FDA warns consumers about dangers of tattoo ink

The US regulator has released a new campaign urging consumers to 'think before you ink' about the potential infections from contaminated ink

The FDA has issued a fresh warning to consumers about the risks of having a tattoo.

The regulator has launched the ‘think before you ink’ campaign to highlight the risk of potential infections from contaminated ink and bad reactions to the ink itself.

According to the federal agency, 363 reports were made regarding adverse events from tattoos 2004-2016.

Consumers are encouraged to head to the FDA’s website or watch the online video on the topic, to educate themselves about the risks surrounding tattoos.

“Although research is ongoing at FDA and elsewhere, there are still a lot of questions about the long-term effects of the pigments, other ingredients and possible contaminants in tattoo inks,” said Dr Linda Katz, Director of Cosmetics and Colors at FDA.

“FDA has received reports of bad reactions to tattoo inks right after tattooing and even years later.”

The FDA says consumers should contact their doctor at the first sign of a reaction to a tattoo.

The tattoo artist should also be contacted to identify the ink.

Consumers are urged to ask for the brand, colour and the batch number of the ink or diluent to help determine the source of the problem and how to treat it.

What kind of reactions might happen?

According to the FDA, a rash, redness or bumps in the area of the tattoo could form and a mild fever may develop.
More aggressive infections may cause high fever, shaking, chills, and sweats. Treating infections might require antibiotics, hospitalisation or surgery.

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