Tattoos Are A Source of MRSA Infection Too

The allure of getting all inked up is ever present as permanent tats are flaunted on the arms of bikers and sailors to that of yogi masters and sorority girls. However, the idea of a painful, oozing, serious, and even sometimes fatal skin infection is not. It is possible to sustain a MRSA infection after getting a tattoo. Even though it is rare, infection is possible when there is a break in the actual skin –Streptococcus and Staphylococcus are the two types of bacteria that can cause skin infections.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), there have been 44 cases reported thus far that show a correlation between MRSA infections and tattoos. This data was taken from 2004 and 2005, and it is likely there are even more cases that have gone unreported. The cases that were examined showed that the tattoos had been done by 13 different tatoo artists across the U.S that lacked standard sterilization technique. Just about every single person who sustained a MRSA infection was healthy and did not possess any risk factors that would make them attractive candidates for MRSA infection.

Just about anyone who gets a tattoo is at risk for contracting an infection, this is even more so when dealing with dangerous superbugs such as MRSA. MRSA is able to colonize the body of a carrier while showing no signs of poor health. In many cases, the carrier may not be aware that they have spread the bacteria through skin to skin contact, especially when it involves the surface of skin being broken.

Impending doom of a MRSA infection and convinced notions of acquiring MRSA should not deter edgy people from getting that exotic butterfly on their shoulder. The trick is to be smart about the situation – ensure that a specific tattoo artist follows the set of universal precautions outlined by the CDC to mitigate the risk of infection. There are specific guidelines that artists are legally obligated to follow, these include activities such as using gloves, disinfecting surfaces, and general cross-contamination prevention. For a client to visit a workspace of an artist where the guidelines are followed accurately, the chances of acquiring an infection has diminished a notable amount.

Even so, MRSA infections can occur anywhere whether it’s in a tattoo parlor, the E.R., getting a piercing, or outside playing rugby. The important point is to be informed and be aware of the risk. Here is the official CDC web site where the guidelines can be found for those who are still hell bent on getting that monarch http://www.cdc.gov/.

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