Think Before You Ink: Rare Skin Disease Traces Back to Tattoos


That amazing tattoo you just got may come with a price. Doctors recently treated 19 cases of a rare skin disease caused by improperly-made tattoo ink, after a 20-year-old New York native came to them with a case of Mycobacterium chelonae, a cousin of tuberculosis.

The ink allegedly used faulty water in the making of the solution and was recalled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since 2008, the number of Americans with at least one tattoo has increased from 14 percent up to 21 percent, and not all of these tattoo enthusiasts are lucky enough to escape infection.

The risks of tattoos stem far outside the realm of simply not looking right – those who get inked risk serious needle-related infections such as HIV and hepatitis if they are not careful.

Another issue this younger, tattoo-donning generation is facing includes a greater struggle in the current job market as a result of their exposed, inked skin. The number of people getting tattoos removed has hit 32 percent in just the past year, ABC News reports.

Doctors and the CDC encourage young people and those interested in getting a tattoo to tread carefully and be vigilant about the cleanliness and sanitary conditions of the parlor they choose. You never know what kind of icky disease you could contract while artfully coloring your personal canvas.

By: Jen Wolfe

For More Information on Infectious Diseases:

5 Infectious Diseases You Might Get in the ER

All About Bird Flu

5 Rare Parasites Found in the Human Body

The Discovery Fit and Health team brings you the latest (and most interesting) health news as well as exclusive interviews, video clips, and other juicy tidbits from your favorite shows.








stay connected

our sites