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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Can Having a Permanent Tattoo Lead to Skin Cancer

Not many know, but tattoos have been a part of people’s life since as early as the 18th century. It’s not only today that their popularity has risen tattoos cause skin cancer dramatically. From being used as cultural and religious symbols to being used by people to express themselves, tattoos have a long way.

No one seems to be terrified of the needle anymore. In fact, more and more people are getting every part of their body inked in various designs and patterns. But amid all this tattoo craze, people forget to ask: is a tattoo safe? Can tattoos cause skin cancer?

Do Tattoos Give You Skin Cancer?

Doctor with patient

Doctor with patient, Credit: Pixabay

Although the link between getting a tattoo and getting skin cancer is not fully established, certain indicators point towards a strong connection between them. The first and foremost thing that you need to keep in mind if you’re getting yourself inked is to consult a highly reputed and credible parlor.

The connection between tattoos and cancer is the subject of many research pieces, and till now, only one definitive conclusion has been put forward. It is that there are indeed some ingredients in the tattoo ink that may be associated with cancer.

One of the most notorious ingredients is black ink. Benzo(a)pyrene is a carcinogen, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. That means it is a substance that is capable of causing cancer. It is found in the tattoo ink. That is why the question, will tattoos cause skin cancer arise so often in the minds of those skeptical about getting inked.

Should You Be Concerned About Tattoos and Skin Cancer?

Melanoma skin

Detection of melanoma, Credit: Pixabay

Does tattoos cause skin cancer? Should you drop all your plans for getting that awesome tattoo on your shoulder or back? Well, knowing this critical thing will ensure that most of your anxiety goes away.

Most individuals prefer to cover their entire body parts with tattoos. One of the first signs of skin cancer is the change in skin color. Skin pigmentation, called melanoma, occurs. It is the first sign of cancer. If detected at the earliest, it can be prevented. But when the entire body part is covered in tattoo, it becomes very difficult to detect changes in skin color.

Thus, detecting in the earlier stage and consequently preventing the further development of cancer becomes impossible. For this purpose, always remember not to get tattooed over your birthmarks and moles.

Another point to be kept in mind is related to hygiene. A tattoo is etched on the skin by the needles which go deep into the skin layers. If they are not appropriately sterilized and cleaned before being on another person, then the chances of the second person contracting HIV increases. Hence it is essential for you to choose a highly reputed parlor which takes proper hygiene measures.

Can Tattoo Removal Cause Skin Cancer?

Tattoo removal process

Tattoo removal process, Credit: Pixabay

Alt tags: Laser tattoo removal

Laser tattoo removal is not linked to skin cancer. Dermatologists have been exploring the link between tattoo removal and skin cancer for a long time now. Fortunately, till now there is no evidence that links the removal of tattoos with cancer.

However, you can prevent the risk of developing skin cancer after tattoo removal by shielding that area from direct sunlight and applying sunscreen on that region whenever you step out.

The bottomline when it comes to having a tattoo and developing skin cancer is this:. make sure to go to a respected tattoo parlour that places a great emphasis on practicing good hygiene. Sterilization, cleaning,and sanitizing of tattoo needles is of utmost importance. Another thing that you  should not forget to overlook is not to tattoo any mole. As mentioned before, it will inhibit you from detecting any skin pigmentation that may be an early sign of cancer. Keeping these things in mind when getting a tattoo will ensure you get inked without any nasty consequences.

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