Skip to main content

FDA Warns of Tattoo Dangers

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017, WebMD
Considering a tattoo? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants you to think before you ink.
America's body-art craze is not without risks, the agency says. From 2004 to 2016, it received nearly 400 reports of problems with tattoos, such as infections from contaminated tattoo inks or allergic reactions.  Potential concerns for consumers include unsafe practices and the ink itself, said Dr. Linda Katz, director of the FDA's Office of Cosmetics and Colors.
"While you can get serious infections from unhygienic practices and equipment that isn't sterile, infections can also result from ink that was contaminated with bacteria or mold," Katz said in an agency news release.
"Using non-sterile water to dilute the pigments (ingredients that add color) is a common culprit, although not the only one," she said.  Katz added there's no foolproof way to tell if the ink is safe. "An ink can be contaminated even if the container is sealed or the label says the product is sterile," she said.
Research shows that some tattoo inks contain pigments used in printer toner or in car paint. No pigments for injection into the skin for cosmetic purposes have FDA approval.
Alarming reactions
A number of reactions may occur after you get a tattoo.
Avoid do-it-yourself tattoo inks and kits. They've been linked with infections and allergic reactions, and users may not know how to control and avoid all sources of contamination.
Be forewarned that removing a tattoo is difficult, and complete removal without scarring may not be possible. 
If you do decide to get a tattoo, make sure the parlor and artist comply with state and local laws.  If an infection or other reaction develops after getting a tattoo, contact your health care provider and "notify the tattoo artist so he or she can identify the ink and avoid using it again," Katz said. She suggested asking for the brand, color and any lot or batch number of the ink or diluting agent to help determine the source of the problem and how to treat it.  In such cases, the consumer, tattoo artist or health care professional should inform the FDA and provide as much detail as possible about the ink and the reaction.
If you have tattoo regrets, the Gold Standard is using FDA approved PICO laser tattoo removal technology services such Newhope Laser Skin Care to removal your tattoos.  It's safe, efftective, and much more affordable than you thought.

You Might Also Enjoy...