Finished for colors: Are there any harmless tattoo inks?

The BfR advises against getting tattoos during pregnancy and breastfeeding. “Since the tattooing agent comes into direct contact with the blood and lymphatic fluid during the tattooing process, the tattooing agent can spread throughout the body (systemic distribution). A transfer into the breast milk or onto the embryo therefore appears possible.” In addition, infection can occur if non-sterile equipment or contaminated ink is used.

Are there any harmless tattoo inks?

According to the BfR, little is currently known about the undesirable health effects of color pigments in tattoo inks on the body. “This means that it cannot be assessed whether safe use is possible”, according to the BfR. Those substances that are currently known to pose a health risk have been restricted in the new EU regulation – maximum concentration limits have been set. If you want to be on the safe side, you should read the list of ingredients on the vial of the tattoo ink and not get a tattoo if you have known allergies or sensitivities. In addition, one can use the tattoo inks here even check in the European rapid alert system RAPEX whether it has been reported as questionable. There is no list of colors that are harmless due to a lack of scientific data.

Are tattoo inks approved?

According to the BfR, the manufacturer is responsible for the safety of the products. For many of the ingredients used, however, it is not known how they work in the body. There are no meaningful studies on this. “In case of doubt, the manufacturer must therefore refrain from using substances because of the principle of the entrepreneur’s own responsibility,” says the BfR.

Should tattoos be protected from the sun?

Many tattooed areas of the skin are more sensitive to sunlight. According to the BfR, this can result in swelling, itching, stinging, pain and reddening of the skin. These reactions can flare up and subside within seconds. “For these reasons it is recommended to protect tattoos from the sun.”

What happened to henna tattoos?

Temporary tattoos with henna are not considered tattoos as they are only opened temporarily. The red-yellow dye henna, which comes from the leaves of the henna bush Lawsonia inermis, is no longer allowed according to the EU Cosmetics Regulation. The Lawson pigment, which provides the typical color, is obtained by drying the leaves of the plant and grinding them into a powder. The natural dye can cause skin problems. Man-made henna is banned in cosmetic products as it can potentially change the genetic make-up.

Should existing tattoos be removed from a health point of view?

There are a few procedures to remove tattoos. “However, these methods are also associated with health risks such as scarring, skin changes and allergic reactions. While laser removal can lead to toxic fission products, the risk of infection is very high when the relevant skin area is surgically removed.” from which tattoo migrated into the body can remain in the body even after removal. The BfR advises that tattoo removals should only be carried out by means of medically recognized procedures and by trained personnel. In Austria only doctors are allowed to remove tattoos with lasers. New methods are constantly being developed, but they are not subject to any official reporting or testing.

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