WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Adolescents who want to get a tattoo and body piercing should carefully consider the potential consequences and risks, according to the first recommendations on the topic published Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
The AAP recommendations, which appeared in the U.S. journal Pediatrics, said that the rate of complications from tattoo placement is unknown, but believed to be rare, and that the most serious complication is infection.
The U.S. group representing 66,000 pediatricians said that young people should make sure the salon is sterile, clean and reputable before getting a tattoo or piercing.
Meanwhile, the facility should be regulated by the state and provide clients with information on how to care for the area that has been tattooed or pierced afterward.
Also, those considering a tattoo should make sure that their immunizations are up to date and that they are not taking any medication that compromises their immunity.
The AAP reminded that scarification, which involves cutting, burning or branding words or images into the skin, is not as highly regulated as tattooing or piercing and is prohibited in some U.S. states.
"Tattooing is much more accepted than it was 15 to 20 years ago," lead author Cora Breuner, chair of the AAP Committee on Adolescence, said in a statement.
"In many states, teens have to be at least 18 to get a tattoo, but the regulations vary from place to place. When counseling teens, I tell them to do some research, and to think hard about why they want a tattoo, and where on their body they want it."
In a 2014 survey, 76 percent of 2,700 Americans interviewed said they believed that a tattoo or piercing had hurt their chances of getting a job.