Ageless Beauty

Considering Getting a Tattoo?

Leg TattooAre you considering getting a tattoo? Shockingly, there are women over 50 who are getting tattoos and many women over age 50 have tattoos. Of course, that number will increase as the 30 somethings get older. As a dermatologist, when screening patients for skin cancer, I find tattoos in people you would least expect. One of my 82 year old patients got a tattoo at age 80. When asked why, she stated, “it was to become more tolerant of people with tattoos.”So, she got one.

I do not have a tattoo. I have been more involved with removing them. Removing tattoos is a painful process performed with laser. Multiple treatments are required, it is expensive and still the skin never looks completely normal.

About tattoos, Jimmy Buffet sang, “It’s a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling.”

Women in their prime, in general, understand the permanent nature of a tattoo better than a 19 year old. They have their reasons for getting a tattoo after 50. If you are thinking about getting “inked”, consider the following:

Do your research. Go to a reputable Tattoo parlor. Look for a State License displayed on the wall. Licensed parlors are open to inspection and follow guidelines for best practices to prevent infection. Infections from tattoos can range from hepatitis to a bacterial skin infection.

Rarely, a person can be allergic to certain colors, most commonly red. So if you want a colorful tattoo and you have a history of skin allergy, you may want to do a test site first.

Go to an experienced tattoo artist who uses gloves and opens up a sterile pack of needles in front of you. I did a story on the safety of tattoos for a local TV station. I visited a parlor, and the tattoo artist gladly answered all of my questions and took pride in explaining their clean/sterile technique. Ask to see pictures of their work. If you ask questions and the artist seems put off, go somewhere else.

Will I ever get a tattoo? Probably not, but never say never. It might be a fine way to celebrate my 80th. Whatever your reason to get a tattoo, be sure, be safe and enjoy tattoo after 50!

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