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FDA Recalls Tattoo Inks Because Of Bacterial Contamination

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The Food and Drugs Adminstration has recalled six tattoo inks with microorganisms that can cause bacterial infection. Consumers, retailers, and tattoo artists are advised to avoid the recalled products.   ( Pixabay )

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises consumers, retailers, and tattoo artists to refrain from using or selling certain tattoo inks that are contaminated with microorganisms.

Ink Recall

It may be difficult to know what exactly is in tattoo inks as they are not regulated in any way. However, the FDA has identified and recalled six tattoo ink products that are contaminated with bacteria that are harmful to human health. The firms responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of the tattoo inks are also undergoing a probe.

The contaminated inks recalled were the following:

  • All lots of Scalpaink SC, Scalpaink PA, and Scalpaink AL basic black tattoo inks manufactured by Scalp Aesthetics.
  • Lots 12024090 and 12026090 of Dynamic Color black tattoo ink made by Dynamic Color Inc.
  • Solid Ink-Diablo red tattoo ink manufactured by Color Art Inc. including dba Solid Ink and dba Antoine's Ink.

Before getting a tattoo, ask the tattoo artist about what ingredients are contained in their ink.
The FDA said it is working with manufacturers and retailers to remove contaminated products from retail stores.

"Tattoo inks contaminated with microorganisms can cause infections and lead to serious health injuries when injected into the skin during a tattooing procedure, since there is an increased risk of infection any time the skin barrier is broken," the FDA posted in its announcement.

The agency is alerting consumers, tattoo artists, and retailers not to use tattoo inks contaminated with bacteria because of the products' potential for serious injury.

In case of symptoms of infection or injury after getting a tattoo, consumers are advised to immediately visit a health care professional and inform the tattoo artist that executed the tattoo.

Skin Infections From Tattoo Ink

Skin infections caused by tattoo inks may be associated with the appearance of rashes on the skin or lesions with red papules in areas where the contaminated ink has been applied.

Consumers must take note that indications of infection may be difficult to recognize as other conditions such as allergic reactions, may initially have similar signs and symptoms, leading to misdiagnosis and ineffective treatments.

Inspections made by the agency since 2018 on distributors and manufacturers, as well as routine surveys of tattoo inks have uncovered the contaminated tattoo inks. The analysis of the inks was carried out based on the Bacteriological Analytical Manual Chapter 23: Microbiological Methods for Cosmetics.

How To Identify A Tattoo Infection?

Tattoos are common and popular. However, getting a tattoo may carry some risk — it could get infected.

Among the most common symptom of an infected tattoo is a rash or a red, bumpy skin around the area of the tattoo. Symptoms due to skin irritation caused by the needle should fade after a few days. However, if the symptoms continue for a week or more, better see the artist who inked the tattoo or consult a doctor for a check-up.

Get inked only at licensed and reputable tattoo parlors to prevent skin conditions, infections, and other skin problems.

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