Tattoos and Children- Dr. Sue Primmer (Pedcast)


Welcome to another edition of, the blog dedicated to children and parents. I’m Dr. Paul Smolen, you know, Doc Smo and I am grateful and honored to have as my guest today Dr. Susan Primmer, board certified dermatologist and pediatrician and a great friend. She has loads of experience and always brings some great insights on whatever subject we are discussing. Today we are going to talk about tattoos and children from a dermatologists perspective.  Welcome Dr. Primmer.

1.  Question -Why do teens and young adults get tattoos from our experience?

Increase uniqueness

Draw attention

Highlight body parts

Increase sex appeal

 2.  Question- Laws in North Carolina and New Jersey with regards to parental consent.

NC-Illegal under 18 years consent or not.

NJ- Parental consent under 18 years

California- Illegal to “offer” or perform to tattoos under 18 years of age.

3.  Question -What are the different types of tattooing and what goes on in the skin.

Injected into dermis

Different inks

Not really removing- making particles smaller. Changes the way your eye sees it.

4. Question- Are complications common?What kind of problems do you see?

Actually not many problems.

Remorse the big problem

Infected ink outbreak last year with mycoplasma species

Blood borne diseases

Allergic reactions- Henna


5. Question- Some anecdotes would be good.  I can talk about a child who had an allergic reaction to henna and the “scar” tatoos I used to see kids give themselves in elementary school.

Patty to Party story…. Chinese symbol

6. Top reasons not to get a tatoo and how parents can talk to their kids about this subject.

Melanoma detection

Many cannot be removed

After removal skin texture never the same

Expensive-removable ink $$

Relationships sometimes don’t work out

Body parts age/ Tattoos age smudge

Feelings change

Standing out may not be what one wants


Thanks Dr. Sue Primmer once again for sharing her expertise.  More great talks by Dr. Primmer, check out Or find her on iTunes.