By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Tattoos and piercings have become quite popular with teens and young adults, and now for the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is weighing in, hoping to reduce the risk of infection and complication.

Pediatricians say it’s important to choose a salon that is sterile and regulated by the state.  Make sure your immunizations are up to date, and ask how to care for your tattoos or piercings at home.

And it’s important to know the law.  The age limit for body piercings and tattooing varies by state.  Some states prohibit any tattooing under the age of 18 while some allow tattooing and body piercing under 18 with parental consent.

Doctors want teens to think long and hard about getting tattoos or body piercings and understand that visible body art could have a big impact on their futures.  In a recent survey, 76% of people interviewed believed that a tattoo or piercing hurt their chances of getting a job.

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