Woman Could Lose Eyeball After Botched Eye Tattoo: Other Risky Body Modifications

By Athena Chan | Dec 04, 2017 01:14 AM EST

A woman from Canada shared her story last September after her botched eyeball tattoo went terribly wrong and left her partially blind. Months later, her problems persist as she now faces the threat of losing her eyeball. Other body modification procedures are just as risky as scleral pigmentation.

Botched Eyeball Tattoo

In September, Catt Gallinger shared the story of how her botched eyeball tattoo left her partially blind and in pain. Her problems began after getting an unregulated procedure called the scleral pigmentation which is done by injecting diluted ink into the eyeball's top layer and is completed in a span of a few days. However, Catt's eye was injected with undiluted ink within 10 minutes.

Months after the failed procedure, Gallinger's eye remains swollen and her eyesight has not improved. She is also required to use tear drops every 15 minutes so that her cornea will remain intact because if it ruptures, she could lose her eyeball altogether.

For Gallinger, the body modification procedure that she wanted turned out to be a lesson that she has to live with every day. However, there are also other body modification procedures that are just as risky, if not more.

Scarification And Branding

Scarification isn't a very new procedure because indigenous tribes in certain parts of the world have used it for rituals. It involves the deliberate cutting or scarring of the skin with a sharp instrument to eventually create scars that are often formed into certain patterns. Sometimes, the sharp instrument is even mixed with pigments to make the scar more visible.

Branding, on the other hand, is done in a similar way except instead of sharp instruments, the skin is "branded" by burning the design onto the skin often using a hot iron.

Necrotic ulcers may arise as a result of the branding with a metal rod. There have also been reported cases of septic shock, splenic abscesses, swelling, allergic reactions, and even transmissions of infections.

Skin Implants

Skin implantation is the process of surgically placing a foreign body either under or over the skin in order to create a sort of three-dimensional effect on the skin. Some complications that can come from skin implants include infections, allergic reactions, chronic pain, nerve and muscle damage, tissue destruction, and the possibility that the body could reject the implant.

The complications may be avoided if done by a skilled practitioner in sterile conditions.

Oral Piercing

Simply put, oral piercing is the process of piercing the tongue. Generally, there are complications attached to piercings, but oral piercings have added complications due to the structure of the tongue and being close in proximity to other structures such as the teeth and airway.

Apart from the obvious difficulties in chewing and talking, piercing the tongue can cause a hemorrhage if the practitioner is not careful enough to avoid the blood vessels, and numbness and tingling may occur if a nerve gets damaged in the process. What's more, brain abscesses has been seen as a direct complication of oral piercings.

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