Consumer Reports: Safer tattoos

7:00 PM, Nov 11, 2012   |    comments
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Big or small, tattoos are now mainstream, but recent outbreaks of tattoo-related infections are cause for concern.

Getting a tattoo does pose health risks. The Centers for Disease Control recently issued a report on tattoo-related skin infections in several states caused by contaminated ink. And Consumer Reports' medical adviser says concerns go beyond skin infections.

In tattoo parlors that don't follow good infection prevention practices, there can be a risk of contracting HIV and hepatitis. But there are ways you can reduce your risks. First, keep a clear head and never drink before you ink. And avoid homemade tattoos.

Instead, find an experienced tattoo artist. Check that the artist uses individually packaged single-use kits with disposable needles and tubes and wears sterile, disposable gloves. Consumer Reports advises if you do see any sign of a rash or infection, consult a doctor.

And remember, tattoos aren't easily removed. You don't want to be stuck with something that's really ugly or down the line you're going to regret.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports' website. Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org.

(Copyright © 2012 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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