. Proper sterilization of the equipment is important. Be sure to follow the instructions on caring for your skin.

Holes from piercing usually close up if you no longer wear the jewelry. It is possible to remove tattoos, but it's painful and can cause scarring.

Start Here

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Prevention and Risk Factors

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  • (American Academy of Dermatology)
  • (American Academy of Dermatology)

Related Issues

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  • (American Society for Dermatologic Surgery)
  • (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)

Specifics

  • (Academy of General Dentistry)
  • (Food and Drug Administration)
  • (Academy of General Dentistry)

Striking laughter

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

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  • (American Society for Dermatologic Surgery)

Children

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  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)

Teenagers

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Women

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