Decoding Tattoo Myths: Health, Pain, and Misconceptions Unveiled


Tattooing is a technical gesture using tools and colour pigments to mark the body. To some, tattoos have high magnitudes or traits; to others, it could be taboo or a myth. There are a myriad of myths surrounding tattoos, from health concerns like skin cancer and HIV transmission to misconceptions about lifestyle choices, restrictions in donating blood and pain levels. In this article, we will delve into some of the myths prevalent and debunk them.

Myths Related To Tattoos:

Lokesh Verma, who is the Founder of Devil’z Tattooz (Delhi NCR & Luxembourg), listed the following:

Myth 1: Tattoos always hurt a lot

While tattoos involve some discomfort, pain tolerance varies among individuals. Many people find the sensation more bearable than expected, especially in less sensitive areas.

Myth 2: Tattoos are impossible to remove

While complete removal can be challenging, advancements in laser technology make tattoo removal increasingly effective. However, complete removal depends on ink colour, skin type, and tattoo size.

Myth 3: Tattoos are unprofessional

Society’s perception of tattoos in the workplace is evolving. Many industries embrace individuality, and tattoos are becoming more widely accepted. However, acceptance varies by profession and company culture.

Myth 4: All tattoos fade and blur over time

Quality ink and proper aftercare contribute to a tattoo’s longevity. While some fading is natural, well-maintained tattoos can remain vibrant for years. Sun protection and moisturising are crucial for preserving tattoo quality.

Myth 5: Tattoos are addictive:

While some people develop a passion for tattoos and choose to get multiple, labelling it as an addiction oversimplifies the personal and often meaningful reasons behind someone’s decision to get tattooed. It’s a personal choice influenced by various factors.

In addition to him, Vikas Malani, the Founder of Bodycanvas (Mumbai/London), also added a few more misconceptions people have in mind before getting tattooed.

Myth 6: Tattoos lead to HIV

There are rumours about people getting HIV through tattooing, but the fact is that when HIV comes in contact with the air, it dies immediately, leaving no scope for HIV infection.

Myth 7: Tattoos are outlaw

People who have tattoos are sometimes considered anti-social and rebellious.

Myth 8: Once tattooed, you can’t donate blood

We cannot donate blood until the first three months; however, you can donate blood once the three months are over.

Myth 9: Tattoos cause skin allergy and blood poisoning

People have a mindset that getting a tattoo will give you skin allergies. A few points to consider are choosing the right artist and checking the studio’s hygiene factors.

Lastly, Micky Malani, an International/London-based tattoo artist, said, “There is a new wave of myths emerging from both tattoo artists and clients, particularly in social media, followers, and trends. For instance, there’s a misconception that an artist’s skill correlates with their Instagram followers. Truthfully, some exceptional artists shy away from trends and marketing yet excel far beyond those with massive followings.”

“With global access to social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, there’s a misconception that replicating tattoos seen online is straightforward. However, many fail to recognise that these designs might be tailored for specific skin tones and textures. Additionally, many images are often altered through Photoshop to appear more appealing, potentially misleading those seeking similar tattoos,” he added.

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