By Stephanie Stahl


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Nearly 40 percent of millennials have at least one tattoo. Now, for the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics wants teenagers and young adults to be aware of potential health issues with tattoos and piercings.

There’s a special meaning behind each of Julia Fae’s tattoos. She got her first one when she was 16 years old.

“This ‘K’ right here, it stands for my father’s first name, Ken,” Fae said.

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While body modifications like tattoos and piercings have become widely accepted, the American Academy of Pediatrics says young people need to carefully weigh the potential consequences.

“Teens tend to overestimate the ease and ability to remove a tattoo and they underestimate the cost,” American Academy of Pediatrics spokesperson Dr. Corinn Cross said.

Dr. Cross says teens and parents need to do their homework to avoid risks like infections.

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It’s important to choose a salon that’s sterile and regulated by the state and to make sure your immunizations are up to date.

Knowing the law is also a major key, as some states prohibit teens from getting body modifications and 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,” Dr. Cross said.

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Eleven years after her initial ink, Fae has this advice for young people.

“It’s gonna be forever — not just the symbol on your body is gonna be forever — but the memories of how you got it,” she said.

The report also says 86 percent of people who have a tattoo don’t regret it.

Doctors say complications from tattoos and piercings are rare and can include infections, allergic reactions or keloids, a growth of extra scar tissue.

Stephanie Stahl