Why is tattooing and
piercing a risk?
It seems that when tattooing or piercing
skin, endocarditis can be triggered by the normal bacteria on our
skin entering our blood stream, also with a piercing bacteria can
collect in large numbers around the jewellery, or by an infection
of the tattoo or piercing site that can cause certain bacteria to
enter the blood.
If you have a heart condition and are
desperate to have body art then it’s really important that you talk
it over first with your cardiologist or cardiac specialist
What if I'm under 18 years old?
Whether you have a heart condition or
not, other issues to consider are that it’s illegal for
tattooists to tattoo you if you under 18 years old, and if they are
not fussed about checking that, then you have to wonder what the
tattoo will be like and how bothered they are about other important
issues of their work, like using clean equipment so that you aren’t
at risk of getting a blood borne infection like Hepatitis B and C
or HIV. The techniques that tattoo artists and piercers use,
and the standard of sterilising equipment can all vary, and there
is always a risk of getting an infection from dirty equipment or
because it is done in a non-sterile way.
In different UK countries there are
different rules about what age you can have piercings at, with or
without your parents’ consent, if you're under 16 or under 18,
and it also changes depending on which part of your body you
are having pierced. For example, under English law, those under the
age of 16 years cannot have their genitalia pierced, as this is
regarded as indecent assault to which the customer cannot legally
consent. The same law applies to female breast piercing.