Body mods: allergies to bear in mind before changing your look

Body mods

Body mods: allergies to bear in mind before changing your look

We’re all unique. Everyone has their own personality, perspective, and way of approaching life. It’s part of the package of being human. Many of us use our appearances to highlight our uniqueness. And altering our appearance is nothing new. In fact, the oldest evidence of tattoos dates back to 3370 BC

But before you take the plunge and get that new tattoo or piercing, it’s important to be aware of the potential allergy risks…


40% of people aged 18-34 have at least one tattoo. But, despite their growing popularity, it’s possible to have an allergic reaction to tattoo ink pigment, with red ink being most common. Symptoms include red, bumpy, itchy rashes. And these can occur in as little as a few days after getting your tattoo to years later.

Thankfully, no cases of anaphylaxis due to tattoos have been recorded, but remain cautious as this doesn’t mean it can’t happen. 


Whether it’s an ear or something a bit more out there, such as a nose or eyebrow, most of us know at least one person with a piercing. And, thankfully, you can’t be inherently allergic to the act of piercing itself. But many are allergic to the materials jewellery is made of, such as nickel. 

It’s this material that will cause your problems, such as itching, redness, or skin swelling. The danger here is that affected areas will become infected, causing even more issues. So be careful what piercings you put in (and watch out as this goes for other jewellery too!)

Hair dye

If you’re thinking of dyeing your hair, it’s essential you do a patch test first. Many hair dyes contain chemicals that can lead to allergic reactions. Symptoms of a hair dye allergy include rashes, feeling faint, swollen eyelids, wheezing, and even a swollen head. And in the worst cases, these reactions can be fatal, as it can cause anaphylaxis.

Body modifications are nothing new and their popularity is only growing. It’s essential to be aware of any potential allergies before taking the plunge and potentially regretting it later.

Worried you might have an allergy? Don’t wait around. Get in touch with the London Allergy and Immunology Centre. Call us today on 02031 433 449.

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