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Tattoo Ink Allergy and Tattoo Reactions

tattoo ink allergyBecause tattoo inks are not strictly regulated, tattoo reactions can happens. Although uncommon, tattoo ink allergy is something to consider when getting a tattoo.

The ink in tattoos is basically made up of two parts, the pigment which gives it colour and the carrier which keeps the pigment in suspension. Pigments can have various bases such as nickel, cadmium, zinc, iron, titanium, and iron oxides. The carrier, on the other hand, can contain water, ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, glycerin, and propylene glycol. Carriers also keep the ink free from bacteria and can aid tattoo application. In most skin reactions, this is caused by the pigments in the ink although a handful of people may also be sensitive to the carrier component.

Among the different colours, red is reported to give people more problems than the other pigments. Red tattoo pigments particularly those made from cinnabar or mercury sulfide can cause some form of hypersensitivity reactions in around 5 percent of the population. Ink allergy usually presents as itching, swelling, and general puffiness around the tattoo area.

Know the different components of each pigment before getting inked. If you know that you are sensitive to such ingredients, consider other options. Black pigment commonly contains iron or carbon. Brown contains ferric oxide while blue pigments are often made of cobalt. The green ink can contain chromic oxide or lead while purple can have either manganese or aluminum.

Aside from ink allergy, there are also tattoo reactions or problems that can happen. One of these is granulomas around the site. Keloids or raised areas on the skin also occur in people susceptible to overgrowth of scar tissue. If the tools used are not sterilised properly, there is also a possibility of infection. In rare cases, tattoo ink allergy can happen months or even years later. Thus, wanting to get inked does not only involve tattoo design but precautions on possible tattoo reactions as well.

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