Long term health risks associated with tattoos

Posted by Loon17 @luna1017, Jun 29, 2017

I got a tattoo a few years ago on my ribs. I’ve never had any skin issues with it, but I’ve heard rumors that inks can be carcinogenic and lead to other health risks. Does anyone know more about long term tattoo effects or experienced any?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Skin Health Support Group.

Hello @luna1017,

Welcome to Connect. Here is some information about tattoos from Mayo Clinic: http://mayocl.in/1MXeb1r, and some details about tattoo removal: http://mayocl.in/2t5pOyW

You may also wish to view this past discussion:
My son wants to get a tattoo on his 18th birthday http://mayocl.in/2sqIqra

I’m tagging @debe13 @busyboy86 @jglover7 @v1crew who have discussed tattoos, and hope they return with their insights.

@luna1017, it’s great to know that you are thinking long-term, and we look forward to getting to know you. May I ask, what led to getting a tattoo?


I have two tatoos, both applied when I was in my early 20’s. I’m now in my late 40’s and have had no issues with the tatoos themselves. The one on my shoulder is extremely faded from sun exposure where is is actually difficult to make out the design. I never really thought about them much and did some reading up on it. Now I have another thing to add to my worry list along with my amalgam fillings.

I have had severe health issues since 2007 starting with colitis issues related to food sensitivites. It took me years to figure it out and I developed other authoimmune issues. I had thyroid cancer in 2013 and day to day life has been a struggle ever since. I can’t say I would attribute my health with my tatoos but I can’t rule it out either now that I think about it. I am a believer in cumulative assaults on the body add up and there is a threshhold that plays into genetics, environment, lifestyle, etc.

I don’t know how would find out, at this point, the ingredients in the ink but I don’t plan on doing anything with them but leave them be. I am a huge health nut now but there are some things I let be because it just gets too overwhelming. It is disturbing to think the FDA would allow heavy metals to be used in body ink but then again, look at the debates on fluoride, vaccunes, and Monsanto/round up in our food supply. It’s a shame I didn’t know to ask when I was younger.

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