In today’s culture, we’ve been bombarded with messages that tell us tattoos are cool, they are "hip" and they got swag. While all these may be true, there are some things we have ignored about tattoos, like the fact that getting one hurts a lot. And after getting one, which is permanent, removing it is impossible except through the use of some freaky lasers, which hurt – a lot. So while there are many reasons to get tattoos, here we are talking about reasons why we should not get them.

Reasons Not to Get a Tattoo

Are tattoos really a wise decision? No one can say. But it is best we all know what we are going in for before it is too late.

They could lead to infection

First off, what is in tattoo ink? Liquid metals, that’s what. And during the procedure, because foreign pigments are introduced to the skin, the risk of infection becomes very high. Infections from tattoos are mostly mild, perhaps a rash and some allergies, and don’t last long. But one of the major risks is that the needle and ink get to your blood, which means there is also a high risk of blood-transmuted infections, like the HIV, tetanus, and hepatitis B and C.


Skin discoloration

Permanent tattoos make use of some very strange additives in order to achieve certain colors. Since these things are then integrated to the skin, they cause a permanent discoloration which will not go away even if the tattoo is removed later on in life (hence the term permanent). Think of it this way, when someone has a burn, there is a skin color loss. So, even when the burn is fully healed and perhaps there is actually no scar, there is still the discoloration which announces to the world that something "went down".


Allergic reactions

Strong reasons not to get a tattoo include allergic reactions. The above-mentioned substances and metals used in tattoo inks are foreign to the skin and most of them can cause allergic reactions, no matter how small. Dermatitis is a common reaction from red ink because of the mercury sulphide it contains. Usually this starts out as an irritation and then quickly moves on to become a swelling on the skin. This is followed by some serious itching and, if untreated, would become blisters and cause flaking of the skin.



This happens when a tattooed area is not properly treated. Scarring, as well as other side effects, can have a deep psychological effect on the victim, not to mention that removing them can be expensive as it mostly involves surgery or lasers. These procedures usually hurt more than the time you got your tattoo. Speaking of the psychological aspect, if nothing is done, it could lead to more destructive behaviors like anger and aggression. In the worst case, people are advised to see a therapist in order to extinguish any shame or pain that exists in their subconscious in order to live a normal, healthy life.


Goodbye to blood donation

Sometimes for two weeks, and sometimes for life. Cristiano Ronaldo is a world famous soccer player (sure there is nobody who doesn’t know that) who revealed that he does not have any tattoos because he donates blood about two times a year. That has to be one of the top reasons not to get a tattoo. When the "Inking" happens, these particles find their way into the bloodstream. Even if it is not harmful to the person who got the tattoo, the risks are not easy to tell for the person who receives the donated blood.


Poor first impressions

Tattoos may be cool but they are hardly considered something that "responsible" people would have. It is a lot more difficult to create a good first impression when there is a visible tattoo on the skin. An office interview, for example, requires a certain kind of appearance, and tattoos do not look the part. Another thing is when wanting to meet your boyfriend/girlfriend’s parents. Even if their parents are cool and down to earth, a tattoo means that you must go an extra step to prove that you are suitable for their child.


MRI complications

We've said that there are some liquid metals in tattoo inks. Even though tattoo inks are relatively safe under regulated conditions, we still have a problem of cheap imports so these metals still find a way into the inks. MRI machines cause metal to heat up, so imagine how it would feel now that you have some metals under your skin. It hurts, it burns and it is not fun. Heavy metals are used to create pigments and some examples are mercury (red), lead (yellow, green), chromium (green), cobalt (blue), aluminum (green and violet) and barium (white).


Risk of cardiac arrest in the future

Barium carbonate, which is present in some tattoo inks, can cause the heart to malfunction. This, of course, doesn’t happen often but that depends on how regulated the tattoo parlor is. Under the influence of alcohol, the blood is thinner, causing it to flow faster. Under this circumstance, it is much easier for the ink to move further into the blood stream and reside there for years. As time goes by, it gets closer and closer to the heart and when the day comes, a cardiac arrest may happen. This could be anywhere from two months to twenty years after you got the tattoo. Do you really need more reasons not to get a tattoo?



Among the things which are present in tattoo ink is Benzo(a)pyrene, which is used in black tattoo ink. This substance is found in coal-tar and is listed as a carcinogen (cancer causing agent) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). This may be painful to take in by tattoo lovers, but it is good to have all the facts before decisions are made. These things, of course, may take years to manifest and by that time, most don’t remember it was a small tattoo that began the process.


Please Log In or add your name and email to post the comment.