If you are considering a tattoo or body piercing, know your risks before making the decision. Whenever you traumatize the skin, whether by having an operation for your appendix or getting a tattoo or piercing, there is risk of infection, hematoma (collection of blood clot), scarring, keloid formation, and bleeding. Aside from the risk of skin infection, there is also danger of getting HIV, and hepatitis B or hepatitis C. These infections don’t go away, and they can be fatal. Make certain instruments and the ink for tattoos is new and not reused. And never make the decision to get a tattoo on a dare or while you are stoned.
Provided by the New York Online Access to Health in both English and Spanish.