While it is not as common as it once was to get hepatitis from a tattoo, it's important to be able to recognize hepatitis symptoms if you do develop them.
Hepatitis and Tattoos
If you're worried you may have hepatitis symptoms, see a doctor right away. According to the Center for Disease Control, hepatitis can be very dangerous. About 1 to 5% of people with hepatitis will die from liver failure. Chronic infections can also lead to cancer. Your doctor will examine your eyes and skin, and check for abdominal swelling or an enlarged liver. Hepatitis symptoms can mimic other diseases, so a blood test is needed to confirm infection. Treatment will depend on the type of hepatitis and the severity of infection. The body can usually fight off Hepatitis B, so treatment isn't usually offered for new infections. In people who aren't able to fight off the virus, it becomes a lifelong problem. There are medicines to help control Hepatitis B and C, but there is no cure.
Protection Against Hepatitis B
There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C, but Hepatitis B can be prevented with a three-dose vaccine. If you plan on getting a tattoo, ask your doctor if the vaccine might be a good idea.
Being vaccinated is no excuse for getting dangerous tattoos, though. Always make sure that the shop you go to is clean, that proper sterilization equipment is used, and that your tattoo artist takes precautions to prevent transmitting hepatitis or other infections.