Good news/bad news if you have tattoos


USA TODAY – If getting a tattoo is still a sign of rebellion, then a lot of Americans are rebels: 29% of adults now have at least one tattoo, up from 21% in 2012 and 16% in 2003, a recent Harris Poll found. Millennials are especially tat-happy: 47% of people ages 18 to 35 are inked, according to the poll.

But that increase in popularity has occurred despite what some doctors say are underappreciated and understudied risks. Among those urging caution is the Food and Drug Administration: In an update for consumers posted this month, the agency says it has received increasing reports of infections, allergic reactions and other adverse reactions linked to tattoos. The agency says it also is concerned about the unknown risks from long-term exposure to pigments and other ingredients in tattoo ink.

“Any time someone is going to inject something into their body, there are consequences,” says Linda Katz, director of the FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors. Consumers should know, she says, that not all of those consequences are clear.

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