How Safe Are Tattoos? Think Before You Get Inked

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Tattoos have been around for centuries, but getting inked has become a raging trend these days. The only difference is that earlier soot was used to make doodles on the human body, now a variety of tattoo inks have appeared in the market such that it is now a burgeoning industry. In fact, each tattoo artist has his own recipe for making a tattoo ink. So, he may not reveal you his secret.

Tattoos are a permanent affair. The chemicals used in those ink will make them stay for years. Your tattoo may fade with time but the question you should be asking yourself is – ‘how safe are tattoos?’ Before we come to it, let’s know what all chemicals there are in the ink.

Also Read : Are Tattoos Painful? And How To Deal With Them

Do you know what chemicals are present in tattoo ink?


Unless you are a prehistoric caveman or an Egyptian royal both of which used soot to make tattoos, any tattoo parlour you visit uses ink that is composed of a variety of pigments.

Tattoo ink has two things; a pigment and a carrier.

A pigment can be made of many things. Heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, copper, etc. are used to provide color to the dye. Iron oxides, plastics, and metal salts are also used in making ink. Some artists also choose organic components like azo chemicals or naphtha derived chemicals. Soot is also used to make black dyes.

A carrier is simply a solvent for the pigment which helps in proper mixing of the dye and application. Ethyl alcohol, glycerine, and denatured alcohols are some of the most commonly used carriers.


Read More: Things To Consider Before Getting A Tattoo

How safe are tattoos?

tattoo ink

The quantities of these chemicals in the tattoo define its toxicity. It has been found that these pigments make their way to lymph nodes, resulting in a tumor. However, it is very uncommon, but there is still a possibility.

Since tattoos mean piercing your skin and injecting chemicals into it, it does not make getting a tattoo entirely safe. There is a chance of infection in the area. Some people might also get an allergic reaction to the chemicals in the tattoo ink. There may be an itch or rash formation at the site of the tattoo.

If the tattoo artist is not careful with the needle and uses an infected or used needle, it could become a cause of getting lethal diseases like Hepatitis, tetanus or AIDS.

This is why you should always get a tattoo from a reliable tattoo parlor. Check with your artist what kinds of chemicals there are in the tattoo ink, though they may not answer you due to proprietary reasons.

Yet you should ensure safety at your end. Once you have gained enough courage to get a tattoo, here are some cool AF tattoos to inspire you to get inked.

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