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Colors and scars: how dangerous are tattoos?
According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), almost every tenth person in Germany is tattooed; in the group of 16 to 29-year-olds, it is even 23 percent - and the trend is rising. But aren't tattoos dangerous? Yes, says a doctor. He even speaks of "bodily harm".
It often seems as if every footballer has them, even musicians have them and even a former first lady had one: tattoos have long ceased to be a niche phenomenon. But for dermatologists, that's a cause for concern.
Allergic reactions up to allergic shock
Are tattoos a harmless embellishment or an underestimated health risk? Dermatologist Christoph Liebich from Munich has a clear opinion about tattoos: "For me, this is bodily harm," says the expert from the professional association of German dermatologists. From a medical point of view, tattoos are clearly not recommended.
There are various reasons for this - above all the dyes used in tattooing. According to the doctor, these are not tested for harmlessness. "And just because something is not prohibited is not automatically good."
After all, this is about substances that get under the skin - and that can also accumulate in organs such as the lymph nodes. In addition, there is the risk of allergic reactions up to allergic shock.
Malicious skin changes are no longer visible
Two other problems: On the one hand, tattoos cause scars, possibly combined with a risk of infection - depending on how exactly a tattoo studio takes hygiene.
On the other hand, liver spots may be covered, especially by large tattoos. This means that malignant skin changes, which you should better discover quickly, are no longer visible.
In addition, the professional association of German dermatologists (BVD) pointed out in an older communication that large-area tattoos in particular could also impair skin functions such as sweating or cause inflammatory skin diseases. However, this is still little researched. (ad, source: dpa / tmn)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.