More and more people in this day and age are opting for a medical alert tattoo rather than for getting a medical jewelery item of some kind. If this is something that you have decided that you want to do, then there are a number of important considerations to take into account. This article is here to point out the things that are in favor of getting medical tattoos as well as the several disadvantages to getting a medical tattoo over an item of medical alert jewelery. A tattoo is something permanent, so you want to be sure to make this decision carefully.
There are a number of advantages to getting a medical alert tattoo that people do not seem to be aware of. Although medical alert jewelery is still more popular there are a lot more people who are going the route of a medical tattoo instead. That’s because of the following advantages:
- Although there is some dispute about this, a medical alert tattoo can often be more noticeable than other forms of identification, especially when it is bright and displayed on an obvious place somewhere about your body. If the medical alert tattoo stands out then this will decrease the amount of time that an emergency responder will spend looking for a an item of medical jewelery and may give you the crucial seconds you need to survive whatever medical situation you are in. An obvious medical tattoo may not be attractive, but it will go a long way in helping to save your life.
- Another very important aspect of getting a medical alert tattoo over an item of jewelery is that a medical tattoo is permanent. This means that you can’t lose it or forget to put it on in the morning. The information contained in the tattoo will not fade and become unreadable. Likewise it cannot become broken (although if the skin is damaged there is a chance that the tattoo may become less than useful to you). In the long run it is a more durable option if you happen to have a permanent illness.
- If you like to wear a lot of jewelery as a matter of course a medical alert bracelet or pedant may get lost among everything else and not be found in time my the emergency responders. However a tattoo, especially if you have no other tattoos on your body or in the same area where you have placed the medical alert tattoo, can stand out a whole lot better than a bracelet increasing the chances of your condition being noticed and dealt with appropriately by the relevant people. The brighter and more eye-catching your tattoo is, the better your chances of survival are.These are some great advantages to keep in mind and there are many people who feel that they are more comfortable with a tattoo that they will not have to worry about. Not everyone feels that this is the best option, but luckily there are other choices available.
Choosing a Medical Alert Tattoo
If you have made the final decision to get a medical alert tattoo then there are a few things that you should keep in mind when deciding on what kind of medical tattoo you are going to settle with in the long run.
Firstly you need to keep in mind the nature of your illness. The medical alert tattoo is supposed to replace a medical alert bracelet or wrist band so should therefore contain all of the necessary information about your illness that an emergency responder will need to know if they are to be expected to help you in an appropriate manner. This is also a relevant factor in helping you make the decision to get the tattoo in the first place. You need to consider:
- Health risks: If, for example, you are diabetic then getting a tattoo can be highly risky. Needless to say hemophiliacs should steer clear of anything involving needles. Even if you have an illness that has no obvious health risks in terms of tattoos it is still best to talk to your doctor about the option.
- Duration of illness: If you have an illness that is not permanent then you definitely do not want to get a permanent tattoo that you will have to live with for the rest of your life.
Getting a tattoo always comes with the risk of getting infection or other diseases, especially if you already have a condition of some kind that could be worsened in some way by the illnesses that are associated with getting a medical tattoo. As a result it is always best to consult with your doctor first about these risks and see what he or she has to say on the matter of getting a medical alert tattoo.
When you get a medical alert tattoo you need to make sure that it is in a good location. The two best locations are:
- The neck
- The wrist
This is because conventional medical alert jewelery is worn in these places, which is where the medical response team are going to look first when they respond to your medical emergency. Unless the medical team have some way of knowing that you have a medical alert tattoo on your ankle or your shoulder they will have no reason to look for it. The important thing is to make it obvious.
Note that even when a medical alert tattoo is placed in one of these ‘obvious’ spots, medical responders still often overlook it as they are not accustomed to medical information being displayed in this form. This is likely to change as medical alert tattoos become more popular.
The medical alert tattoo should be of a good size. It needs to catch the attention of the medical responder. This means that you should consider using a symbol that is related to the medical field and that will be an obvious sign that you have a medical tattoo. This goes for the colors as well. If the tattoo is in black it is less likely to be noticed, so you want it to be as brightly colored as possible in order to grab attention. Remember that you are not designing this tattoo for it to look good. You are specifically having this tattoo made in order to inform people of a medical condition that you have. It is also generally suggested that you include some writing in your tattoo, at the very least the name of the illness or allergy that you have.
You also want to have the medical alert tattoo in an area that is free of other tattoos. This will make your medical tattoo stand out more. If it is surrounded by a number of other tattoos it is not likely to be noticed at all. If you already have a lot of tattoos on your neck or lower arms you may want to look into other options instead.
When choosing a tattoo artist to do your medical alert tattoo you need to make sure that:
- The tattoo artist and his parlor are accredited
- That their equipment is well sterilized
- That they have done medical tattoos in the past and therefore can appreciate the need for accuracy.
This is true for any tattoo that you may get, but if you have an illness then the cleanliness and quality of the tattoo parlor can be of added importance for you.
There may be some necessary medical tests that someone with your condition may need to undergo before getting a medical alert tattoo. Find out what these are and be sure, for your own safety, to get them done first.
Avoid getting your medical tattoo in the following places:
- The areas of your body where you need to have injections or where drips are commonly used
- Areas of your body that have poor circulation
- Areas of your body that are sensitive
There is a strict aftercare procedure for people getting tattoos to go through once the tattoo has been completed. This is something that is important for anyone getting a tattoo, but it is especially important if you already have a disease and are getting a medical tattoo. These procedures include things like checking for hepatitis and keeping the medical alert tattoo clean to avoid any unnecessary and harmful infections.
Of course it goes without saying that there are a number of disadvantages that people love to cite when it comes to getting a medical alert tattoo. When looking through these disadvantages remember that they are very important to keep in mind. But you should also remember that other forms of medical alert identification also come with their drawbacks and disadvantages so it will be up to you to weigh all of the issues that each option raises and see which the best is for you in the long run. Here are the three most commonly cited disadvantages of getting a medical tattoo:
- A medical alert tattoo is permanent: This was also cited as an advantage earlier on because of the durability of a medical tattoo over other forms of medical alert identification, but you need to remember that this means that you will be stuck with the tattoo for life. Remember that when you get a medical alert tattoo you are choosing it for functionality, not for style, so in the end it is likely to be quite an ugly tattoo to have. If you have an illness or disease that is not permanent you do not want to get a permanent tattoo to identify it with.
- The medical alert tattoo may be overlooked: Emergency response teams are not taught to look for tattoos. They always look first for jewellery and they are only likely to notice your tattoo if it really stands out. However there are a number of response professionals out there that overlook jewellery as well so this is a risk that may run with getting any form of medical identification. Like mentioned earlier you should be fine provided that you ensure that the tattoo really stands out and is noticeable.
- There is a limited amount of information you can put on a medical alert tattoo: A stainless steel medical alert bracelet can have a number of things carved on it about your illness and can even include contact information for your family as well as your identity. A medical alert tattoo is likely to only go as far as informing responders of what your illness is. There is not a lot of writing that can be put on a tattoo and even if you include more than just your illness it is unlikely that you will be able to provide the comprehensive information found on a bracelet.
These are the most commonly cited disadvantages of tattoos, but it is also important to remember the medical complications that may arise as well as the fact that tattoos are not for everyone. If you are even slightly uncertain about getting a medical alert tattoo you should definitely avoid making such a permanent commitment. Getting other forms of medical alert accessories may be a better option for most people. If you are comfortable with tattoos, then great, but remember that if you have a lot of other tattoos your medical alert tattoo may go unnoticed by everyone and in the long run serve no purpose at all. This is, basically, a decision that you need to make very carefully.
Now that you have read through all of this information in this article you should feel far better equipped in making your decision regarding whether or not a medical alert tattoo is the best route for you. There are other options out there, but there are also a number of good reasons to get a medical tattoo. Just makes sure that you are choosing this option for the right reasons, and that you will be happy with your decision in the long run because tattoos are permanent. And do not forget to consult your doctor first.