By Lochlan Charlton

Tattoo Allergy - Can you be allergic to Tattoo Ink?


Tattoo ink allergies are a fairly rare condition, however, if it does occur it can become a serious problem. If you’re having an allergic reaction to your tattoo, you’ll need to see a doctor immediately.
In this post we’ll talk about what causes tattoo ink allergies, and how they’re generally diagnosed and treated.

An allergy from your tattoo is more often than not cause by the ingredients in the tattoo ink.

Allergic reactions are triggered when your immune system identifies a foreign substance (such as tattoo ink) in your body, and antibodies are released which normally help protect you from infections agents like bacteria and viruses.
This release can result in symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, hives, redness, blisters or swelling anywhere on your body - including your new tattoo.

So why does this happen and what’s usually the cause?
Tattoo ink is made of two basic components; pigments and carrier. Pigments are what give the ink its colour, and the carrier keeps the pigment in suspension, acts as an anti-bacterial/anti-viral agent, and carries the pigment into the dermis.
The pigment of the ink is usually the main cause of an allergic reaction to tattoo ink; most commonly from colours that hold a lot of heavy metals. Red is the colour that seems to cause the most problems for people - this is because the red ink is often made with mercury, and there are more people allergic to mercury than other pigments.

If you’re concerned about getting a reaction to tattoo ink, we’d suggest having a chat to your artist and potentially doing a test patch to see the results.

The Pickles Fam xoxo