FDA warns that not all tattoo inks are the same

By Jennifer Pilgrim,

Although there are common health risks associated with getting a tattoo, such as irritation of the skin and permanent scarring, the FDA is now warning that there may be new risks associated with getting a tattoo, including the quality of the ink.

The Associated Press reports that the Food and Drug Administration is warning tattoo parlors and customers alike to double check the ink being used before starting a tattoo, especially if it is an at-home kit. It is possible to get an infection from a tattoo in even the most sterile environments, but the skin infections that have arisen lately from tainted ink have increased.

In July, White and Blue Lion Inc. recalled their in-home tattoo kits for sealed bottles that had bacterial contamination within the ink, reports Maine News. An infection called sepsis can occur if the bacteria from the ink seeps into the bloodstream. Sepsis can bring sweating and a fever, which are the main symptoms, and those with pre-existing heart conditions are at a greater risk to develop the infection.

It is recommended that only well-known, name-brand tattoo ink be used when getting a tattoo, and that the customer make sure that the artist is following safe practices and has open communication with any concerns the customer may have.

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