There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to tattoo ink. Tattoo ink falls into the cosmetic category according to the Food and Drug Administration, which means it is essentially unregulated. The ingredients in ink are considered proprietary (a trade secret) and are not typically disclosed. This can make it hard for consumers, and tattoo artists, to know what exactly is in that ink.
Why does this matter? Some people may not realize that things you put in or on your skin can be easily absorbed into the body. There is a common misconception that there are little risks with tattoo ink because the ink is trapped the skin and doesn’t travel to the rest of the body. While experts do agree that ink is relatively stable once it is placed in the skin, there has been some disagreement as to whether or not the ink slowly dissolves into the body over time.
What we do know for certain is that when tattoos are removed, all that ink that is sitting in the skin is released into the body. Unfortunately, it does not come out the same way it goes in and must be carried out as waste through the body. Having a good understanding of tattoo ink is important whether you are looking to get tattooed or looking at laser tattoo removal.
Tattoo ink is not really ink at all. Tattoo ink is made up of two parts: a pigment and a carrier solution. The pigment gives the tattoo the color and the carrier solution is there to even out the pigment, prevent clumping, and help with application in skin. Carrier solutions can have one ingredient or they can be a mixture.
Safe Carrier Solutions
Tattoo artists can buy ink that is already mixed or they can choose to mix their own. Again, ink companies are not required to share their ingredient lists so it is hard to know what chemicals are in the ink. Some ink companies do share ingredient lists and there are some carrier solutions that are considered safer than others. Some of the most common (and safe) carrier solutions are: witch hazel, water, ethanol, Listerine, propylene glycol, or glycerine.
Potentially Toxic Carrier Solutions
While the safe carrier solutions are common, there have been a variety of toxic substances found in carrier solutions for tattoo ink. The effects from these toxins may not show in the body for many years. Some of the toxic carrier solutions include: formaldehyde, antifreeze, rubbing alcohol, and any type of detergent or surfactant.
The reality is that you may not ever know what chemicals are being released in your system when you get a tattoo or are getting one removed. We recommend learning what you are putting in your body via tattoo ink before getting a tattoo. There are tattoo ink manufacturers that disclose their ingredients and have reputations of safety. If you already have a tattoo and are looking to get it removed, you can help your body remove the toxins by drinking water, exercising, and eating a nutritious diet. If you have any questions or concerns about laser tattoo removal, please give Remove A Tattoo – laser tattoo removal clinic a call today at 414-617-2849.