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Ultraviolet Ink Tattoo: Is It Safe?

Apr 24, 2008
One growing trend among those looking to get tattoos is the use of the newest and brightest inks for a stunning artistic effect. Since tattoo artists are always looking for newer and more interesting ways to please those seeking out tattoo art, it is no surprise that the ultraviolet ink tattoo has flourished over time as an option for those interesting in tattoos. This type of ink only shows brilliantly when an ultraviolet light is on nearby. This type of tattoo is largely popular in club and party scenes where black lights are often used.

Despite its growing popularity, the ultraviolet ink tattoo has suffered from health concerns and reports related to its being toxic, carcinogenic, and a skin irritant. Since the ultraviolet ink is not approved by the FDA for use on humans, there is little guarantee that it is safe or that tests and research have been performed to understand how it affects the human body and skin. Those having opted for the ultraviolet ink tattoo have complained of blistering skin, rashes, pain, and even complications when getting medical x-rays performed. Since there is no guarantee of its safety, many tattoo artists and shops will not use the ink. However, some brands of ink have sought to make a less toxic or risky version which can be used as the old one without the side effects.

Since there are no strict regulations surrounding tattoo inks, it is important to be aware of the risks involved. Though an ultraviolet ink tattoo may appear very stunning when it appears due to an ultraviolet light, the risks involved may not be worth the side effects. Some who have used the ultraviolent ink have even found that sun exposure changes the appearance of the tattoo and causes it to yellow so that it can be seen even during the day without an ultraviolet light nearby. Nonetheless, newer types of inks are touted as having fewer complications and skin side effects which can be attractive to those who find an ultraviolet ink tattoo to be appealing.

Many of the symptoms related to the ultraviolet ink tattoo is based on its having phosphorus in it, as well as other potentially hazardous chemicals. By removing the phosphorus, some inks have been able to argue that fewer side effects will result and that a higher satisfaction rate can ensue. What is important to mention though is the fact that these tattoos are potentially harder to remove should the client change their mind, due to the type of ink being used and its light color quality. Furthermore, there is no reliable evidence that suggests these tattoos are a viable option for those seeking a generally safer form of body art. Though no tattoo ink is 100% safe, researched, approved by the FDA, or generally "ok" for the body, it is known that the ultraviolet ink tattoo has caused many more painful and irritating skin side effects that other regularly used inks. Also, if this ink is linked to cancer, there may be no immediately obvious symptoms and yet over time the ink may be contributing to serious health issues.
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