Contaminated inks, bad reactions lead to warning from FDA about tattoos

COLLEGE PARK, MD (WIVB) — A new health alert from the FDA may have you hesitating before you get a tattoo.

Tattoos seem more popular than ever, but federal doctors caution they carry real risks.

The head of the FDA’s Office of Cosmetics says they’re hearing more reports of people developing infections from contaminated tattoo inks and having bad reactions to the inks.

She says that if you decide to get a tattoo, you have to do some homework. Do not rush into the decision, and make sure both the tattoo parlor and the artist comply with all state and local laws. It could be worth reaching out to your city or county health department.

The FDA warns you can get infections from ink contaminated with microorganisms such as bacteria and mold. Contamination could occur either in the manufacturing process or at the tattoo parlor. One of the biggest problems is non-sterile water that is used to dilute pigments.

Aside from that, the tattoo removal process should be kept under consideration.

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