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While the idea of a penis tattoo may cause most men to physically cringe, there are some willing to brave the needle on their nether regions. While the process of a penile tattoo is no different than getting one on any other body part, there are potentially serious risks involved. So while it is always a good idea to “think before you ink,” this mantra may be especially true in this scenario. In any case, men considering a penis tattoo need to be aware of the risks and side effects, as well as the best penis care methods post-procedure.
Potential Risk of Penis Tattoos
Infection: As with any tattoo, there is a risk of infection. The actual process of tattooing involves a needle piercing the skin and injecting ink into the body. The risk for infection is, of course, exacerbated by unsanitary conditions and dirty equipment. Tattooing of any kind should always be done by a professional in a clean environment with new, sterile needles.
Skin Damage: A penis tattoo can easily lead to scarring of the delicate skin and underlying connective tissue. Think about the skin on the penis compared to, say, the arm, which is overlying a thick layer of muscle. The skin of the penis is much more fragile in nature and thus, more susceptible to scarring. Individuals who have a history of keloid scarring on other areas of their bodies – scars that are abnormally raised and spread beyond the site of the skin trauma – are well-advised not to get tattoos anywhere, especially on the penis. The act of tattooing is highly likely to cause the raised scar in those individuals, which is not something most men want on their penis.
Permanent Erection: Also known as priaprism, the condition is not as much fun as it may sound. Priaprism occurs when blood is physically unable to exit the penis, causing painful engorgement and potential nerve damage if left untreated. Documented cases of penis tattoos leading to this condition are thought to be caused by a needle penetrating the penis too deeply, creating a fistula in the penis. Not only is this a painful condition that interferes with ones sex life, it is one that likely needs surgical intervention to be treated. While not all penis tattoos lead to priaprism, it is a very real risk, particularly with a tattoo artist who is less experienced with tattooing that specific body part.
Nerve Damage: Even if a needle slip does not cause priaprism to develop, it may still lead to permanent nerve damage in the area. The penis is a veritable roadmap of nerve endings and, unfortunately, a minor slip of the wrist could leave the wearer of the tattoo with unpleasant nerve damage to go with it.
Post-Tattoo Penis Care
There are ways to prevent or reduce unpleasant side effects of a penis tattooing. Be sure to keep the entire area clean while it is healing and always maintain proper hygiene to reduce the risk of infection. Do keep a close eye out for signs of infection and seek medical attention if pain, bleeding, redness, or soreness persists beyond a reasonable period of time.
The success and safety of a tattoo originates with the tattoo artist one chooses, so be sure they are reputable and have an impeccably clean space that they are working in. Needles, of course, should never be reused in order to prevent the transmission of blood-born illnesses such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. It is also prudent to ask the artist if they have completed penile tattoos in the past, and ask to see photos of the work.
Once the penis has returned to its normal state, aside from the new artwork, men should use a penis health creme which contains vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals (most professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) as part of their daily penis care routine. A high-quality penis health creme may also reduce scarring of the area, decrease the chance of infection and help improve the health of the penis skin overall.