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MRI Machines Vs. Your Tattoo… Who Will Win?

30 million people get MRI’s every year.  Before going into an MRI machine the technician will tell you to take off anything metal: all jewelry, underwire, piercings, clips, etc.  The technician will also ask you if you have any metal or tattoos in/on your body. These steps are safety protocols to ensure the patient is safe during the MRI procedure.  

         Were you aware that tattoos can be a potential danger to MRI patients?.

It has been reported that tattoo patients have experienced a burning sensation during an MRI procedure. When this happens the technicians need to stop the MRI immediately. Researchers have found that an ingredient in some tattoo pigments is metallic iron oxide. What is the one thing you cannot wear in an MRI machine? You guessed it! METAL!! This compound can indirectly create an electric current that increases the temperature of your skin causing you to burn.

Even though it is difficult to know what type of ink your tattoo artist is using, it is important to try and get this information. The information is not always readily available because the ink is not FDA approved. Talk to your doctor and the MRI technician before getting an MRI to inform them of your situation.

Doctors and researchers are looking for ways to prevent the burning. Until then, here i some advice:  

-Inform your doctors and technicians about your tattoo

-Ask your artist which ink he/she uses

-Be cautious

We do not advise you to avoid your MRI. Your doctor knows what is best for you.

If you have any further questions feel free to email us at jl@storiesoftheink.com

Yours, Zoe

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