Do tattoos have associated long term health risks?


I am thinking of a very small tattoo - no color, just an outline. I'm not asking about if the tattoo itself is a good idea, OR about infections, but I am wondering if anyone knows if there are long-term health risks involved. My main concern is breast cancer, as I have a history of that in my family. 
Jul 23, 2015 @ 01:23 pm

13 Replies

Sandra Ribeiro


I would suggest speaking to your family doctor. They're professionals and would definitely know more than anyone else.
Jul 23, 2015 @ 01:29 pm


Thanks Sandra! The response is generally that there is no associated cancer risk. But I'm a worry-wart and wonder if there are other opinions out there from anyone who has experience with them!
Jul 23, 2015 @ 01:33 pm


I have heart issues and my heart doctor or any of the other doctors I've been seen by has never told me about only other heath issue from being tattooed and i had after i found out about my heath problems
Jul 23, 2015 @ 04:12 pm


I don't have any Tattoos on me anywhere but, I have been thinking about getting one in memory of my Grand-Son Matthew. I wanted to get something small like maybe an Angel and his name. He was only seven years old. I wear a locket with his picture in it but I would love to have a Tattoo. I have second thoughts about getting it because, I think on diseases and if the needles are new that they use.I think about all sorts of things like that. Getting back to what you said AFH1 ,I would talk to a Doctor first because they are suppose to know about things of this nature.Good luck.
Jul 24, 2015 @ 09:53 am


I never even thought of that when I got mine (at 28) - mine is rather large at 6" x 8" and took about 9 hours to complete.

I already have cancer on both sides of the family though, so I feel I'm damned if I do, and damned if I don't.

Your tattoo artist would also be a good source, as they should know what is in their ink.
Jul 24, 2015 @ 11:10 am


Thank you for your input Angelwingx2 and Crystaljam! I have spoken with a doctor who said it was fine, and not to worry (like, at all). I just wondered if those with tattoos could continue to assure me. But as I said, Doctor said it was JUST FINE!

As for clean needles, I think that this is something you can really look into by seeing reviews and meeting with the tattoo artist. Most of them recognize that this is a big, permanent deal and will talk with you about the process and what methods they use to remain sanitary.
Jul 24, 2015 @ 11:18 am


I have never heard a single thing connecting cancer or anything of the sort with tattoos. I have a large piece on my back as well as a piece on my ribcage, and I have never had a single problem with it relating to my health.

Just make sure you go to a reputable place and make sure you're comfortable with the tattoo artist, and watch that they do everything hygienically. After that, just make sure you keep the tattoo clean while healing and get an unscented, gentle lotion to put over the healing tattoo because that helps with healing/scarring.

Good luck!
Jul 24, 2015 @ 02:32 pm

Good to know

Thank you @Bethanito. I love hearing stories like that, as I am a worrywart. I think I will be getting something very small. Do you have any recommendations for placement? That's obviously a personal call, but I'm looking for something discrete and unaffected by weight gain.
Jul 24, 2015 @ 03:55 pm


Honestly I was quite "normal" when I got both my tattoos, and have gained quite a lot of weight since. I'd say the one on my ribcage has hardly changed at all, if any. The one on my back hasn't really changed either, other than it's now on a fat roll haha. I guess it might seem a bit bigger with skin stretching, but mine aren't visibly deformed or anything crazy like that. I personally like ribcage tattoos, but they are one of the more painful places to get them. Wrists tend to be popular placements for tiny tattoos. That's the next place I'm getting (when I get around to it, financially) something, though that's more visible. You could do the back of the neck, behind the ear, somewhere on the foot. Those places are easy to show off, but also easy to hide. But like you said, it's all personal preference, so make sure you're really happy with where you eventually pick :)
Jul 24, 2015 @ 05:08 pm


I have no idea how old you are or whether you have kids, so beware if you are still planning to have children in the future, a tattoo on your back might mean no epidural - depending on the exact location of the tattoo and its size. Since tattoo means artificial color under your skin, most anesthesiologist won't risk that the color would get where it should not be when performing the epidural.

Also if your tattoo would be somewhere pretty visible (neck, behind ear) you might be out of luck for certain jobs that have strict dress code and appearance policy (ie being a flight attendant)
Jul 25, 2015 @ 03:33 pm

Leave A Reply