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Piercings and tattoos used to be considered part of an “alternative” lifestyle, outside of the mainstream. Now, body piercing and tattoos have become widespread, with everyone from teens to parents and grandparents getting ‘toos and piercings. The recent rise in popularity has made it an attractive business for people to get into. It seems like there is a tattoo parlor in every neighborhood advertising their services. The widespread availability makes it harder for anyone to supervise the methods and more importantly, the hygiene of these places.

Before anyone rushes out for a new piece of metal or ink design, it is important to evaluate the shop that is going to do the work. Ask about the training the artist has had. Also ask about the safety precautions taken to eliminate risk of needle contamination and infections. Find out what risks there are. Tongue piercings, for example, can ruin teeth, cause infections and tetanus. Nose piercings also run a risk of infection as well as an increase in acne.

After getting a tattoo or piercing, make sure to keep the area clean and use an antibiotic. If an infection develops, seek medical treatment immediately.

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