Healthy Choices

News and inspiration for healthy living in Northern California

July 11, 2013
Five questions to ask the artist before you get a tattoo

We've been writing a bit lately about tattoo trends, and our friends at UC Davis Cancer Center in partnership with Sacramento State University shared a video with us:

Watch closely for five questions to ask a tattoo artist before you decide to get inked:
1. Do you use only new needles?
2. Do you use new ink caps for every client?
3. Do you sterilize all the equipment that may come into contact with blood?
4. Do you wear single-use latex gloves?
5. Do you cover fresh tattoos to prevent hepatitus C transmission?

(In case you are wondering, blue is toughest color to erase if you change your mind, according to the tattoo removal expert I wrote about earlier.)

July 11, 2013
One in five U.S. adults have tattoos; ink contamination a risk


When The Harris Poll first asked the question in 2003, 14 percent of Americans queried said, yes, they had a tattoo.

In 2008, 16 percent said they'd been inked with a tattoo.

By 2012, slightly upwards of one in five, or 21 percent of those surveyed had at least one tattoo.

The gender most likely to get a tattoo? Women. The age group with the most? From 30 to 39 years old.

On the reverse side of the equation; At least two in five without tattoos said people with the body art were less attractive.

As to regrets, or how difficult it is to remove tattoos, see my earlier story on dermatologist Dr. Suzanne Kilmer.

No matter your opinion, the New England Journal of Medicine warns tattoo customers they risk infections with various pathogens, some of which the authors said are serious and difficult to treat. In 2012, batches of ink were recalled after they contaminated a cluster of New Yorkers with nontuberculous mycobacteria infections.

About Healthy Choices

Cynthia CraftCynthia H. Craft began her reporting and editing career in Columbus, Ohio, after graduating from Ohio State University. She worked at a Dallas, Texas, newspaper as an editor, and then at the Los Angeles Times, as an editor and Capitol Bureau correspondent. After working as editor in chief at the California Journal, Craft went to Lima, Peru, for three years as a visiting professor of journalism at Peruana Universidad de Ciencias Aplicadas. She was a fellow in 2012 at the National Library for Medicine in Washington, D.C. at the National Institute for Health. She's currently The Sacramento Bee's senior writer on health, a position made possible by a grant from The California Endowment.

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Phone: (916) 321-1270
On Twitter: @cynthiahcraft.

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