Tattoos and MRSA

Just like I would (and often do) advise no one to get elective surgery right now, I would say also that this is absolutely not the time to be getting tattoos either. And this is spoken from a tattoo loving gal who sports two of them herself. I have talked to a bunch of people over the last year who have acquired MRSA from tattoos, both in parlors and in-home. Here is a bit of what ABC News had to say today in their warning about MRSA and tattoos:

When four teenage girls in Anne Arundel County, Md., contracted a tough-to-treat bacterial skin infection last fall that landed two of them in the hospital, the county health department quickly zeroed in on the cause: their new body art.

“The common factor was … these tattoos,” says Elin Jones, a spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County Department of Health.

The girls had picked up methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — or MRSA — from a local tattoo artist working out of his basement. MRSA, which can appear as pimples or boils, grows rapidly, resists common antibiotics, and can infect the blood and bones if left untreated — not exactly a desired after-effect of having your body inked.

No kidding. Trust me on this, it is not worth it.

This entry was posted in Awareness, CA-MRSA, Maryland, MRSA. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Tattoos and MRSA

  1. sam says:

    what if u already have it how do the tattoos come out

  2. john says:

    As a tattoo artist this post makes it seems more alarming than it is. If you get tattooed in a clean professional shop you will be fine. Notice that these girls were tattooed in a basement. Also, the tattoo can heal fine. I have personal experience with a staph infection occuring throughout a new tattoo of mine, and after antibiotics the tattoo healed with VERY LITTLE damage. It is KEY to visit your doctor at the first sign of anything wrong with a new tattoo.

  3. Laura says:

    You don’t get MRSA from a tattoo. MRSA is like every other cold or bacterial infection out there. You get it from coming into contact with someone who is infected with it and it gets introduced into your body. That’s why people should practice good hand washing and when your applying ointment to your tattoo your hands should be clean. The news makes MRSA seem like this huge super bug that kills people left and right. MRSA is treatable to an extent. People who have a greater risk from MRSA are those with veery weak immune systems, old people, and small children, just like every other cold or infection.

  4. Laura says:

    THis website has great information about tattoos and MRSA http://tattoo.about.com/od/disease/a/mrsa_risks.htm

  5. Tattoists Wife says:

    I agree with Laura MRSA doesn’t usually come from the tattoo being “dirty”. Point is my husband is a tattoist and works in a shop and has had people contract MRSA after getting a tattoo. The area is an open area into the body so in turn people automatically fault the tattoist and the tattoo. Staph is on everyones skin and yes sometimes goes haywire and some come in contact with someone who is infected. Heck going to grocery store could land you MRSA if you a small cut on your finger. So please I wish that people would really research things before they instantly blame the tattoo world. Coincidences happen……the girls happen to all get tattoos from the same place and possibly could be from the tattooer, but also could just be they didnt care for the tattoo properly either!

  6. jenn clardy says:

    to laura and tattooists wife, i recieved 4 tatoos from a friend of a friends in a hotel room. trusting the cleanliness of this person mind you never experienced any skin problems in the 27 years ive been here, bout a or 2 after recieveing my tatoos i gained small pimple like itchy bumps surroundin the first tat, another week passed the same symptons surroundin my 2nd tat then the 3rd 1 and last but not least the 4th. all affected areas had to be cut lanced and treated for 3 weeks. MRSA is a skin desease not a internal bacteria as the common cold is known to be. experiencing this for myself maybe it was maybe it wasnt mt point being i was fine before i recieved my tats now i have MRSA and yes it can be fatal once it hits ur blood so please do ur homework and speak from experience not assumptions

  7. shannon says:

    ummm let me start by saying that i am a registered nurse and a tattoo artist …so i first will direct my comment to Jenn… MRSA can be found in many different areas of your body including your urine, sputum, wounds, mucous membranes and your blood… and it is not fatal when it hits your bloodstream unless it goes untreated for an extended period of time… now on the other hand people tattooing outta there homes and outta motels and basements may not be as clean as they should ..if a person contracts mrsa after getting tattooed it can mean several things and yes people love to point fingers directly at someone else but remember that a tattoo is an open wound and needs to be cared for appropriately!!

  8. paul says:

    what if the S.O.B put a hole in my arm, it almost looks like he had a brain fart and now i got an infection. never again. dumb ass mofo

  9. paul says:

    i was at the government hospital and they asked “did a pro do this’ yes they did, but the hole was free i think but the lawsuit wont be, i promise

  10. paul says:

    and soon the cocksmootch will be lucky if his shop is still open. i cant mention names or states sorry

  11. MELISSA says:

    I think you should know all the facts before doing anything to your body. You have a opened wound and should keep it clean and covered when out in public cause you don’t know what the hell people is carrying so if you get an infection its you own fault. Stop with putting the on the tattoo artist.

  12. Becca says:

    I’ve had MRSA for the past 7 years, and I didn’t get it from a tattoo. I don’t have any tattoos actually. I had broken my leg back in 2003, and I either got it from surgical equipment that wasn’t cleaned properly or gym equipment that hadn’t been cleaned. I was very active, and it is possible that those are the causes for my MRSA. I’ve had about 6 break outs from 2005-present, and every time I get medication to treat it. I have gone to the hospital 2 times, and I am still here. Tattoos are not the only way of getting MRSA, yes it is a risk, but there are a lot of risks that people take every day. I think it is unfair to blame every tattoo artist for the infection of others from a tattoo artist. Do your research, learn about your tattoo artist, talk with them before you get one, look at their history.

  13. Colleen says:

    I got my first tattoo at the age of 35. Unfortunately it was a bad experience. The tattoo turned out bad, and that is when I begun my symptoms of mrsa. So…maybe I should look up the tattoo shop and see if they are in business. I would assume not.

  14. Laura D says:

    MRSA is a skin infection that like any other infection, once it enters the blood stream you can become septic and thats when people die from infections. Jenn Clardy, you were probably already infected with MRSA befoer you got the tattoos, or what you really had were pimples. MRSA like EVERY OTHER virus/bacteria has an incubation period, and 2 hours isn’t a reasonable incubation period. I agree with Tattooist wife and Laura. You probably didn’t care for your tattoo the way you should have, your hands were probably dirty, and of course, a hotel room isn’t the bet place to be getting a tattoo.

  15. Greg H says:

    I saw this i think in this questions and answers BUT anyway I have full blown MRSA it will not go away we tryed thought it was gone 6 months later comes right back . I want to get a smaller arm and a full upper back tattoos whats the risks at getting infections from the tattoo

  16. Misty Clayton says:

    I had gotten a tattoo on my lower back at a tattoo shop and i got Mrsa and i had to have surgery done and after it healed i got another absets that ended up being mrsa also…. So just to say the least i do not think i will be getting anymore tattoos because this one incident has scared me for life… I did call the health department on the shop and have hired an attorney to sue them….

  17. Ray says:

    MRSA like any infection comes from unsanitary conditions and can be contracted both in a hospital or a tattoo parlor. The cleanliness of the shop in general, even if it is exceptionally clean, does not always mean that one will not contract an infection anymore than a clean operating room is foolproof. Most infections are caused by someone not following proper procedures or taking short cuts and if one suspects such is the case, especially in the case of those who have had multiple tats with no problems, the best course is to seek professional medical help and then weigh ones options accordingly.

  18. mandy says:

    I have a question i really want another tattoo an i had mrsa before getting my tattoo on my foot. however it ended up putting me in the hospital for almost two months. i havent had mrsa in almost two years what are the changes i will get it again if it is properly takin care of

    • Abren says:

      Chances are big and I would advise you talk to your general practitioner about this before you go for anther tattoo, I would also point out that it makes a big difference where you get you tattoo there are plenty of tattoo parlors that offer a super clean environment and sterilize their tools with a medical grade autoclave.

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