Tattoo Allergies Affect 1/10... Are You One Of Them??

21inkedd in Guides

A recent survey suggested that a surprising number of people who get tattooed will experience some form of allergic reaction and be in pain.

Apparently they've also had prolonged rashes, inflammation, itching and severe scarring lasting months! So if you have ever experienced something similar with a tattoo then you are a not alone. After interviewing 300 randomly selected individuals researchers found that 4% experienced some minor reactions immediately after the tattoo was completed while 6% had experienced prolonged reactions lasting longer than four months!!

Dr Marie Leger. coauthor of the study
Dr Marie Leger. coauthor of the study

The study was published by Contact Dermatitis and was coauthored by Dr. Marie Leger who was surprised by some of the findings;

"I was surprised at the results...The colored portion can sometimes raise up as much as a centimeter above the skin and can affect the texture of the skin and the way the tattoo looks"

Leger believes that a primary source of such rashes, scabbing and pain etc. are allergies! Roughly two-thirds of the people with longer lasting rashes and symptoms reported having preexisting skin allergies, compared to the one-third who had no reactions at all and likewise had no known allergies. The survey was conducted with 149 men and 151 women and the reactions noted were those not fitting with usual healing process of a tattoo.

A tattoo with a severe rash!
A tattoo with a severe rash!

An interesting discovery of the survey was that allergic reactions and skin conditions were most prominent with tattoos featuring red ink. President of the Alliance of Professional Tattooists, Mike Martin alluded further to issues with red ink;

"Some folks' bodies do not like red pigments...It is usually in the site where red pigments were tattooed into the skin. The rash persists until all of the red ink has been pushed from the skin. Occasionally, I have seen this happen to some blues, purples and greens that were tattooed on someone overseas."

Recent from Guides

Yep...that's all kinds of messed up!!!
Yep...that's all kinds of messed up!!!

While Leger did note that most people who get tattooed experience little or no issues with their new ink it is better for them to be aware of the side effects that could occur and to take the following precautions- stay out of the sun, consider avoiding red ink, take good care of the tattoo while healing, keep it clean and go to a tattoo studio with a good reputation.

Of course it also has to be taken into account that the body reacts differently person to person, a tattoo is a foreign object to the body so getting one always comes with a risk of a negative reaction, and if your tattoo does begin to look a little odd be sure to go see a doctor!!

...Have you ever experienced any unusual reactions to a new tattoo??  

21inkedd

@Robert Davies

Tattoodo Staff Writer and tattoo enthusiast. Lover of all things traditional and blackwork!

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