The truth about tattoos


by Dr. Art Mollen, Special to

GMAZ interview by Scott Pasmore

Posted on October 22, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 7:04 AM

PHOENIX -- Among people 18 to 30 years old, one person in four is inked. In the next few years, 40 percent of this age group likely will be. Up to 65 percent of those with tattoos are women, according to a report on WebMD.

Anybody can jab ink, charcoal or ashes under the skin with a pin. These home-made tats generally aren’t as arty as those done by pros. What's more, because these tattoos are often done under unclean conditions. the risk of infection is much higher.

Professional tattoos are often applied by registered artists using a tattoo machine.

People have tattooed eye and lip liner, lipstick, blush and eyebrows, however, tattoos fade over time.

If you are planning to get a tattoo, don’t drink alcohol or take drugs the night before or while getting it, and don’t get a tattoo if you’re sick.

Also, make sure all needles come from sterile, one-use packages, and be sure the work area is clean.

Any type of tattoo involves health risks, including a dangerous infection, like HIV or hepatitis C, from unclean needles. MRSA infection is also a possibility.

Some people are also allergic to tattoo inks, which happens mostly with reds.

You can have a tattoo removed, but don’t expect the skin to look the same as before you got inked.

There are three basic ways to remove it.The tattooed skin can be cut away, rubbed away (dermabrasion), or removed with lasers. Most doctors prefer to use lasers.

Different lasers are used on different tattoo colors to break down the pigment into small bits that go away.

If you get a henna (removable tattoo), it may cause allergic reactions.

Not every tattoo will be removed without some residual effects.

Dr.+Art+MollenDr. Art Mollen's practice is located at 16100 N. 71st St. in Scottsdale. For more information, call 480-656-0016 or log on to