Talk with teens about possible regret before they get tattoos, piercings
TrishaKorioth, Staff Writer
AAP National Conference & Exhibition 2017
Many young people see a work of art when they admire friends’ tattoos and body piercings.
Perhaps your teen has asked to get one. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urges
parents to talk with their curious teens about the long-term effects of tattoos and
Body modifications used to be linked to risky practices like using drugs or alcohol,
violence, eating disorders and sexual activity. But the science has changed. These
behaviors are no longer closely linked. Tattoos and multiple piercings are common
and more accepted among teens and young adults.
Teens still should think about the pros, cons and future before they ink or pierce.
Tattoos and body piercings might affect the way others treat your teen at school,
job interviews and work.
“Relationships, social status and aesthetic tastes may change,” the AAP says.
In addition, most tattoo removals need several laser treatments. The average cost
per treatment is about $356, according to national data.
“Adolescents may overestimate the effectiveness of tattoo removal when having one
placed and should be instructed that tattoo placement is permanent and that it is
expensive and sometimes difficult to remove them,” according to the AAP.
Some piercings also can be hard to heal. Stretching a pierced area to 2 gauge (6 millimeters)
will cause it to become a permanent hole once the plug is removed, the AAP warns.
If your teen still wants a tattoo or piercing, consider the following:
whether the tattoo or piercing can be covered up easily when wearing work clothes;
whether piercings must be removed during sports; and
what the teen will do if the tattoo fades or becomes lopsided if her body changes
and how the tattoo or piercing will change during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
If your teen still wants one, be sure to go to a professional. The parlor or shop
should be licensed. Before the procedure, check your teen’s vaccine status. After,
watch for signs of infection or allergic reactions.