Allergy to Tattoo Ink - Symptoms and Treatment - Restoration Wellness
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Allergy to Tattoo Ink – Symptoms and Treatment

Allergy to Tattoo Ink – Symptoms and Treatment



Can I have an allergy to Tattoo Ink?

Yes! Having an allergy to tattoo ink is more common then you think. Symptoms range from a very mild itch and occasional swelling to a more severe response as seen in the attached photos. Tattoo ink in placed in the dermis which can aggravate the immune system causing a response.

Tattoo inks contain, but are not limited to substances like iron oxide, mercury sulfide, ferric hydrate, aluminum, cadmium sulfide and manganese. Yellow and red pigments contain cadmium sulfide, which can cause an allergic reaction when exposed to the sun causing Photo-sensitivity. Mercury sulfide, commonly found in Red ink, is linked to photo allergic and allergic contact dermatitis in tattoos.

What does a tattoo ink allergy look like?

Tattoo ink allergy may present itself in several ways, including swelling, redness, rash or bumps, flaking or scaly appearance.  The most common is a hive like reaction, small bumps, either in the tattoo itself, or surrounding the ink. Some become unbearably itchy!

If you are concerned about a reaction to ink there are some safeguards you can employ. Firstly, if you have color sensitivities to food dyes, there is a good possibility you will be sensitive to the colors in ink. You will definitely want to avoid those colors! Consider a patch test, this doesn’t have to involve injecting the ink you may have a reaction simply with skin contact. You may, alternatively have a small test patch tattoo done before getting the full design.

What are my options if I have an allergy to Tattoo Ink?

Some things to try before considering tattoo removal. If your reactions is a photosensitive response try to stay out of the sun. Apply a generous layer of a barrier sunscreen, (rather than a chemical sunscreen). This should bring some relief. If you have diagnosed food or environmental sensitivities,  you may have an immune response by adding ink to the mix. Sometimes getting your diet under control is just enough to take the load off you immune system to settle the reacting ink. You may want to try an elimination diet to discovery food sensitivities . If self-discovery isn’t working and/or if your symptoms are more severe seeing your physician is a must. Often a topical cortisone cream can temporarily relive your symptoms.

Once you have exhausted all other options, removal or fading may be your only solution. The safest approach extracts the ink from the tattoo removing it from the body taking the load off the already overtaxed immune system. our process

Contrary to its name “laser tattoo removal “does not remove the ink – it breaks it up into smaller particles relying on the lymphatic system to deal with it. There is conflicting evidence on whether the ink is deposited and  remains in the lymph nodes or not.


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