Tattoo removal specialist all agree that the quality of the ink can vary tremendously between one tattoo and the next. Regulation of tattoo inks is still minimal and many tattoo artists tend to buy ink from wholesalers without checking the background of the manufacturer. Many inks don’t come with good documentation as to what is actually in their composition. Black tattoo ink gets its colour from carbon nanoparticles. Many colours also contain aluminium salts. Red tattoo ink contains Iron oxide. Yellow tattoo ink contains Curcuma which is a natural product. As well as the base particles for colour, tattoo inks also contain oil.
With tattoos being so fashionable at the moment and being now part of mainstream culture, skin specialist and professional tattoo artist are calling for tougher regulation on tattoo ink. At the moment, there is little control over the inks used in many countries and the ingredients found in them can sometimes create allergic reactions.
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Some allergic reactions caused by metal based tattoo ink or even caused by black henna tattoos can have severe consequences and may require hospital treatment. It is therefore very important to check carefully which inks are being used and only visit reputable tattoo artists.
There is a need to tattoo ink regulation and it has been recommended to list all compounds that must not be used. The regulation will have to be set an international standard. The UK Tattoo and Piercing Industry Union is currently trying to raise awareness by asking their members to use large, reputable manufacturers that supply data sheets with their products.
Getting a tattoo from a reputable tattoo artist and using friend’s recommendations is often the safest way to get a new tattoo.