While body modifications like tattoos and piercings have become more popular and widely accepted in society in recent years, a leading group of pediatricians say young people need to carefully weigh the potential consequences first.
Even as tattoos become common among everyone from young celebrities - like Justin Bieber, now 23, who got his first tattoo at 16, or Miley Cyrus whose first was at 17 - to C-suite executives, the AAP still advises that getting inked could be a turn-off to employers. Facilities should be clean and offer tips on how to care for a tattoo or piercing. However, a 2014 survey found that 76% thought that tattoos and/or piercings had hurt their chances of getting a job, and 39% thought employees with tattoos and/or piercings reflect poorly on their employers (Gouveia A. 2014).
Highly-desirable employer Google is known for being "tattoo-friendly" workplace. It is also not as regulated as tattooing and is banned in 4 states. The scientific link between tattooing and risk behaviors is less consistent today than it was 10 years ago, write the authors. There may be ramifications for future employment, but with precautions, good health is not at risk.
And body piercings? I couldn't begin to imagine.
Between 14 and 24 percent of adolescents engage in self harm, according to the AAP. The most serious complication from any form of body modification is infection. Others said that their tattoos made them feel attractive, strong, spiritual or athletic.
"AAP announces new recommendations on Tattoos & Piercings" Of course, this is only useful assuming tattoo / body art parlors follow their respective states' minimum age requirements.
"Adolescents may overestimate the effectiveness of tattoo removal when having one placed and should be instructed that tattoo placement is permanent, and it is expensive and sometimes hard to remove them", the report reads. Those considering tattoos should be sure immunizations are up to date, the AAP reports, and that they are not on any immunity-comprising medications. Of those, 12 require a parent to be present when a minor is being tattooed.