Adolescent and Teenage Piercings and Tattoos
Tattoos and piercings have become mainstream in today’s culture and society. What used to be an arsenal of threatening warnings from parents about not being able to secure a job, find a romantic partner, or fit into society at large has fallen wayside. Visible tattoos and some piercings are widely accepted in the workplace and is commonplace in social cultures. Tattoos and piercings used to be signs of a counter culture, associated with drug and alcohol abuse. Adolescent and teenagers who seek out piercings and tattoos might be doing so as a result of their peer group with whom they use drugs and alcohol. It isn’t uncommon for adolescents and teenagers to seek out these kinds of skin modifications after treatment as well- markers of their individuality, and permanent reminders of their struggles as well as their accomplishments.
Preparing for safe piercings and/or tattoos
- Make sure the parlor or shoppe is licensed and has received the most recent passing grade for health inspections
- Check the premises for sanitary conditions and ask what their cleanliness practices are, like: boxes of gloves, use of new gloves, brand new needles and equipment being used for each procedure, and brand new ink
- Double check personal health records to ensure that shots are up to date for immunizations like tetanus
- If a child has a compromised immune system, consult a doctor together
The legalities of tattoos and piercings for minors
Each state has a different set of rules in regards to piercings and tattoos for minors. Under the age of 18 is considered an illegal status for most states, though some states do have compromises- for example, written consent from a parent.
How to talk about tattoos and piercings
Most often, the conversation regarding tattoos and piercings is one of authoritative emphasis and finality: “No, and that’s it.” Unfortunately, at the age of 18, a child is allowed to make whatever decisions they wish in regard to their body, which could include rebellious actions based on years of being told “No, and that’s it”. Thanks to the internet, there is a wealth of information available about the many health risks associated with piercings and tattoos, as well as social considerations. Empowering a child to make their own decisions includes encouraging them to discover their own information, develop their own education, and choose for themselves.
Risks of tattoos and piercings
- Skin infections
- Hepatitis C
- Blood-borne diseases
- Damaged blood vessels
- Blood clots
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center is a private residential treatment program in Mississippi, serving adolescent and teenage boys with foundation building, life-cleansing programming for recovery. If addiction has found its way into the life your loved child, call us today for information on our clinical and academic support: 662-598-4214