Tattoos and piercings were used in ancient times as a sign of beauty. Both women and men had tattoos and piercings to symbolize the stages of life. People of the Muslim faith, especially women, tattoo their arms and legs at weddings. The bride has a unique form of tattoo art to mark that special day.
In the early 80s and 90s, women pierced their belly buttons to look cool and attractive to the opposite gender. The woman also pierced the tongue and just above the eyebrow. Cover up tattoos are another form of art. People who have been involved in accidents like burns and violence opt for a cover-up tattoo to hide their scars in art.
More people are taking up this trend. People get tattoos for different reasons today:
- To symbolize love for someone
- To engrave someone deceased on their skin
- To remember a certain quote or verse
- For beauty purposes
- To show the continuation of life, for example, from a break-up
Body modifications through tattoos and piercings are a form of expression. Some people do piercings and tattoos to align with their professions, such as tattoo artists, barbers, and make-up artists. However, there are many health risks involved with piercings and tattoos. Body modifications on some parts of the body put you at an increased risk. Body modifications through tattoos involve ink through a needle inserted in the skin’s second layer, the dermis. Some people complain of an allergic reaction, swelling, or burning in the tattooed area. One must make sure the needles used are properly sanitized and uncontaminated. Other health risks associated with tattoos include:
- Overgrowths of scar tissues known as keloids
- Skin infections such as cutaneous tuberculosis and staph infection
- Nodules of inflamed tissue known as granulomas around the tattoo site
- Bloodborne illnesses such as HIV, hepatitis B, tetanus, and hepatitis C
- Research indicates that tattoo ink may interfere with MRI tests, making it difficult to identify certain health issues
Body piercings have health risks such as that of a bacterial infection. Some people complain of a very painful abscess and it may lead to blood poisoning or sepsis if untreated. Piercings done at the mouth and nose are more likely to get infected as there are more bacteria. Additionally, piercings done on the genitals can cause pain during intercourse and urination. Other risk factors associated with body piercings include;
- Bleeding resulting from a damaged blood vessel
- Keloid formation around the pierced area
One may avoid all these health complications, which some are fatal, by taking necessary measures. The idea of getting a tattoo or piercing may be exciting. However, ensure you get services from a professional artist and in a certified facility. Check on the hygiene and sanitation procedures before deciding to get your tattoo. Conduct your research into tattoos or if you want to understand the side effects. Also, ensure the professional artist sterilizes the site before commencing the procedure. Your professional artist should always wash their hands before and after the procedure. In the case of a piercing, one should ensure the jewelry is sterilized and from a sealed new package.
It is crucial to follow the professional artists’ advice after the procedure. Self-aftercare after body modification is crucial. For example, avoiding direct sun exposure for a few weeks, washing with water and plain soap daily for some days, and patting them dry. However, overcleaning the modified area can irritate the skin and slow the healing process. It is important to visit the doctor if some of the symptoms persist. Some modifications such as stretched skin and punctured cartilage may require surgical correction.