Tattoos are a lot of things besides trendy. They can show the world the things you care about the most, because you’ve immortalized them on your skin. They can memorialize loved ones or bear inspirational messages with you always. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take them seriously, or consider all the pros and cons before deciding whether or not to get one. Whatever your considerations for getting inked, keep in mind these 10 reasons why a tattoo might not be right for you.

If you’re female, consider the pregnancy problem

If you’re female, consider the pregnancy problem | 10 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Never Get A Tattoo | Life360 Tips

Tattoos may be permanent but they’re also changeable. As you age, the skin around the tattoo behaves differently and the ink fades or blurs a bit. But if you’re pregnant, any tattoos you have may stretch and shrink along with you. And stretch marks will mar the appearance of tattoos already on it. And it goes without saying that you should never get a tattoo while you’re pregnant, because…

There’s a risk of infection or worse

Applying a tattoo is literally stabbing your skin to put ink through underneath it. Because it punctures the skin, if the needle is not sterile it can introduce infection or diseases like Hepatitis C or even HIV. Even if the needle is properly sterilized and all precautions taken, there’s no guarantee you won’t have a reaction to the ink itself. You could have an allergic reaction, or the ink could dissipate into your system leaving you with scarred skin that would need to be inked over again. 

If you’re at risk for skin cancer

If you’re at risk for skin cancer | 10 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Never Get A Tattoo | Life360 Tips

If you’ve had it or have a family history of melanoma, there’s a small chance you could activate the cancer from the placement of tattoo ink. This only applies if you have a risk of skin cancer; it does not mean that tattoos cause cancer. But by introducing metals and dyes into your system through the ink, there’s a chance that your immune system’s reaction will lead to the formation of unhealthy cells. 

What you don’t know about your artist and their work

The sad thing is that unless you research your artist well you may end up with a terrible tattoo. The internet is full of pictures of poorly executed art and it’s mostly because of the inexperience of the artist. No matter how cool their sample art looks on the wall, you don’t know if they actually drew them. And drawing on paper and tattooing on skin are not the same. And of course, there is no erasing tattoos from skin, at least not to the point of looking new again. Because…

Tattoo removal is not easy

Tattoo removal is not easy | 10 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Never Get A Tattoo | Life360 Tips

There are only four real choices when it comes to an unwanted tattoo: you can cover it up with makeup, you can have a coverup tattoo placed over it, or you can go the laser surgery route. Tattoo removal is not like a giant eraser, however; it will lighten the ink but it will never fully destroy all the ink particles in your skin. The fourth choice is surgical removal, which is the most extreme choice and should be the absolute last resort.