Tattoos in pregnancy and breastfeeding: best avoided

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Marie-Ange Demory
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Engrave your baby's name not only in the heart but also on the skin. There are many future mothers who choose to have the name of their son or daughter tattooed, in order to carry it even more always with them. Others still opt for different subjects, but the fashion for “tatoos” never goes away. Yet it is fair to ask: Are pregnancy and breastfeeding the ideal time to get a tattoo? Isn't it better to postpone? What are the risks? All the make-up artist and tattoo artist tells us, Alessandro Scianna.



Alessandro Scianna

    What does the tattoo technique consist of? What are the inks that are used made of?

    "By tattoo we mean the permanent coloring of parts of the body through the subcutaneous and intradermal introduction of pigments of various kinds with the aid of needles and any other technique, in order to form indelible and permanent designs or figures".

    What are the risks of a tattoo in general?

    “The inks used for tattoos do not have a standard chemical composition, however it can be said that they are made up of two components: the vehicle and the pigment. Tattoo ink manufacturers are not obliged to disclose their constituent components, and tattoo makers also use various inks to mix. Most inks are made with metal salts, vegetable dyes or plastics. The vehicle has the function of uniformly distributing the pigment in a fluid matrix, of preventing the onset of pathogenic substances, of preventing the agglomeration of pigments and of promoting application on the skin. The most commonly used vehicles are: ethyl alcohol, purified water, plant origin witch hazel, listerine, propylene glycol and glycerin. Sometimes denatured alcohol, other alcohols such as methanol, antifreeze and formaldehyde are used, all of which are not recommended as they are toxic ".



    Tattoo in pregnancy: yes or no? Because?

    "Absolutely not. Pregnancy lowers the woman's immune defenses, which is more vulnerable to local infections and infectious diseases. Furthermore, during the wait, the skin is more sensitive and the risk of allergic reactions and pigment rejection also increases ”.

    Is it possible to get a tattoo while breastfeeding?

    "No, the condition of vulnerability continues even during this period, so the advice is to avoid this kind of interventions until you stop breastfeeding".

    If you get tired of a tattoo when you are pregnant, can it be removed? If so, what technique do you use?

    “Tattoo removal should not be done during pregnancy for two main reasons. First, the laser removal process breaks down the tattoo ink, which is then absorbed into the body. This ink can prove harmful to the developing fetus. For the same reason, topical anesthetics that are often used before the procedure should also be avoided, as these are also absorbed by the body. The second reason why laser removal procedure is best avoided during pregnancy is photosensitivity. During gestation, the skin becomes more sensitive, particularly to light. In pregnancy, the concentrated light from the laser can be more painful when the skin is photosensitive. This is even more true if you avoid using local anesthetic ".

    How to choose the place and the professional where to get a tattoo? What rules must he follow?

    “It is always necessary to contact a specialized center, which is in possession of adequate technical-professional knowledge to carry out the aforementioned activity. Furthermore, these structures must be in possession of the certification issued by the competent ASL. Basic hygiene principles must be respected in order to prevent infectious diseases and operate in safe conditions ".



    Is there informed consent for tattoos?

    "There is an informed consent in which the tattoo artist must provide in an understandable way all the useful information on the treatment he will perform (methods, products used, side effects, risks), clarify any doubts and answer all the questions posed by the client (the communication is two-way). The consent collected by the operator should preferably be in writing from the customer or parents in the case of minors. The acquisition of informed consent is not a mere empty bureaucratic fulfillment, but the foundation of the work, therefore acquiring consent is an obligation ".


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