Are Tattoo Inks Dangerous?
In the past, tattoo inks contained many undesirable ingredients such as heavy metals, carbon, and salts; which, if exposed in large enough amounts, can cause kidney problems, heart problems, lung disease, abdominal pain, confusion, or cancer. Due to the harmful substances once found in tattoo inks, issues you wouldn't think to attribute to your tattoos, could be the cause. Fortunately, inks used by Professional Tattoo Artists have gone through strict testing and are now safer than ever. You can find the most well recognized Tattoo Inks here. These include Intenze, Eternal, Fusion, Millenium Moms, Bloodline, Sacred, Kuro Sumi, and many others.
While many of the health hazards once associated with tattoo inks are no longer an issue if you do your homework about the Ink and Tattoo Artist you choose, there are minor issues that may pop up. The most common reactions to tattoo pigments are uncomfortable allergic symptoms such as swelling, itching, and granulomas, which can all occur long after the tattoo was performed. I have tattoos that are five to seven years old, and they sometimes raise up and become itchy. Red and yellow pigments cause the most problems. The reason for this is many inks with those pigments are plastic based, with azo dyes which can cause an allergic reaction.
Another thing to consider if you are an animal lover or a vegan, is many black pigments contain charcoal sourced from animal bone, and most inks on the market are glycerin based which generally comes from animal fat. There are vegan and organic inks available. You can ask your tattoo artist what type of ink they use, and if it is not vegan, some will be willing to order a different brand to use for your tattoo.
A popular vegan brand is Intenze Tattoo Ink, which can be purchased through Painful Pleasures. Intenze ink is very bright and has a high pigment load, making the color more vibrant, and longer lasting. Intenze is organic and completely vegan friendly. Another great brand is Eternal ink, which is vegan and organic as well and can be found here. Organic pigments allow the tattoo to heal faster, and to retain its color better. The ingredients are clean and simple: organic powders, distilled water, witch hazel, and alcohol.
What to Consider When Planning Your Tattoo
When planning your tattoo, it's important to take into consideration your skin type, and the tattoo's placement on your body. Some people have very delicate or sensitive skin, and if you have problems like eczema or psoriasis, getting a tattoo in your problem areas can make it worse. Acne or other skin conditions can cause permanent scarring to the tattoo. It's extremely important to keep your tattoo out of the sun, or at least cover it with a high SPF sunblock when exposed. You can purchase tattoo sunblock here, Tattoo Goo Color Guard Stick (SPF 30). The sun is a tattoos worst enemy, and will severely damage the color. Protect your investment, and your skin! To protect yourself from skin cancer, it's best not to cover moles with a tattoo so that you can tell if there have been any suspicious changes to the mole's appearance. If this is your first tattoo and you are really worried about sensitive skin, you can talk to a dermatologist, or you can see if your prospective tattoo artist would be willing to do a small test line on an inconspicuous area of your body to make sure you have no allergic reactions.
Another important subject is of course the tattoo shop itself.
To avoid any issues, the most important thing is to go to a clean, and professional tattoo studio. You should feel comfortable, and be able to tell that the shop is well kept, clean, and sterile. Only get your work done by reputable and experienced artists. Look at their portfolios, and talk to them. Most tattoo artists have many tattoos themselves and are well versed and knowledgeable when it comes to their inks and supplies, so feel free to ask questions. You can learn more about choosing a tattoo artist here.
Getting quality tattoos is well worth the cost, and will prevent many problems down the line, including tattoo removal.
Do your research, and feel confident that your skin and ink will last the test of time.