The Other Side of Tatoos

By: Eme Chibueze


We all love paintings and graffiti while some of us put up drawings and colour paintings in our rooms so as to give that exquisite look which shows class and taste, sometimes we love it on our clothes so as to look sharp and colorful and at other times we love it on their skin which is known as tattoo.

Tattoo is a form of body painting or modification where designs are made by inserting ink, dyes and pigments permanently or temporarily into the layers of the skin to change the skin pigment, while tattoos can be pictorial others are symbolic or purely decorative and the earliest known tattoo dates back to the body of otzi the ice man between 3370BC and 3100BC though other early mummies have been discovered from various archaeological sites around the world.

Tattoos were used for various reasons in the past for instance in Auschwitz Nazi concentration camps as form of identification on the skins of prisoners which were pierced and serial numbers imprinted on them during the holocaust in the fall of 1941, Roman soldiers were made to have identifying tattoos on them so as to make desertion difficult during the roman empire while it was imprinted on slaves for easy recognition during escape etc.

Despite its uses many do not know the effects of these skin colorations and designs if unprofessionally done, some of the risks are listed below;

  1. Tattoos can cause skin allergy such as itches which can occur even in later years of tattoo creation.
  2. Blood borne diseases can be contacted if piercing instrument is contaminated with infected blood.
  3. Research has shown that it can also lead to keloids.
  4. Medical issues may arise because tattoo inks contain chemicals that may react with the temperature and cause swelling of the skin during medical examinations or MRI scans.
  5. It can lead to skin discolouration.
  6. Since the pigments used are not under regulation and are kept as trade secrets, the dose injected into the body may be an amount high enough to cause growth retardation, pulmonary effects, cardiovascular problems etc
  7. A newly tattooed person may need to wait for a few weeks before donating blood so as to avoid risks of infection transfer.


Getting a design on the skin may look good and lovely but it is necessary to run some preparatory research on the company to administer the tattoo and preferably get some medical advice.

Leave a Reply