Health Effects Of Tattoos, Piercings And Scarification.

Body art has become very popular in these modern times, especially among the youth. Despite them being there even in ancient times, most people still embrace it, as a way of expressing themselves. Some are used culturally to show the status of an individual in society. Body art includes tattoos, body piercings, branding, and scarification.

Tattoo involves inserting ink using a needle into the inner layer of the skin, changing the skin’s pigment. Piercing, on the other hand, involves puncturing a hole in the body to be able to insert jewelry into the hole, to enhance beauty. Scarification involves burning, branding, or cutting pictures, images or words on the skin in a pursuit to form a scar on the skin’s surface. People practice body art for several reasons. Some do it as a remembrance of a particular incident in their lives while others do it to enhance their appearance. Most people do not take time to evaluate the potential health risks associated with these procedures, probably due to ignorance. Body artists who undertake such procedures should educate their prospective clients about the effects of these procedures because of the potential risks associated with body art.


Most people prefer tattoos. However simple they make seem, tattoos may damage the skin and cause other complications which you might not have anticipated.

During any procedure, the tattoo artist makes use of a mechanized needle which rapidly drives the needle in and out of the skin in a repetitive manner. What are the possible effects of Tattoos?

Allergic Reactions.

Some dyes used in tattoos cause an allergic reaction to clients. This allergic reaction triggers an itchy rash to occur at the tattoo site. Such reactions can even continue for several years after getting the tattoo. Besides, having a tattoo may lead to the formation of keloids, which are raised areas caused by scar tissue overgrowth.


Many patients report having acquired several infections after a tattoo procedure. Infections may range from pyogenic infections, mycobacterial infections to large abscesses, which may require a surgical incision. The infection occurs as a result of contamination of the ink or equipment with nonsterile water. After tattooing, bloodborne pathogens may occur as well causing an infection. HIV transmission is also high due to the sharing of tattoo needles and reusing tattoo inks in different clients.

Body Piercings.

Piercings also have their fair share of risks.


Some clients develop an abscess, which is a pocket of pus that is found in the body tissues and organs. The abscess may form around the piercing, and if left untreated, one may get blood poisoning or even sepsis. Some of the symptoms of blood poisoning include high fever and a fast heartbeat. Sepsis is feared to cause organ failure or even death if the situation gets worse.

Dental Problems.

Tongue piercings come with a lot of effects. In most cases, there might be a tooth fracture. The lip or tongue jewelry can lead to gum problems and even damage the enamel. You will find that a lot of infections also occur in the mouth area since the mouth houses a lot of bacteria, which causes the area to swell. Mouth piercings can result in potential diseases such as gum disease and Hepatitis B.


Since scarification involves breaking intact skin and membranes a result of burning and cutting, there is an increased risk of hemorrhaging in clients. Besides, it exposes the client to blood borne pathogens causing infections such as hepatitis C and even HIV. Individuals with a family history of keloids are at a higher risk of getting thick raised scars on their skin. The issue of packing the wound with materials such as clay or ash, in the traditional setting, may cause hypertrophic scars which occur as a result of too much collagen deposits forming at the injury site.

Body art enhances the appearance of your skin making you feel great. What most people don’t talk about are the effects that are associated with getting tattoos, piercings, and scarification. When it comes to body art, ensure you get educated about the potential health risks these body modification types cause. Do not act impulsively or when you are under the influence.

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