Skin Cancer, What Are The Risks Really?


Tattoos are popular, but they can pose infectious and allergic risks. Focus on what is known today about the health consequences of tattooing.

Tattoos are becoming more and more fashionable. According to recent Ifop polls conducted in France, 14% of French people are tattooedand a higher percentage among Women (17%) Youth (27% of those under the age of 35), Workers (25%) and in the southwest (20%). Among the featured areas: separate body sites (67%), Visible (43%) or intimate (4%) areas. Moreover beautiful Be that as it may, the tattoo ulcerationespecially can be risk. explanations.

What are the reactions of the skin after tattooing?

After tattooing, it is normal for it to appear in the tattooed area irritation, edema, and even crusting. These reactions are associated with making multiple punctures in the dermis and inserting a foreign body into it.“Dr. Jacques Savary reports to a dermatologist in Paris and determines that”The more the tattoo is on the surface, the greater the local reaction.” affiliate burning sensation and itching; The tattoo session can be continued. “Those Effects increase when exposed to sunlight Right after the sessionSavari says.

What are the health risks of tattoos?

In addition to infection risk Due to non-sterile or poorly sterilized equipment less important today, and the Risk of immediate allergy to pigments in inks that contain metals (cadmium, nickel, chromium, etc.) exist Three problems coming from inks used for tattooing. “These inks May be contaminated with mycobacteria. The fungus is described after tattooing“Tell your dermatologist.”After that, a very dense, multi-colored tattoo is inserted or on a large surface of the skin Large amounts of ink in the dermis (There can be up to 40 grams of pigment when the tattoo covers the whole body) Nanoparticles of these inks in the lymph nodes So we know that these products circulate in the body anyway in the lymphatic system. The question of long-term toxicity arises for the being of these inks d alerts Safari. “in the last, Dyes organic derivatives – Not necessarily approved by the cosmetic industry – Likely to degrade in the body and give delayed allergic reactionsRefers to a dermatologist who determines it Red pigments are most at risk.

Are tattoos dangerous for the skin?

Notwithstanding the above risks, The tattoo does not harm the skin People without skin problems. “on the other side, For patients with psoriasis or atopic dermatitis For example, tattoos It can lead to plaquesinforms Dr. Savari. He also notes that tattoos can It hinders the detection of skin cancers.One A tattoo with a darker surface color may delay the diagnosis of skin cancer which is seen only when it is highly developedAnd he warns.

Photo of the tattoo in action
Photo of the tattoo in action © photoartem-123RF

Can tattoos promote cancer?

No link between tattoos and cancer has been proven. But, The question arises of the toxicity of aromatic derivatives organic dyes. “We do not know whether they have carcinogenic potential or notHe points out to Dr. Savary who noted that scientific studies are under way to see if Lymphomas These aromatic derivatives can be linked.

What are the effects of ink in the blood?

Tattoo inks are mostly found in the skin. “However, there is a file It passes through the blood and lymph systemDr. Savary explains. It turns out that the ink particles are there in the lymph nodes. “In predisposed individuals, there is Risk of a sarcoid-like side reaction. Tattoos do not create Sarcoidosis But it is a catalyst or a disease detectorTell your dermatologist.

What are the risks of infection while tattooing?

the Risk of infection associated with material contaminated with bacteria (infection Streptococcus, staphylococcus) is always possible but it is possible dropped in Europe Where tattooing procedures are legalized. On the other hand, it is recommended not to get a tattoo in countries that do not have the same health rules. To prevent these infectious risks, Antiseptic care should be performed well Before and after tattoo. This does not eliminate all risks of infection. “The problem of ink contamination with fungal bacteria is more difficult to manage than the problem of equipment contaminationDr. Savary explains. Namely: people who have them Atopic dermatitis is more likely to develop an infection On staphylococci after tattooing.

What are the disadvantages of tattoos on the forearm or wrist?

The problem with such a tattoo is rather vision problemsays Dr. Savari. Supreme Council for Public Health (HSCP) Alert to the risk of social or occupational discrimination Later if the visible tattoo is done during adolescence. It should also be noted a Risk of scarring if tattoo removalIt is valid for any area of ​​the body but is most noticeable on the forearms and wrists.

What are the disadvantages of a tattoo on the spine?

A tattoo on the spine carries no more risk of infection or allergic reaction than any other area of ​​the body. On the other hand, the realization of this tattoo is more painful The Supreme Council of Public Health (HSCP) is alert on a Additional risks when performing certain procedures (epidural, lumbar puncture).

One of the risks of long-term tattoo removal is tattoo removal.

What are the risks of henna tattoos?

Temporary henna tattoos are characterized by the presence of a The risk of severe allergic reactionsespecially when henna contains paraphenylenediamine (PPD)Informs Dr. Savary. This article hypersensitive, including in children, Even if the tattooed surface is small (less than 10% of the body surface). Before achieving a henna tattoo is as well It is recommended to test on a small area of ​​skin.

What are the risks of long-term tattoos?

Besides the Delayed allergic reactions Because of the decomposition of organic derivatives of dyes in the body and questions about a Potential carcinogenic effect of ink nanoparticles On the body, one of the dangers of long-term tattoos is Tattoo removal. “It is impossible to remove some colors, even with different laserswarns Dr. Savary, who remembers this 15 to 20% of people with tattoos regret getting a tattoo.Additionally, during tattoo removal, you can see allergic reactions appear because the laser breaks down the pigments and the metabolites of the pigments can be allergens.“inform.

Thanks to Dr. Jacques Savary, a dermatologist in Paris.
– HSCP Opinion, Risks of Tattooing and Tattoo Removal Products and Practices, December 15, 2020
– Academy of Medicine – Tattoo Complications: Latest information warranting urgent action, 2020


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