Think Before You Ink: Tattoo and Us

November 22, 2016

I'm sure most of us know what is tattoo. Or at least, know how tattoo looks like. It maybe not common in our society (at least people around me) as it is not allowed in Islam (Sunni). But, I do believe the number keeps increasing nowadays.

Maybe due to factors people want to look cool in front of others or they want some significant identity on their skin. Some may find it difficult to cope with life after few stress-triggering incidents - so, they seek something like the pain that can make them ignore their problem.

What is tattoo actually?

It is said to be an art, the proper one will be made by professionals. Kinda pricey, depends on the styles and professional skills. In this blog post, I am not talking about tattoo stickers, yea. What I want to say that, the real tattoo is about permanent markings on the skin - made using needles and ink.

How tattoo is being done?

By inserting ink to a skin layer - dermis.

Fast forward the video to 3:15

My experience with tattoo. 

No, I don't have tattoo on my body. It looks totally painful, even for me to see.

I met a patient few days ago with tattoos all over his body. Even though patient like this may come with problems other than skin problems like muscle pain, chronic stomach ache, long term diarrhea, chest pain....etc, I've been told that medics need to ask more information regarding the tattoos as well. For example, when did the patient get it, what was the reason, where did he/she go to get the tattoo.


Skin with tattoo can be a site for infection. And the instruments used to make tattoo as well. Here, people are free to have tattoo (even though some people may find it worrisome to watch the person with tattoos). Just, they are highly recommended to go to the best professional who provide this service. Make sure all needles used are sterile, and the ink does not have side effects to the skin.

Why you need to think twice (or even thousand times) before getting a tattoo?

1. For Muslim Sunni, it is prohibited.
**sorry, I don't have the English version of these.
  • At-Tabrani menyatakan yang bermaksud, "Rasulullah SAW melaknat perempuan yang mentatu dan minta ditatu, serta yang mengikir gigi dan yang minta dikikir giginya" - reference Fiqh Medik by Dr. Zaharuddin Abd Rahman

If we refer to Mufti Pahang's website, we can find another hadith that is against tattoo.
  • "Daripada Ibnu Umar R.Anhuma, sesungguhnya Rasulullah S.A.W bersabda “ Allah melaknat perempuan yang menyambung rambut dan minta disambungkan rambutnya, perempuan yang membuat tatu dan yang meminta dibuat tatu.” (Riwayat al-Bukhari)

2. It is painful.

Maybe painless for some people, but I met so many people who are scared to needles. The main reason is the pain. So, why people need to choose to be in pain?

3. Risk of infection.

The ink used in tattoo usually is certified, but it is the problem with the conditions when the tattoo is being done.
  • "When you are injecting a substance into the skin, you risk infection," - WebMD
The effects could be hepatitis (inflammation of liver - most common), Staphylococcus infection or warts. When the skin is punctured, it leads to bleeding - so, more blood-borne infections.

4. Tattoo removal process is crazy. 

Can tattoo be removed?

Well, I already answer this question in just few lines above.

Yes, it can be removed, but the procedure is very expensive, time-consuming, painful. There is a blog post on how tattoo is removed by Dr. Azwan, maybe you can check it out for more details. I can conclude this person may need to undergo surgery or laser treatment.

In this video, you will understand why tattoo is permanent but eventually fade away a little.


p/s - this post is not to encourage you to get tattoos okay? I just wanna share general ideas what tattoos are all about. And for medics like me, this is important as well at least to know something. 

HK, Czech

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