FDA recalls certain tattoo inks for bacterial contamination causing infections

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A tattoo artist tattooes a visitor at the fourth edition of the Montreux Tattoo Convention in Montreux, Switzerland, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. Over 150 tattoo artists from 22 couttries gather for 3 days in Montreux. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Ink-lovers, do you know which ink your tattoo artist is using on you for your body art?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recalled and is advising consumers, artists and retailers to avoid using or selling certain inks that they say are contaminated with microorganisms

The FDA says there are three types of ink that have the potential to cause serious injury from the use of the ink because of bacterial contamination. 

“Tattoo inks contaminated with microorganisms can cause infections and lead to serious health injuries when injected into the skin during a tattooing procedure since there is an increased risk of infection any time the skin barrier is broken,” officials wrote in a release. 

Some of the commonly reported symptoms of tattoo-ink-associated infections include the appearance of rashes, lesions and red papules in areas where the contaminated ink has been applied, officials say. Some tattoo infections led to permanent scarring. 

“Indications of an infection can be difficult to recognize as other conditions (e.g., allergic reactions) may have initially had similar signs and symptoms, leading to misdiagnosis and ineffective treatments,” officials wrote. 

Officials identified six tattoo inks that are contaminated with bacteria harmful to human health. The tattoo inks were manufactured by 4 firms inspected under an ongoing assignment.  

The products affected by this recall are: 

  • Scalpaink SC, Scalpaink PA and Scalpaink AL basic black tattoo inks manufactured by Scalp Aesthetics (all lots) 
  • Dynamic Color – Black tattoo ink manufactured by Dynamic Color Inc (lots 12024090 and 12026090) 
  • Solid Ink-Diablo (red) tattoo ink manufactured by Color Art Inc. (dba Solid Ink) (dba Antone’s Ink) (lot 10.19.18) 

People looking to get a new tattoo are advised to ask the artist or studio about the inks they’re using and avoid using the inks on the list. Artists and retailers are advised to not use or sell the inks listed.

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