The younger you are, the more likely you are to get a tattoo.  In fact, a recent Pew Research poll found that 40% of people between the age of 18 and 29 have one these days.  But if you’re thinking about it or your friend or adult child is- there are some important things to consider.   I’ve written about some of the risks before; urging folks to be sure to see if the tattoo shop is clean, if they’re using good hygiene, etc.  But another important consideration is a blood borne disease that you can get that may not show up for years.  

Hepatitis C often has no immediate symptoms, but can later contribute to liver failure, cancer, cirrhosis or even death.   A new study that looked at hundreds of people getting tattoos showed that there is a significant concern about Hep C.  The study concluded that… “Tattooing is associated with HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) infection, even among those without traditional HCV risk factors such as injection drug use and blood transfusion prior to 1992.”  

So if you’re looking at someone’s ink and thinking it may be for you… Caveat emptor.