“Teens, Tattoos, & Piercings” is a health education supplement for middle and upper school students. . .
. . . designed to educate them on the health and social implications of permanent body art. Tattoos and piercings are incredibly popular among teens and young adults such that having a primer that reviews the health risks and social concerns before the teens acquire body art is critical to future education, employment, and social success.
High school nurses across the nation are reporting students getting tattoos unsafely in the community, and actually piercing each other in school restrooms between classes. This health educational supplement, written by a physician with a child psychology background, is the first of its kind and provides an essential overview of this pervasive social phenomenon.
This health education supplement is 88 pages long with over 100 full color photos and illustrations. The book covers the potential health problems with tattoos and piercings, peer pressure, impact on employment and relationships, and common sense advice that needs to be both discussed and considered BEFORE getting a tattoo or piercing.
Almost half of people between 18 and 35 have tattoos, and almost one in four regrets it, according to a 2016 Harris Poll. Based on an estimate of about 60 million people in that age group, that would mean that about 7.5 million people have tattoo regret.
Teens, Tattoos, & Piercings doesn’t ‘preach’ to NOT get tattoos, but instead begins a discussion of the consequences of poorly thought through permanent body art.
There is currently no book, text, or chapter on educating teens about tattoos and piercings other than my self-published books (Tattoos: Should I or shouldn’t I? and Teens, Tattoos, & Piercings: The health and social impact of permanent body art.). The websites (ShouldITattoo.com and TeensTattoosAndPiercings.com) that support these books offer online information and currently see over 100,000 unique visits a year. The interest in this information and the commitment of both the student and parent is almost unprecedented.
The Story and Content
There are a myriad of unexpected and sometimes shocking concerns about tattoos that everyone should know. My research shows a host of medical reports of ink complications, infections, toxin effects, scaring, burns, chronic irritations, and much more. The social side discusses the motivations for getting tattoos and piercings, the changing dynamics of symbols, issues of social stratification, stigmatization, tattoo regret, and tattoo removal issues. There are concerns about the long term effects that tattoo inks can have on the immune system, diagnostic certainty, and other unforeseen health complications. Certain tattoo inks can be toxic with some containing carcinogenic compounds. Metal-based ink tattoos can react with magnetic resonance imaging studies and complicate diagnoses and interpretations. Pathologists are reporting tattoo ink in surgical biopsy specimens of lymph nodes. A recent study reported that tattoo exposure is associated with hepatitis C virus infection, even among those without traditional risk factors. Hepatitis, which is ten times more infectious than HIV, is the reason the American Red Cross restricts blood donations from individuals with newer tattoos done outside of regulated tattoo facilities.
This book is designed to offer valuable information for teens that are “thinking about” permanent body art, and parents who are interested in giving unbiased information about body art. The book purposefully avoids giving advice to NOT get body art. The intent is to cover the many considerations and have the reader make an informed decision.
The book also has a Companion Teacher’s Guide with classroom discussion guides, handouts, essay suggestions, puzzles, and more.