The American Academy of Pediatrics released on Monday its first report ever on tattoos and piercing after the notable increase of body modifications the population is presenting. The report seeks to inform adolescents, young adults and parents of the rare, but possible, health issues a person can face for getting a tattoo or a piercing, and to give them safety tips to prevent them.
Dr. David Levine, general pediatrician and professor at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, led the report along with Cora Breuner, adolescent medicine specialist at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Breuner recently took her daughter to get her belly bottom pierced with a person that “had been a surgical tech before he decided to do piercings.” The complete report will be published in the October issue of the journal Pediatrics.
The report offers the adequate methods a person should follow when performing both types of body modifications, along with long-overdue guidance for parents whose children want to get tattooed or pierced.
“The number of young adults who want to get tattoos or pierced is increasing,” Breuner said. “It’s really our mission and our job to promote safety and healthy living for our children as our children go into adulthood.”
A Pew Research Center recent research shows that 38 percent of millennials have at least one tattoo hidden or on display and that 23 percent of people have pierced at least one part of their body, different from the earlobe. According to the same study, just 6 percent of boomers have tattoos, and 1 percent have other piercings.
The report also found that 86 percent of people have never regretted of getting not even one of their tattoos, and 30 percent think they are sexier since they got them.
First official preventions after getting pierced or tattooed
Both Breuner and Levine made quite a distinction between body modifications and self-harm when they explained on the report the professional methods a person can get a tattoo, piercing, permanent makeup, henna skin dye “tattoos,” scarification and ear stretching.
Despite the fact that getting pierced or tattooed usually doesn’t come with any complication, according to Levine, a person could present severe infections, allergic reactions or keloids, a growth of extra scar tissue, and more, at the end of the process.
The time each piercing takes to recover fully depends on which part of the body gets perforated, and how well is the individual’s ability to cicatrize. It is usually the navel which takes longer than any other – nine months at least, according to experts. However, this doesn’t mean that the hole can’t be closed if the individual removes its piercing after all.
“I do have a majority of African-American families in my practice, and African-Americans are overrepresented when it comes to the formation of keloid scars,” he said. “So that’s another thing that parents should just be aware of: that if their child has had a keloid from almost any other kind of skin injury, then it’s likely that this would be a disaster to do piercing or tattooing,” CNN reported.