Is getting a tattoo or having a tattoo removed during pregnancy safe? Why or why not?
This is definitely a timely question and one that would have rarely been asked even just a few years ago. According to a study by The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, approximately 25 percent of the population ages 18 to 50 have tattoos.
There are several things to keep in mind when considering whether to get a tattoo or have one removed:
- The biggest risk lies in the chance of infection from use of needles that are not properly sterilized. Hepatitis and HIV are two of the most commonly transmitted diseases as a result of dirty needles.
- Consider the possibility of chemicals from the dyes absorbing and affecting your growing baby. There is very little research as to whether or not the dye can cause problems, but this is thought to be a big risk, especially in the first trimester.
- Another concern comes with lower back tattoos and the administration of epidurals in labor. Most studies show that as long as the ink is thoroughly dried, there should not be a problem. Inquire about the policy of the anesthesia department at the hospital where you plan to deliver.
- Aside from the medical implications, think about what might happen to a tattoo that's stretched by the weight gain of pregnancy. Remember silly putty? Your beautiful, carefully chosen design could be distorted and may not return to its pre-pregnancy look.
- Laser removal of tattoos can come with a similar batch of problems. The risk of infection and dyes being dispersed into the bloodstream should make you think carefully about your decision to have a tattoo applied or have one removed.