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Teen Tattoos & Body Piercing

By: Aurelia Category: Parenting A Teen

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Teen tattoos and teen body piercing are becoming more common. Learn more about this body decor.Body Decor such as Piercing or Tattooing Should Not be considered a Sign of Deviant Behavior

Many cultures have used tattooing and body piercing as a form of body art and adornment. Body decor such as piercing or tattooing should not be considered a sign of psychiatric disturbance or deviant behavior.

Although there are many that associate the practice of teen tattoos and body piercing with deviancy, body piercing and tattooing have actually been around for thousands of years.

Teens and Body Art

There is a possibility that tattooing and body piercing however, may be associated with risk taking behaviors in young adults and adolescents. It is particularly indicative of other high-risk behaviors in adolescents as opposed to college aged students. Teen Tattooing for example was associated with high risk behaviors such as sexual intercourse, smoking, marijuana use and fighting as well as truancy in a survey of adolescents. Tattooing and body piercing are also more likely to be associated with behavioral eating disorder, gateway drug use and sexual activity in teens.

Studies suggest that approximately 10 percent of teenagers have tattoos. Surveys of high school and college students suggest that 25 to 35 percent have body piercings. Of those between the ages of 13 to 25 years of age up to 25 percent will also have tattoos.

Risks Associated with Body Art

There are risks associated with both tattooing and body piercing. The majority of the health risks associated with tattooing and body piercing are related to infectious complications and localized skin reactions. The potential for blood borne diseases however is also present. In a study of college students with body art, 45 percent reported infection at the piercing site, and another 29 percent reported a local skin reaction. Two cases of hepatitis were also reported.

Medical complications associated with piercings may include bleeding, bacterial infection and trauma. Infection is the most common risk associated with piercing. Hepatitis B and C can also be transmitted during tattooing or body piercing if inadequately sterilized equipment is used. This is more a risk among teens who use amateur piercing or tattooing methods rather than among individuals that seek out professional care.

Approaching Your Teen

Adolescents are more likely to listen to any fears and concerns you may have about body adornment if you approach them with an open mind. Teens are more likely to tune into nonverbal cues, and if they see that these are dismissive in nature, teens may discuss body art with someone other than you or their health care provider. Often teens seek out advice from commercial tattoo or piercing artists.

Physicians should work together with patients to provide them with factual information regarding teen tattooing and teen body piercing rather than moral judgments. Teens should also be reminded that most reputable studios require that teens be 18 years of age or older, or have parental permission in order to acquire a tattoo or piercing.

What Can You do to Assist Your Teen in Learning about Teen Tattoos and Teen Piercing.

  • Encourage your teen to talk to others who have been tattooed or pierced to gauge their experience.
  • Remind teens that the effects (particularly of tattooing) are often permanent and encourage them to consider the long term consequences.
  • Encourage teens to take their time.
  • Educate your teen regarding the risks, particularly of acquiring body art in a nonprofessional atmosphere.
  • Encourage teens to fully understand the health risks.
  • Remind your teens about the costs involved in tattoo and piercing maintenance.

To gain a little more patience and whole lot more understanding of your teen, pick up your copy of Real Life Guidance to Understanding Your Teen – it’s a lifesaver for so many parents.

Get your free copy of our “Raising Successful Teens” report! Check out the upper left corner of this page.

22 Comments to “Teen Tattoos & Body Piercing”


  1. My dad had made a tattoo at 16 and now he likes his tattoo. He say, that it was so cool and today it resembles the most interesting time in his life.
    And what do you think about ear piercing? Many women, not only teens do it.

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  2. My children are no where near this stage of life, but I hope that when the time comes, they won’t feel the need to mark up their flesh like this, but instead know that they are still beautiful without body modifications.

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  3. i think this is a really cool website that youths can learn.This is so interesting and i learned alot from this site.

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  4. Another point would be helpful…. encourage your teens to get temporary tattoos instead.

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  5. Hey, thanks for this!

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  6. More people should read your blog, its great.

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  7. Great blog, and well laid out.

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  8. I love tattoos and don’t for a second regret having any of them, I’m currently getting a koi tattoo sleeve done down my left arm can’t wait to get it finished! as can only afford shortsessions at a time. My tattoo artist is extremly experienced and also very expensive but, he’s worth it! Fantastic site btw

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  9. Getting a tattoo is a significant decision. A tattoo is a permanent physique ornament so special care must be noticed to look the best tattoo store and tattoo artist. The current breed of tattoo artists is skilled, skilled and really skilled. Nonetheless, not all professional tattoo artists are good. They nonetheless need to meet many requirements earlier than you select one.

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  10. Great point about getting a temporary tattoo first!
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  11. Hello.This article was really interesting, particularly since I was browsing for thoughts on this issue last Monday.

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  13. Great article! I have a book on the topic: “Teens, Tattoos, & Piercings: The health & social impact of permanent body art.” It’s a health education supplement for 7th and 8th grade Health Education classes. Too many youths are getting amateur tattoos at tattoo parties without adequate infection control, or sensible advice on what should or shouldn’t be permanently place on the body.

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