Tattoo Ink Poisoning Symptoms

Today, tattooing is a very popular and trendy practice. Just the same, it remains a subject of controversy in terms of health hazards and tattoo ink poisoning. It seems that no matter how sophisticated tattoo technology becomes, there are still many who believe it to be a dangerous practice. There has been much controversy around the topic of tattoo ink poisoning and whether or not it is possible. Supporters of tattooing claim that it is impossible to become poisoned from tattoo ink as it never really reaches the bloodstream. However, those who oppose disagree. Some of the following information may help clear up some of the issues surrounding tattoo ink and the likelihood of being poisoned as a result.

Is it Poisoning or an Allergic Reaction?

The first question a person experiencing some sort of reaction to a tattoo should ask is whether they are having symptoms of poisoning or simply an allergic reaction. The best way to discover if you are allergic to tattooing ink is to have yourself tested prior to having a tattoo done. The way this works is that the tattoo artist takes a Q-tip and smears just a tiny bit of the different colors he/she will be using on you to the skin located under your arm. If you are in fact allergic to the ink, a reaction will begin to show within several minutes. Unfortunately, most people fail to do this quick and easy test so they have no idea whether or not they will have a reaction. Some people who have sensitive skin will simply develop irritation at the tattoo site that has nothing to do with the ink. In some rare cases it is possible to have a severe reaction. Another thing many people do not realize is that when there is a moderate to severe allergy to the ink, the skin will automatically reject the ink, resulting in a lack of color on the tattoo.

There are a few different signs and symptoms of ink poisoning to look out for, though they depend on what type of ink is used, whether it be writing ink, printer ink, or tattoo ink. Nausea and vomiting are symptoms of ingesting too much writing or printer ink. Nervous system damage and headaches can occur from swallowing printer ink, while poisoning from tattoo ink is often confused with symptoms of infection or allergic reaction, such as swelling, pain, and a rash.

Writing ink, also called bottled ink, is the kind of ink used to write. This type of ink is considered non-toxic, as none of the ingredients are poisonous when separate or mixed together. Writing ink poisoning is very rare, because more than an ounce of it must be consumed before problems occur. Printer ink is slightly more toxic than regular writing ink due to more toxic ingredients. Problems from tattoo ink are a more common occurrence, primarily because the ingredients are not controlled and may contain toxins.

Writing ink poisoning, though rare, can occur if more than an ounce is ingested. The main symptom of ingesting large amounts of writing ink is nausea. If nausea is severe, the body may try to rid itself of the ink, and vomiting may occur. Another symptom of ingesting ink is staining of the skin and teeth inside the mouth. This type of poisoning is rarely fatal, but medical attention should be sought immediately.

Common Skin Reactions to Tattoo Ink

Because different types of tattoo ink as well as different colors have a variety of chemical compositions, there is no telling whether or not you may develop some sort of reaction to any of them. If you do develop a reaction the most common will be dermatitis. Dermatitis causes inflammation, rashes and swelling around the site. Keep in mind that many other factors may play a role in a reaction like this. It may not be the ink and all that is causing the problem but perhaps just the trauma of getting the tattoo. As most people who have had tattoos are aware, it can be a very painful and traumatic experience. You must think of a tattoo as an injury and realize that with any injury irritation can ensue.

Bacterial Infection of the Result of a Tattoo

One thing you should be on the lookout for after getting a tattoo is any swelling, tenderness or pain that is accompanied by drainage of a pus like substance. This could very easily be a sign of a local bacterial infection. Infection can occur as a result of the needle which has pierced your skin, especially if the tattoo artist did not practice proper sanitation. If you suspect that you have developed an infection as a result of getting a tattoo, you should seek medical attention right away that this could be something as serious as a staph infection. However, remember that you will have slightly red and uncomfortable skin directly after having your tattoo done. A little bit of redness and soreness is quite normal.

The best way to protect yourself from any undesirable reactions to getting a tattoo is to make sure you research the person well who will be giving you the tattoo. Make sure that the tattoo artist adheres to strict sanitation guidelines and that a brand-new and sterile needle is used. Keep in mind that there is always the risk of contracting a serious illness such as HIV or Hepatitis C if a careless tattoo artist should use the same needle on you that he/she used on infected person.

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