Getting a tattoo comes with the risk of skin infection and hepatitis.

The “coolest style statement” was how Abhishek, a 21-year-old college student saw tattooing. He didn’t realise that getting his body tattooed David Beckham style may cost him a huge price.

Abhishek got his tattoos done in diverse styles, with different needles and vibrant colours. Soon, he began to complain of frequent skin irritation and other problems. The excitement of a tattoo turned into regret.

In today’s culture, body art and piercings are a popular form of self-expression. Tattooing is a style statement for many people of different age groups but most are unaware of the ill effects. Getting a tattoo requires piercing the skin with a needle and injecting tiny amounts of ink into it. Each injection brings the needle into contact with your blood.

Due to the asymptomatic nature of some viruses, about 60 per cent of infected individuals are unaware of their diagnosis until they suffer complications like cirrhosis. Recent WHO data puts Hepatitis B cases in India at approximately 1.1 million, with 240,000 annual deaths due to associated complications.

When opting for tattoos, one should be aware of the risks. Before you get a tattoo, ask whether you truly want to invest in permanent body art. If you’re worried that you might regret it later, take time to think about it. If you decide to go ahead, follow these tips:

Make sure the artist washes his/her hands and is wearing gloves.

Make sure that the equipment is sterilised and not re-used.

Make sure that work surfaces are clean and hygienic.

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