COMMENTARY | Tattoos and body piercings have become much more popular in recent years. I am astounded by how many young adults have them or desire to get them.
Please think it through carefully before deciding to get either a tattoo or a body piercing. Seek to understand the health risks and the effects on one’s appearance. Numerous online articles discuss some of the health risks of tattoos and piercings, including one about tattoos on WebMD1 and one about piercings on MayoClinic.org.2
I realize persons sometimes have strong emotional reasons for getting tattoos. They may desire to show love for a relative or friend. However, relationships change, as do ways of honoring and remembering those relationships. I feel there are other ways to demonstrate one’s love that don’t disfigure one’s body.
I am not a medical professional, so I cannot give any medical advice. However, you can access more detailed information about the health risks from a huge number of sources, including the two websites linked to above, as well as the two websites linked to at the end of the next subtopic in this article.
Five Specific Reasons Not to Get a Tattoo or Piercing
Below I list five reasons I personally oppose getting tattooed or pierced.
- the risk of infection. Why risk a potentially life-threatening infection?
- the cost. Couldn’t the money be better spent on something else?
- the effect on one’s appearance. Many persons dislike seeing tattoos or piercings.
- the permanence. Removing tattoos is difficult, time consuming, and may not work well. Even the holes from piercings take time to heal, and the area may not return to its original appearance. Scarring can occur with tattoos and piercings.
- the pain. You can experience pain while getting a tattoo or piercing, as well as afterward.
If you decide to get a tattoo or piercing anyway, the MedicalNewsToday.com3 website and the New York State Department of Health website4 are two of the many websites that offer tips for reducing the risks. You can also access information about the health risks on both websites.
Christian Tattoos and Concluding Thoughts
I even know people who have tattoos of Jesus, of a cross, or of something else related to Christianity to demonstrate their faith. They frequently seem to sincerely feel that Christian tattoos help them in their Christian witness. But is it really necessary to acquire a tattoo to demonstrate one’s faith? Do you think Jesus would go to a tattoo parlor and get a tattoo or would he spend that money on food or other necessary items for the needy? I hope you agree with me that one’s faith can be demonstrated better in other ways than by getting tattooed or pierced.
In conclusion, yes, adults of legal age have the option of getting tattoos or piercings. But I don’t recommend getting a tattoo or piercing. Putting unnecessary extra holes in body parts or injecting ink under the skin does not seem logical. I certainly don’t desire that for myself.
1 WebMD; “Tattoos, What You Need to Know”; WebMD website; webpage accessed January 31, 2014.
2 Mayo Clinic Staff; “Piercings: How to prevent complications”; MayoClinic.org website; webpage accessed January 31, 2014.
3Medical News Today; “Health Risks of Tattooing and Ear or Body Piercing”; MedicalNewsToday.com website; webpage accessed February 9, 2014
4New York State Department of Health; “Body Art: Tattooing and Body Piercing”; New York State Department of Health website; last revised November 2012; webpage accessed February 9, 2014