Medical Tattoos: What Exactly Are They Used For?

medical tattoos

Tattoos are not just for cosmetic reasons. Below are some of the common questions we get asked about medical tattoos:

What are medical tattoos?

Medical tattoos are simply a tattoo that serves a dual purpose. One for medical reasons and one for cosmetic reasons.

What are medical tattoos used for?

Medical tattoos are used in place of alert bracelets for many patients with serious medical conditions. Wearing a bracelet is not always comfortable and having a medical tattoo is an easy set it and forget way to make sure you never are without your bracelet.

In some breast cancer treatments involving radiation tattoos are used as guides for where the radiation needs to be administered. This is essential to prevent the markings from coming off between treatments.

After mastectomy breast surgery areolas can be drawn for instance to restore the look of the existing breast. Also, tattoo artists can do shading to help fix skin pigment issues that are involved with the surgery.

Many types of scars are also able to be covered up with a medical tattoo. In today’s world there are a lot uses for tattoos. Over the last decade we continue to see more ways that tattoos are used to make people feel better.  Sometimes when life gives us lemons we turn them into beautiful tattoos.

If you want to learn how to be a top notch medical tattoo artist the first step is learning how to work your tattoo machine. At Florida Tattoo Academy we will lay the foundation for you to become the best tattoo artist you can be. An artist that not only makes a good living but makes their clients feel good.

What type of ink is used for medical tattoos?

There are many types of ink that can be used for medical tattooing depending on the application.  Often for medical bracelets and many of the restoration work most clients just up to go with their own choice of colors and will either choose organic or traditional inks.

Traditional inks use the following to make the colors:

  • Mercury for red
  • Lead for yellow, green or white
  • Cadmium for red, orange or yellow
  • Nickel for black
  • Zinc for yellow or white
  • Chromium for green
  • Cobalt for blue
  • Aluminum for green or violet
  • Titanium for white
  • Copper for blue or green
  • Iron for brown, red or black
  • Barium for white

For the markers that are tattooed on for medical reasons during radiation using a medical grade tattoo ink. This is mostly just to make sure it is intact for the radiation work.  The kit will also come with different colors to identify different treatment spots and intensity.

How do you become a medical tattooist?

The first step to becoming a medical tattoo artist is to get your tattoo education. This can be done through either a tattoo apprenticeship or working with a state licensed tattoo school like the Florida Tattoo Academy. 

Once you have your license you will either work directly with a doctor or simply run your own business promoting medical tattoos. It is a very niche business and will provide a great service to your community.  Many medical tattooist also do other kinds of tattoos as well so you do not have to limit yourself.