General Question

delta77's avatar

Are tattoos not healthy? Do they affect your liver?

Asked by delta77 (196points) September 19th, 2009

I don’t know where I heard this, but I remember someone telling me that tattoos are “unhealthy” for your body and that somehow they affect your liver. Is this true? or just plain wrong? Do tattoos have any affect on the wearer?

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20 Answers

juwhite1's avatar

They don’t effect your liver is the needle is clean, but if not, hepatitis is a pretty serious impact to you liver!

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

If the needle is dirty, then they impose a serious risk to your health
I haven’t heard anyone I know who has tattoos having any liver problems due to having tattoos, so I call bullshit.
And ffs. try doing some research first

juwhite1's avatar

I have a tattoo. No impact to my health. I can’t exactly say they are healthy, because they don’t contribute to your physical well-being in any way, but when appropriate precautions are taken, they also aren’t harmful to your health.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’ve had tattoos for 22 years now and not suffered any ill effects, at all, from any of them. I don’t see how they are unhealthy for you unless someone suffers an allergic reaction to the ink used to create them. I’d be interested to know the source of information that purports that tattoos have an adverse effect on the liver.

asmonet's avatar

It only affects you if the equipment is unsanitary, there is a chance of infection and disease. Other than that there’s the obvious, mild scarring and damage to the skin that even if the ink is removed will be visible forever.

Beyond that, they do not harm or improve your health.

asmonet's avatar

@Bluefreedom: I’m pretty sure s/he’s half remembering being told about Hepatitis.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Okay, I concede the dirty needle part but that is very rare from what I understand. Just about as rare as someone contracting hepatitis from getting a tattoo. Unless someone has a link or statistics, though, that prove otherwise.

tinyfaery's avatar

A few problems can arise from tattoos, unsanitary conditions being the biggest risk factor. You can have an allergic reaction to the ink; treatable with antibiotics. There is also risk of infection, but that’s really in the hands of the one with the tattoo. You have to keep a wound clean while it is healing.

Tattoos are neither healthy or unhealthy. It’s only a little surface ink.

Sarcasm's avatar

I once knew a guy who had a tattoo, and he died in a car accident. While I can’t prove those two are related, you can’t prove they’re unrelated!
edit: It was a tribal arm band, if that clarifies things

casheroo's avatar

I found this article on tattoos and hep C That’s the only connection to the liver it would have, since there is a risk of getting Hep C. I get tested every other year for Hep C.

I was once told my tattoos were causing my lymph nodes to swell and not go down. They called it “reactive lymph nodes” They felt to correlation with my enlarged lymph nodes was because of the tattoos I had been getting…I was only getting one a year at that point, and the enlargement occurred after my first and biggest tattoo (I work up with a tennis ball size lymph node in my neck) After two biopsies, that was all they could give me. I still get tattoos, since they aren’t harmful…but my body thinks they are.

teh_kvlt_liberal's avatar

@Sarcasm Well I’d hit anyone with tribal tattoos if I had a car…

Darwin's avatar

Apparently in the bad old days there were some inks that weren’t so healthy for you, but I believe they have stopped using them. Otherwise, the problem would be unsanitary conditions leading to Hepatitis or sometimes to other diseases.

However, it I had ever gotten a tattoo while living at home it would have been extremely detrimental to my health, or at least my freedom, because my parents would have been very, very angry.

scotielee's avatar

If you’re suffering any I’ll effects from a tattoo, see your doctor. Tattooing someone the wrong way can have serious effects. I feel as if a lot of “artists” do not realize this.

As far as effecting you’re liver?I am not sure that’s valid.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I heard that eating liver is bad for your tattoos. Or maybe not. Yeah. Probly not.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Bluefreedom I think that rumor comes from the same people that say condoms don’t work and abstinence is the only way to prevent STDs and new little people.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra. If I were a betting man, I’d say you are correct sir. I concur with your thoughts.

juwhite1's avatar

There is a known link between getting tattoos and contracting hepatitis (from poor sanitizing procedures with the tattoo gun’s needles). That’s why you aren’t allowed to donate blood for a year after getting a tattoo. Hepatitis is a liver disease, thus tatooes are linked to liver disease. That said, it is EXTREMELY rare.

sunya13's avatar

i’m no expert…rather an enthusiast…but given the number of people with ink these days…i would suspect more liver failure if that where true…it can cause allergic reactions in some people…but not directly to the liver…usually only in the inked area

given the modern health laws and ink and machine design…it is pretty harmless

Samhien's avatar

There is a current commercial airing that says ’‘What do these activities have in common?’’ and you see subtitles over images of… using drugs, getting a tattoo or piercing, abusing alcohol, having unprotected sex, mixing drugs and alcohol, sharing personal items (showing a toothbrush), playing contact sports (blood), drinking contaminated water, being overweight. With the voice of continuing through out saying ’‘Any one of them could put you at risk to develop fatal liver disease, or you could just be born with it. Liver disease doesn’t care about race, age, gender, or body type. It can effect anyone, and when it does it impacts the whole family (picture with mother dissapearing from it). The Canadian Liver Foundation funds education and research, please, we need your support to find a cure.’’

Maybe that or something similiar is where you heard about the chance.

justwannaanswerthis's avatar

I HAVE HEARD THAT YOU ARE RIGHT….....tattoos can affect your liver if you are densely covered in tattoos for this reason, tattoos inhibit your ability to sweat and release toxins. fully covered yakuza in japan frequently need liver transplants, saw this on 60mins today which is why im searching for more information on this as well.

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