Q:

Are tattoos bad?

A:

Quick Answer

As with all body modification, medical complications can result from tattooing. Tattoos are widely accepted in 21st century society, but personal opinions on them vary. Views on tattoos range from them being a form of personal expression to being a sign of delinquency.

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Full Answer

Many medical risks are associated with tattoos, including infection caused by improperly sterilized tattoo equipment and storage. Other, more rare, forms of medical risks include allergic reactions to tattoo pigment, scar tissue formation due to trauma to the skin, nodules forming around tattoo pigments, bumps forming under the skin, and burning or swelling due to MRI complications. There are no current FDA regulations on tattoo products.

Social concerns, such as religious persuasion, social stigma and future regret, also lead people away from tattoos. Social stigmas toward tattoos have existed throughout time. Historically, tattoos were permanent marks on a body to identify a person as being a slave, criminal or traitor. In 21st century society, tattoos are sometimes considered a symbol of the tattooed individual being a deviant, outsider or criminal.

In many religions, tattooing is considered a sin. In the Old Testament of the Bible, the book of Leviticus states: "Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord." This teaching is followed by Christian, Jewish and Islamic religions.

Future regret is a large consequence of permanent tattooing. Studies show that less regret is involved when a piece of tattoo art involves subject matter with a deep meaning. Tattoos made on impulse often cause future regret.

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