Tattoos Linked to Hard-to-Treat Bacterial Infection
A rare butِ difficult-to-treat bacterial infection thatِ usually strikes people withِ impaired immune systems isِ showing upِ forِ the firstِ time inِ healthy individuals gettingِ tattoos, theِ Centers ofِ Disease Control andِ Prevention (CDC) reported today.
Two cases ofِ skin infections caused byِ this bacterium, called Mycobacterium haemophilum, haveِ occurred inِ individuals receiving tattoos inِ the Seattle area, theِ CDC said.
Symptoms ofِ the infection include small bumps atِ the site ofِ infection, inِ addition toِ redness, pain, swelling andِ discharge, theِ researchers said.
Kay andِ colleagues wereِ asked toِ investigate a case ofِ a 44-year-old man whoِ developed a rash, thenِ small bumps onِ hisِ arm afterِ getting a tattoo thereِ inِ August 2009.
It wasn’tِ untilِ months laterِ that researchers figured outِ the man wasِ infected withِ Mycobacterium haemophilum.
Tap water wasِ usedِ toِ dilute tattoo ink, andِ may haveِ beenِ the source ofِ the bacteria, theِ CDC said.
It’s notِ clear whyِ theseِ two people developed Mycobacterium haemophilum infections evenِ though theyِ hadِ healthy immune systems, butِ it mayِ beِ because tattooing breaks theِ skin, whichِ isِ normally a barrier toِ infection, Kay said.
To avoid tattoo infections, consumers shouldِ makeِ sure theِ tattoo parlor theyِ goِ to hasِ properly trained artists, isِ clean andِ uses sterile equipment, Kay said.
People whoِ believeِ their tattoo toِ beِ infected shouldِ consult withِ theirِ doctor, sheِ said.