Sunday, May 11, 2014

Do Tattoos Increase Your Risk Of Cancer?

Tattoos have become increasingly popular over the last decade, as more and more people choose to have important symbols or meaningful images or words tattooed on them, but do they increase the risk of health problems, including cancer?

Tattoos and skin cancer

The case for

Tattoos have been linked to an increased risk of infection as a result of breaking the skin, but some health experts believe that they also increase the risk of skin cancer. Dr DJS Tula, a consultant cosmetic surgeon at the BLK Hospital in Delhi, India, said that tattoos can increase the risk of blood-borne infections, including hepatitis B and C and HIV, as well as types of skin cancer including squamous cell, melanoma and carcinoma. Dr Tula added that having a tattoo does not mean that you are going to get skin cancer, but the risk is elevated because of the ink used to create the design.

Dr Tula also added that tattoos should never been done close to moles because they make it difficult for people to spot changes in the appearance of the mole, which are a common symptom of skin cancer.

Studies published in the USA have also prompted an investigation into the chemical make-up of tattoo ink by the US Food and Drug Administration. Studies showed that some of the chemicals, including black ink benzo(a)pyrene, have been found to cause skin cancer during animal testing.

The case against

In contrast, Dr Ariel Ostad, a dermatologist and surgeon from New York, said that skin experts have been researching the impact of tattoos on the skin for several years and there is no evidence to suggest that tattoos increase the risk of skin cancer. Research involving people who have the condition has not uncovered greater prevalence of skin cancer among people with tattoos and there is also no evidence to suggest that having a tattoo after receiving treatment for skin cancer increase the risk of relapse.

Dr Ostad did support Dr Tula's comments about avoiding tattoos close to moles, stating that tattoos can mask the visible changes in the skin, which may prevent skin cancer from being diagnosed early. Early diagnosis increases survival rates significantly. Dr Ostad's advice was to leave a suitable gap around any moles to ensure that any changes are clearly visible and can be identified without any trouble.

Risk factors for skin cancer

The most important risk factor for skin cancer is sun exposure. Research also suggests that people who have fair skin have a higher risk. If you are going outside, apply sun cream (if you have fair skin that burns easily use a high factor), wear a sun hat and avoid the hottest part of the day (between 11am and 3pm). Avoid using sun beds and tanning lamps, as these use powerful UV rays and increase your risk. If you want a healthy golden glow, use self-tanning products.

Caring for tattooed skin

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, newly tattooed skin is very sensitive and you should take extra care when bathing and going out in the sun. It is also important to keep an eye on your skin and to seek medical help if you notice irritation and rashes around the tattoo. The AAD also recommended avoiding moles when choosing a location for the new tattoo and seeing a dermatologist if you notice any changes in the skin around the tattoo.

The relationship between tattoos and skin cancer is unclear. Some experts believe that tattoo ink can increase one’s risk of the condition but then others say that there is no link Further research in this area is being carried out and new evidence may become available in the coming months or years to either refute or support the claim that tattoos increase the risk of cancer.

By Richard Keane


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2 comments:

  1. There is no compelling reason to go and settle on the first half way not too bad plan that you see. Numerous females (and men) here http://www.igotinked.com do this then after that wind up lamenting their choice.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tatoos are harms your skin sometimes.There are some skin cancer clinics Melbourne where you will get solution for all skin related issues.

    ReplyDelete