Got Ink?

  • Posted on Oct 19, 2017

You’ve seen the rise in popularity of tattoos. In medical school, we were taught the risks- localized infection, allergic reaction to the dye…hepatitis if they use dirty needles. To be honest, we don’t see a lot of problems from tattoos. 

A new study, however, points out a new problem.  They discovered that nanoparticles of pigments are migrating from the skin to the local lymph nodes. Once there, it is causing chronic swelling. Some of the pigments – like nickel and chromium- can be potentially carcinogenic.

It’s too early to say if this will end up being a true problem and cause cancer… but it is worthy of consideration before you add that sleeve.

 Susan Badaracco MD, Author of “The Oath”