Tattoo inks are a tricky composition. You can never be completely 100% certain exactly what tattoo inks are composed of. Manufactures of tattoo inks are not required to reveal the contents of their inks and the pigments they used. A professional tattoo artist who mixes his or her own ink will probably know what their ink is made out of, but usually will not reveal the information as it is there special mix and a secret. Ink used for tattooing is made out of different pigments. Today’s pigments are mainly metal salts. Some pigments however, are made of plastics and some vegetable dyes. Pigments are what provide the color of the tattoo whether that color is black, red, blue, yellow, or green.
There are many health risks that come with tattoos. What you don’t know about the tattoo ink being used in your tattoo could hurt you. For example, if alcohol is used in the tattoo ink or if it is used to clean or disinfect the skins surface, it allows more chemicals into the blood stream than if you didn’t use alcohol. If alcohol is mixed with mutagens, eratogens and carcinogens it acts as a promoter, making those chemicals more harmful then they would be by themselves. If there are any hazardous chemicals in the ink, alcohol helps them get into the body, which could cause mutation or disease and not just at the place of the tattoo, it can be any place throughout the body.
Tattoo ink consists of two main parts: the pigment and the carrier. It has been proven that ethyl alcohol, in the form of vodka, is one of the safest carriers for pigments. Carriers are the substance that actually delivers the tattoo ink to the proper layer of the skin. Other safe carriers are Propylene glycol, purified water, witch hazel, Listerine and glycerine. Medical grade propylene glycol and glycerin can be found at pharmacies, feed supply stores, and stores that carry supplies for soap making or herbal medicine preparation.
Around 10% of people that get a tattoo have some type of allergic reaction or infection caused by the ink used in the tattoo, but most are very minor reactions. You can tell if you are having an allergic reaction if your skin becomes inflamed or swollen, red and painful when you touch it. After you first get a tattoo it is expected that you will have some discomfort but if the pain gets increasingly worse you may be having an allergic reaction caused by the tattoo ink. Anyone with severe allergies should consult their doctor if they are planning to get a tattoo.
It is important that you know how to tell if a tattoo has become infected. If you experience an allergic reaction, you should see your doctor. However, there are ways you can treat the reaction yourself, at home. One way is to gently rub Aloe Vera or Tattoo Goo over the infected area. Another way you can treat an infection is to take steroids. The most responsible way to treat a tattoo infection is to see your doctor; he/she will know what method of treatment would be best for you.
The best way to prevent an allergic reaction to the tattoo ink is to take really good care of your tattoo when it is new. After first getting a tattoo you should keep it out of direct sunlight and moisturize it one to two times a day with a wet cloth. The best way to prevent infection is to know what kinds of metals you are allergic to. When going to get your tattoo ask the tattoo artist what kinds of metals and other substances will he be using on your tattoo and if he lists something you are allergic to just don’t get the tattoo.
As time progresses so does technology. It is becoming more popular to put ashes of deceased loved ones in the tattoo ink. So far it has not been proven to be dangerous or health threatening. Anytime a tattoo client comes to a tattoo artist with this request it is not guaranteed that the tattoo artist will do it. Adding the ashes to the ink mixture changes the density and thickness of the ink. Placing the ashes in the ink will affect the consistency of the ink but it will not affect the quality of the ink. If you take this request to a tattoo artist and he or she turns you down and refuses to do it, don’t get mad. If they don’t feel like they can successfully do it and they don’t feel comfortable best thing to do is take your tattoo to someone else.
Any time you are denied tattoo services from a certain artist you should never get mad or offended. It is not anything against you. If the tattoo artist does not feel comfortable doing a tattoo and they do it anyways it may not turn out looking its best. Tattoos look cool and lots of people have them and want them, but they can cause problems on occasion. That’s why it’s so important to get a good tattoo artist and do all your research ahead of time.
As you can see, tattoo ink is a complicated subject, and the best artists use their own special mix that has been proven time and time again to yield great results. Don’t let all the scientific talk about the ink scare you. Any reputable artist knows what they are doing and you will be in good hands. And remember, when getting your next tattoo to be sure to check out Chopper Tattoo. They are the absolute best online tattoo gallery, with the largest collection of tattoo artwork from award winning artists all over the world. We use them exclusively when getting a new tattoo. Just print out the design and bring it to you local artist. Best of luck with your next tattoo!
The person with the most individual designs is Bernard Moeller of Pennsylvania, with over 14,000 separate tattoos.