The process of choosing what to have tattooed on your body is, generally, one with significance. This is a permanent body modification that will follow you through the rest of your life (and beyond!).

One type of tattoo that is more popular than you might think is medical tattooing. There are a range of medical tattoos that pre- and post- patients have had inked into their skin—the options can be limitless.

-Cancer Tattooing-

When a patient with cancer undergoes certain treatments, a doctor may have tattoos placed on their skin in the locations where the treatments are to be done. For example, patients undergoing radiation treatment are tattooed with marks on the area that is the target of treatment, allowing the doctors to easily find the spot and avoid zapping the surrounding healthy tissue.

-Medical Alerts-

Most people know about the standard medical alert bracelets—there are ones that state allergies, diabetes, and DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) requests. But medical alert tattoos are becoming much more popular. Some are simple, a tattoo of the words ‘DO NOT RESUSCITATE’ directly over the heart in order to alert paramedics and doctors of the patient’s wishes. Others can be more elaborate and even artistic—someone may choose to have their wrist tattooed with a caduceus and their allergy listed underneath -Post-Surgery Tattoos-

Those who have experienced major surgery, such as single and double mastectomies from breast cancer, can choose to have tattoos placed over the area to help beautify something that may otherwise bring them emotional pain.

This is extremely popular among amputees who have lost legs, toes, arms, etc. to accidents or medical issues. A shark bite survivor may choose to have their remaining arm tattooed with the face of a shark, a comical way to bring light to an otherwise dark situation.

-Tattoos for Everyone-

Medical tattoos make the inked world accessible to a large range of people. Whatever you choose to tattoo, it should be significant for you. A medical alert tattoo bracelet or a tattoo to cover your double-mastectomy is a great way to get inked with something that is meaningful and will never feel improper.