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He completed his pathology residency training at the University of Michigan and a fellowship in the Urological and Kidney Diseases at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.Before moving to UTSW, he was a professor of pathology and urology and the Director of Surgical Pathology at New York University in New York City.One early study among high school students from 8 states found that 10% had tattoos, and 55% expressed interest in tattooing.

This first clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics on tattooing, piercing, and scarification discusses the history of these methods of body modification, educates the reader on methods used, reports on trends in associated adolescent and young adult risk behaviors, differentiates between nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and body modifications, and educates the reader about how to anticipate and prevent potential medical complications.

The Pew Research Center reports that in 2010, 38% of 18 to 29 year olds had at least 1 tattoo, and 23% had piercings in locations other than an earlobe.

Scarification is the practice of intentionally irritating the skin to cause a permanent pattern of scar tissue; data are not currently available on the prevalence of scarification in the United States.

Although interest in body modification has increased recently, history teaches us that body modifications are not new.

Archeologists have found evidence of tattoos, piercings, and scarification as far back as 2000 BC, when they were largely used as a form of art or to identify group membership, such as a religious group or tribe.

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