|Complications range from painful bumps, excessive scarring, keloids, and blisters to severe allergies that can be difficult to treat or even control.
Infections have been reportedly caused by the hepatitis virus, H.I.V., a number of bacteria, and even a mycobacterium related to tuberculosis that can invade the skin, bone, joints, and lungs.
Plus, there is worry that some complications from carcinogens or toxins introduced by tainted pigments or unsanitary equipment may as yet be unknown and not emerge for many years.
While the pigments used in the tattoos are subject to FDA oversight, not so with the practitioners, who are regulated at the local level. Most states have lax standards and enforcement.
"You can go on eBay and buy machines and pigment and go in the garage and set up shop," said Dr. Charles Zwerling, founder of an organization that offers voluntary certification for practitioners.
APSG Comment: While all of this is true, there is really nothing noted here that doesn't apply to all tattoos, whether delivered by doctors, cosmetologists, or general tattoo and body piercing artists.
Injecting a wide variety of foreign substances beneath the skin has become a big part of cosmetic surgery. While minimally-invasive and thus seemingly simple and safe, in fact all such treatments carry a real risk of serious complications, even when administered carefully and with skill.