A woman's decision to get her eyeball tattooed led to serious consequences and could possibly leave her tattooed eye blind. Now she is sharing her story to warn others of the dangers of the procedure.
Botched Scleral Tattoo
Catt Gallinger is a 24-year-old woman who opted to get a scleral tattoo, a body modification procedure that involves tattooing the whites of the eyeball. However, instead of the purple eye that she wanted, she got complications and risks of blindness instead. In a Facebook post, she shares photos of her botched body modification procedure, details the complications she has been experiencing since the procedure, and warns people to do their research first should they want to get the procedure done.
Three weeks prior to Sept. 21, when the post was written, Gallinger got her scleral tattoo done. Although Gallinger states that her procedure aftercare was done properly, as she washed her hands every time she did anything concerning her eye and does not have pets that can irritate her, her eye ended up swollen shut the very next day of the procedure.
Because of the complication, Gallinger was given antibiotic drops on the first week and a half after the procedure and was also subjected to steroid drops after. Gallinger states that the swelling lasted for almost a week and that she has visited the hospital three times because of the complications.
According to Gallinger, the complications were caused by the usage of undiluted tattoo ink, small injection sites, and possible over-injection. Because of the costly mistake, Gallinger states that she must see a specialist and that her purple eye is at risk of going blind if not rightfully treated.
That being said, she said that she is not sharing her story to cause any trouble for the tattoo artist but merely to warn people of the dangers of the procedure and to remind people to conduct thorough research regarding the procedure itself as well as the person who will do the procedure.
Risky Body Modification
The practice of tattooing the whites of the eyeball or scleral tattooing isn't a common body modification procedure but is said to be gaining popularity in recent years. Ophthalmologist Dr. David Flug describes the procedure as unsafe and very dangerous. Interestingly, even Luna Cobra, the man who made the procedure popular a decade ago agrees. In fact, he is working to make the procedure illegal.
"I've been trying to ban this. I think it's super important that this becomes illegal," said Cobra, also stating how he thought people would take the procedure seriously when he first refined it 10 years ago. Unfortunately, because many artists who try the procedure are not trained, the procedure often ends badly.
In Gallinger's case, although her eyesight has improved slightly, her Facebook update reveals that doctors said it is unlikely for her to completely regain her eyesight in her damaged eye.