Terry. Thanks for raising this one. As others have mentioned, a lot of the contraindication literature is based on a combination of 'expert opinion' and what is published. Most therapists (unlike medics for example) seem reluctant to report adverse outcomes (for whatever reason) so little of it gets into the public domain. We know there is an issue with LASER based therapies in tattoo areas, and I have heard - anecdotally - a story like the one you tell here with e stim, but never seen it anywhere in the literature
I have just checked through the most recent detailed consideration - published in the Canadian Journal and although tattoo not specifically identified under the E Stim section it does say the following:
"E stim should be applied only over healthy skin; therefore the intended electrode application area should be examined for lesions, signs of irritation and/or allergic reactions" (section 4.8 of the document - which is well worth reading). I KNOW that skin with a tattoo IS healthy, but it might not behave 'normally' - which could be the critical point?????
I would be interested to hear from others who have identified or experienced this issue so that we can be sure to consider it in future contraindication documentation - the more we share, the more accurate/responsive these docs will be
I am not aware of any contraindication document published in any country which currently identifies a tattoo as an issue (contraindication, precaution or danger) in the context of elec stim - maybe we should consider its inclusion???????