When you inject foreign elements into your skin or body there is a chance your skin could react negatively. The FDA doesn’t regulate tattoo pigments, so there’s an even greater possibility that you will have inflammatory reactions or develop an infectious disease. Here’s what you need to know about tattoo pigments and their detrimental effects.
Tattoos are formed when ink is injected into the last layer of skin, the dermis.
Reactions can take place within a couple days of getting a tattoo or it could take a couple months. The reactions can either be contact dermatitis or photo-allergic dermatitis.
If you had previous experience to tattoos then the immune system can have a hypersensitive reaction. All pigments can evoke this response but red has the highest likelihood of causing hypersensitivity.
They are treated with intralesional or topical corticosterois and antihistamines. This will decrease the inflammation and itching. This can be permanently cured with surgical excision or laser therapy treatments. If a laser treatment is pursued then you should stay in the office to monitored for another potential allergic reaction.
Red pigments tend to be the reason for allergic reactions because they usually contain mercury sulfide (cinnabar). However, other pigments have cause reactions as well. Lately alternative red inks have been used because mercury sulfide was increasing, but even since the switch there has been red tattoo allergic reactions reported.
Standards for hygiene and infection have risen, but that doesn’t mean they don’t always happen. If there is a breach in the epidermal barrier they is still a chance for a bacteria to enter. There have been reports of tuberculosis, syphilis, leprosy, hepatitis, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
It’s imperative to get professional help if you contract any of the following tattoo skin reactions.
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