Thinking of getting a summer tattoo? One in ten lead to health problems

As if your parents’ bitter shame wasn’t enough

Whether it’s your ex’s name scrawled across your arm or all the boys’ names doodled on your arse, most of us have considered a tattoo at some point.

But if a permanent reminder of Zante 2012 wouldn’t cause enough lasting pain, you might want to think before you ink for an entirely different reason.

Shocking new figures reveal one in ten people who get tattoos have adverse reactions, which could even last for years.


Infections and painful swellings are rife among fresh tats according to researchers at New York University’s Langone Medical Centre.

“We were rather alarmed at the high rate of reported chronic complications tied to getting a tattoo,” said NYU’s Prof Marie Leger.

“Given the growing popularity of tattoos, physicians, public health officials and consumers need to be aware of the risks involved.”

Common problems include bacterial infections, skin conditions and itchiness.

But others developed an abnormal swelling called edema, caused by fluid rising under the skin.


Going with a splash of colour? Red ink appeared to be linked to more rashes than any other pigment.

According to researchers, in some cases the coloured portion of tattoos rose as high as a centimetre above the skin.

Surprisingly, most of those with problems turned to their tattoo artist first and shunned the doctors.

Prof Leger’s results showed less than a third turn to their trusty GP when something went wrong with their ink.

There is currently no nationally enforced standard for tattoo artists in this country, even though 1.5million of us are getting tatted up every year.


President of the Tattoo and Piercing Industry Union Rick Stevens told The Daily Mail: “Without an official tracing system some complications aren’t being picked up properly.

“And there is a growing problem with unlicensed studios. We would like to see an England-wide license system so there are standards in place for artists.”