New AAP Report Declares Tattoos and Piercings a ‘Mainstream Phenomenon’

Report shares potential risks and safety concerns

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have officially called tattoos a “mainstream phenomenon.” According to a recent clinical report that was published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics, with “tattoos and body piercings” becoming “increasingly popular,” “it is important for young people to carefully consider the consequences and potential risks associated with body modifications.”

The report, which is titled “Adolescent and Young Adult Tattooing, Piercing and Scarification,” focuses on tattoos becoming increasingly more mainstream. This is the first time the AAP has issued recommendations on tattoos, body piercings, and scarification.

“Tattooing is much more accepted than it was 15 to 20 years ago,” said Dr. Breuner, lead author of the report. “In many states, teens have to be at least 18 to get a tattoo, but the regulations vary from place to place. When counseling teens, I tell them to do some research, and to think hard about why they want a tattoo, and where on their body they want it.”

According to the report, recommendations include seeking out a tattoo parlour that is “sterile, clean, and reputable,” as well as making sure immunizations are up to date. The report indicates that the biggest risk with getting a tattoo is infection, as “the rate of complications from tattoo placement is unknown, but believed to be rare.”

Interestingly, although tattoos are becoming increasingly accepted as a form of expression, the AAP reports that after a survey interviewed 2,700 people in 2014, the results concluded that 76 per cent of the interviewees believed that visible body art negatively impacted their chance of landing a job.

The AAP concludes by stressing the importance of research and careful consideration before getting a tattoo.

“These services have come a long way, safety-wise, but it’s best to proceed with caution.”

Feature photo courtesy Thomas Hawk via Flickr.