Does your teen want a tattoo? Pediatricians have some advice

American Academy of Pediatrics releases report on medical complications of tattoos for teens
American Academy of Pediatrics releases report on medical complications of tattoos for teens

While body modifications like tattoos and piercings have become more popular and widely accepted in society in recent years, a leading group of pediatricians say young people need to carefully weigh the potential consequences first.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report today outlining the types of methods used for body modifications, potential medical complications, and how to speak to teens about these topics.

Dr. Corinn Cross, a spokesperson for the group, says adolescents — and their parents — need to do their homework before making a decision to get a tattoo or piercing.

“Teens tend to overestimate the ease and ability to remove a tattoo, and they underestimate the cost,” Cross told CBS News.

According to the report, laser removal of a tattoo can range from $49 to $300 per square inch of the treatment area.

The AAP says it's also important to choose a salon that's sterile and regulated by the state. The most serious complication from any form of body modification is infection. Reputable salons should provide clients with a list of do's and don'ts on how to care for the area that was worked on.

Before getting a tattoo, immunizations should be up to date and people should not be on any medication that would compromise the immune system.

Finally, know the law: Some states prohibit teens from getting body modifications, while others require parental consent.

“I will say that a place is willing to tattoo a child or minor without consent is not a reputable place,” Cross said.

Julia Fae, who got her first tattoo 11 years ago when she was 16, advises young people to take their time when deciding on a potential body modification.

“It's going to be forever,” she said. “Not just the symbol on your body is going to be forever but the memories of how you got it.”