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Tattoos and body piercings are not new. They have been a part of many cultures for thousands of years, used to represent many things including marital or financial status and religious affiliation. Only in the past couple of decades have they become a form of creative expression.
According to a study done by Judith Greif and Walter Hewitt of Rutgers University Health Service and Myrna L. Armstrong of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 1 in 10 adolescents and 25% of people aged between 15 and 25 are tattooed. The number of young adults with body piercings could not be determined because it lacks the permanency of tattoos. However, one can walk around their college campus and find tons of people with piercings in their ears or belly buttons at the very least.
Despite the large number of people who have tattoos and/or piercings, there are still many health effects associated with those types of body art, including HIV and Hepatitis B and C. To reduce your chances of contracting a serious and possibly deadly disease, some important points to keep in mind include doing your research, thinking very carefully about where to have your tattoo or piercing, and making sure to follow the exact aftercare instructions given by your artist. It is also important to think about the reasons why you want a specific piece of body art. I got a tattoo because I wanted to “be different” but I realized after getting one that just about half the people on my campus also has one. I don’t regret getting one and my tattoo is not readily visible but in the quest to be different, I wound up being just like everyone else.
Tattoos and body piercings can be a fun and creative way to express yourself. However, it is important to get them for the right reasons and keep certain precautions in mind. If everything works out, your body art can be something you can be proud to show off.