Tattoo Allergies

Common Tattoos Allergies

Tattoos, a work of art which is engraved on the body with inks, have become quite popular not just among celebrities but also among the younger generation which believes that ‘If you have it, flaunt it’.

Tattoos not only help in making a style statement, they also highlight the part of the body where you get the tattoo engraved. Though it looks very attractive and bold, engraving a tattoo on your body is not bereft of risks like allergies and infections which can affect your health.
Sometimes, even those – who select a hygienic and sterile tattoo parlor, a tattoo artist who follows personal hygiene and strictly follows the after-care instructions, suffer allergies, mainly due to the chemicals present in the inks used to engrave the tattoos.

Symptoms of Tattoo Allergies:

Itching, redness of the skin, swelling, irritation and raised bumps are some of the symptoms of tattoo allergies. Pus formation in the area where the tattoo is engraved is another symptom of tattoo allergies.

Causes of Tattoo Allergies:

  1. One of the main causes of tattoo allergies is latex gloves used by the tattoo artists.
  2. Inks used to engrave the tattoos are industrial pigments which are used in writing inks and car paints. Tattoo dyes or inks, particularly red and green inks, can lead to allergic reactions like itchiness or rashes.
  3. Presence of metals like nickel, cobalt, mercury and cadmium in the inks may lead to skin allergies among people. If you are already suffering from skin problems like eczema, the problem may aggravate after you get tattoos engraved on the body.
  4. Some tattoo artists apply ‘A&D’ ointment which comprises of cod liver oil and other ingredients, to cover the tattoo when it is finished. If you have allergy to cod liver oil, you should inform the tattoo artist about it and ask him to use Vaseline instead.
  5. Henna tattoos, which are temporary tattoos, have para-phenylene diamine (PPD) which may lead to swelling and itchiness in the tattooed area. Your body may become even more hyper-sensitive to PPD and you may not be able to touch things that have been dyed with PPD.

Precautions to be Taken to Prevent Tattoo Allergies:

  • If you have allergy to latex gloves, inform the tattoo artist about the allergy and ask him to use non-latex gloves instead. It is advisable that you inform him in advance so that he can buy non-latex gloves if he does not have one.
  • You can conduct a skin test before going in for a full-fledged tattoo. Ask your tattoo artist to put a small spot with the dye or ink you intend to use for your tattoo on your skin. Keep it for 24 hours, if you do not notice any rashes, itchiness or swelling in the spot area, you can go in for tattoo.
  • If you are allergic to para-phenylene diamine (PPD), which is present in henna, or your skin is sensitive, it is advisable that you do not go for henna tattoos.

However, allergies may appear even after a year after the tattoo was done due to other factors like change in season, some disease etc… It is advisable that those of you who have allergies to certain chemicals or metals that adequate precaution while getting tattoo engraved on your body.