Health Consequences of Getting Tattooed

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  • I debated posting this here because it’s more of a health issue than a longevity issue.
  • But (in my estimation) it’s something for people interested in longevity (or extreme longevity) to be aware of, because the toxins in the ink from tattoos can leak out over time, into surrounding tissues.

From the Live Science article:

  • “Carbon black, which is one of the most common ingredients in tattoo inks, appears to break down readily into nanoparticles and end up in the lymph nodes….
  • The team also looked at titanium dioxide (TiO2)…This type of ink does not appear to break down into particles as small as those found with carbon black, but some larger particles of TiO2 were still detected in the cadavers’ lymph nodes, the study said.
  • Disturbingly, Schreiver and her colleagues found that some potentially toxic heavy metals originating in tattoo ink also made their way to the lymph nodes…
  • “These are not things you want to have permanently deposited in your body,” Schreiver said.
  • Other research has shown that tattoo pigment may land elsewhere in the body. For a May 2017 study published in the journal Dermatology, researchers tattooed the backs of mice with black and red ink….
  • “It was a quite interesting and very surprising finding,” said Mitra Sepehri, lead author of the research… . “To reach the liver cells, the pigment has to go through the blood to reach the liver. So, we have shown that tattoo pigment can spread through the mouse’s blood system as well as through the lymphatic system…”

From the Mayo Clinic article:

Tattoos breach the skin, which means that skin infections and other complications are possible, including:

  • Allergic reactions. Tattoo dyes — especially red, green, yellow and blue dyes — can cause allergic skin reactions, such as an itchy rash…
  • Other skin problems. Sometimes an area of inflammation called a granuloma can form around tattoo ink…
  • Bloodborne diseases. If the equipment used to create your tattoo is contaminated with infected blood, you can contract various bloodborne diseases….
  • MRI complications. Rarely, tattoos or permanent makeup might cause swelling or burning in the affected areas during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams. In some cases, tattoo pigments can interfere with the quality of the image.
  • Medication or other treatment might be needed if you experience an allergic reaction to the tattoo ink or you develop an infection or other skin problem near a tattoo.

My notes:

  • I know a number of people who got tattooed years ago; have developed chromic health issues in the intervening years; then became interested in health and longevity. Their tattoos may be beautiful and stylish, but they now regret the decision to have the ink injected into their bodies.
  • If I had tattoos, I would follow an ongoing protocol to help remove toxins and heavy metals from my body, such as eating high-sulfur foods as a regular part of my diet.

More information:

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