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I just got my first tattoo recently. The artist used a new...

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Question by california_man
Submitted on 12/15/2003
Related FAQ: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 9/9--Bibliography
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I just got my first tattoo recently.  The artist used a new needle, but an unsterile tube.  What are my risks?

Answer by Angelspop
Submitted on 1/9/2004
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Your risks are disease or infection. Even if the shop washed the tube with Antibacterial soap, there would most likely still be bacteria because antibacterial soap isn't all that antibacterial! There will most likely be spores on it too. I would say just keep your tattoo as clean as you can but make sure to keep it moisturized, if you keep it moisturized it will not itch as much. Next time don't get the tattoo unless you know everything is sterile. It is better to wait and find the right shop and artist, than to get your tattoo at the 1st place you come across and end up with an infection or even worse AIDS or hepatitis. Hope this helped you.


Answer by california_man
Submitted on 1/11/2004
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The tattoo has healed by now and didn't get infected.  How large are my risks for AIDS or hepatitis?


Answer by jen
Submitted on 1/27/2004
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Your risk of HIV infection is quite small. First of all, the virus can't live very long outside the human body, so unless the tube was used on you within a half hour of being used on an HIV+ person, you should be fine. Secondly, for perspective: health care workers who have an accidental needlestick with a contaminated needle have only a 0.1% risk of becoming infected themselves.

Hepatitis is a different story. The virus is hardy and can live outside the body for up to a week, and the risk of infection after exposure is substantial. Hepatitis can be very effectively treated, so go get a blood test and find out if you need to start treatment!


Answer by be smart
Submitted on 10/3/2006
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why did you let them tattoo you if you knew things were unsterile?  come on, you are smarter than that.


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