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Tattoos : Hot pictures and sometimes dirty colors

Every day in Germany countless Volunteers for a huge medical field test. They are even willing to endure pain. You are aware that the procedure will leave you with traces, and that they will bear the consequences for the Rest of your life. You have to pay even more money for a bloody and often lengthy procedure.

The description as a field trial for the stabbing Routine in tattoo studios comes from the Regensburg physicists and experts for Tattoo removal by Laser, Wolfgang Bäumler. Because what are the pigments in the body, what the consequences of the decades-long coexistence with those chemicals, the resulting degradation products, where you are going and what effects they have, is so far hardly known.

pigments for life

however, There are some methodological problems with those field trials. The most important is that he must manage without the investigator, that no one registers the subscriber in a database, or documented, what, how much and with what pigments stung. That there are actually "countless" Volunteers. Because it really matters no one, including the Association of Tattoo and can deliver on demand.

A bit reassuring is the fact that so far nobody noticed that tattooed you drop more suddenly dead as the other, or die earlier, or certain diseases often get is safe. This, however, can be due to the fact that Tattoos on the dead seem to play no role, and there are no statistics or even controlled studies. Possible you would. And necessary, says Bäumler: "I tried the question ,you Have a tattoo?' in the questionnaire for the National cohort' to accommodate, but has not worked." In the "National cohort", which has now been renamed to "Nako-health study", should be documented in the health of 200 000 people over the decades. This happens, among other things, on the basis of those questionnaires, which depend on nutrition, life-style, social circumstances and the Like is searched for. It has been running since 2014.


Bäumler was said at the time, tattoos were not finally impose voluntary, and you should the cohort participants to a lot of questions. To eat "a lot of Sweet, Yes, but now is voluntary," says Bäumler, can't understand the decision to today. Finally, a quarter of the in Germany Living Tattoos would have, according to recent surveys. Here, too, however, the data basis is, in other statistics, the speech is about ten percent.

not more are Actually officially approved in accordance with the force since 2008, the German "tattoo-agents-regulation", some of the pigments, which were previously often used. This particular, in cosmetics and clothing is no longer allowed to Azo-dyes. The are not in themselves dangerous, but when they disintegrate. Then potentially carcinogenic aromatic amines can be cleaved. "But the market is extremely cluttered, often, pigments are not declared properly or is contaminated," says Bäumler. "Backyard tattooist" could order the non-approved via the Internet. And real controls, which deserved the name, don't give it at all. In the case of samples would ensure such substances.

another Problem is that impurities on the effects of the pigments, additives, regularly occurring, or its cleavage products in the body knows very little. In an article for a trade magazine Ines Schreiver, and Andreas Luch Federal Institute for risk assessment flowery as some of the roses tattoo, if you describe the "dark end of the rainbow – the data gaps in the toxicology of Tattoos". Alarm will not beat you and point out certain suspect ingredients on animal experiments, which showed rates, no toxicity or increased cancer. In fact, however, such Attempts about what really find in the human skin and else where in the body instead of could statements.

plagiarism under the skin

it is Clear that the pigments are simply inert in the skin. Directly after the Sting, the immune system removes most of it, often the nearby lymph nodes color. In the case of people who have their Tattoos already for a long time, and found pigments and their degradation products in various organs, including the principal detoxification centre of the body, the liver. In addition, dermatologists have discovered only in the past year, and provide immune cells for a constant turnover of the pigments. The Tattoo is, as it were, written off again and again, which also explains why the skin art is the years, more and more blurred.

Some better evidence to infections and allergies. Schreiver and Luch are talking here of significant effects on health. A crucial substance appears to be Nickel, a heavy metal that occurs in many colors used, and the ten to 15 percent of the population is allergic to react. Also sarcoidosis, an immune-related inflammatory disease of the connective tissue, has been described in connection with Tattoos repeatedly.

Sometimes, tattoos for very different reasons, even long after the Piercing again painful: one of the most important modern medical diagnostic methods, magnetic resonance tomography, there are always reports, you could Tattoo makers damage. "Since the frequency of the fields come up," says Nikolaus Weiskopf at the Max-Planck-Institute for human cognitive and brain Sciences in Leipzig. Magnetic resonance means, "suitable materials to absorb a lot of energy". Such are often included in Tattoos. And "energy" means that the images could heat up strongly, to burns, Weiskopf.

think First, then stinging, or stay - leave

Whether, and if so, how risky the procedure is, however, studied so far, never systematically. Weiskopf, who worked before his move to Leipzig at the Wellcome Center for Human Neuroimaging in London, he began together with his local colleague Martina Callaghan, 2011, and the other, therefore, a study. In volunteers undergoing MRI Scans. The physicians and physicists could only test persons in the machine, their Tattoos have a diameter of less than 20 centimeters and registered under the 330 subjects, only a skin irritation. In the case of larger, the risk of heating is increased due to their to the magnetic waves of a suitable "resonant length" probably.

"There's always been case reports in which large tattoos pose a risk," says Fabian Bamberg, Medical Director of the clinic for radiology at the University hospital Freiburg. In fact, tattooed to be clarified, specifically, to report by the press of a button, if you feel an irritating sensation in the Tattoo area, or cooling blankets are applied as a preventive measure. All of this leads to the conclusion that there is virtually never burns. Often, Konstantin Nikolaou, head of the radiology Department at tübingen University hospital, it is also possible to reduce the magnetic field strength of 1.5 Tesla. This means not only less energy but also that the recordings are less good. And also the Tattoo itself can distort.

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more and more tattooed want to get rid of the images. However, most are not afraid of burns or aromatic amines, but rather for aesthetic or psychological reasons – who bears the name of the Ex on the ankle? But that is possibly not healthy. Because the destruction by Laser is the emergence of what is problematic in suspicion: all of the possible degradation products, including such well-known and toxic as hydrocyanic acid. The best advice one could give, is to Think: "before you can be a Tattoo," says Bäumler. In English you can memorize the better: Think before you ink!

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