Tattoos & permanent makeup: The intradermal application of inks for the purpose of tattooing or permanent makeup (also known as micropigmentation).
The pigments in inks raise concerns about tattoo removal, adverse reactions to tattoo colors, and infections that result from tattooing.
Lots of pigments used in tattoo inks are not approved for skin contact at all. Industrial grade colors are suitable for printers' ink or automobile paint.
For some people, tattoos are an aesthetic choice or an initiation rite. Some decide permanent makeup as a time saver or because they have physical difficulty applying regular, temporary makeup.
For some others, tattooing is an adjunct to reconstructive surgery, particularly of the face or breast, to simulate natural pigmentation.
Those people who have lost their eyebrows due to alopecia (a form of hair loss) may choose to have "eyebrows" tattooed on, while people with vitiligo (a lack of pigmentation in areas of the skin) may try tattooing to help camouflage the condition.
The primary complications that can result from tattooing include:
• Infection. Unsterile tattooing equipment and needles can transmit infectious diseases, such as hepatitis and skin infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus ("staph") bacteria. Tattoos are gotten at facilities not regulated by your state or at facilities that use unsterile equipment (or re-use ink) may prevent you from being accepted as a blood or plasma donor for twelve months.
• Removal problems. Despite advances in laser technology, removing a tattoo is a painstaking process, usually involving several treatments and considerable expense. Complete elimination without scarring may be impossible.
• Allergic reactions. Although FDA has received reports of numerous adverse reactions associated with certain shades of ink in permanent makeup, marketed by a particular manufacturer, reports of allergic reactions to tattoo pigments have been rare. Though, when they happen they may be particularly troublesome because the pigments can be hard to remove. Sometimes, people may develop an allergic reaction to tattoos they have had for years.
• Granulomas. These are nodules that may form around material that the body perceives as foreign, such as particles of tattoo pigment.