John Libbey Eurotext

European Journal of Dermatology

Are body piercing and tattooing safe fashions? Volume 16, issue 5, September-October 2006

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The trend to ornamenting the human body by piercings and tattoos which is observed all over the world is becoming more and more popular. The aim of this research was to compare the frequency of complications occurring after piercing and tattooing and to analyze the conditions under which the procedures were performed.The research was based on the results of questionnaire studies performed in a group of 824 people (57.8% women and 42.2% men) aged 14-52. The data were compared by the fraction difference statistic test. The procedure was performed in professional establishments for 93.1% of people with piercings and 78.8% with tattoos. The difference between these fractions is statistically significant (p < 0.05). Complications were noted in 45.6% of people with piercings and 31.25% with tattoos. This difference is also statistically significant (p < 0.05). The people questioned with piercings noted mainly local infections, bleeding and tissue tearing, while subjects with tattoos mentioned pruritus and/or bleeding. We conclude that body piercing is connected with a higher risk of more serious complications than tattooing. There is a social awareness of this so piercing procedures are more often done in professional establishments.