Tattoo Infections Caused by Contaminated Ink On The Rise In US
If your new tattoo is unusually red, irritated, and frequently oozing puss, then you may have an infection related to contaminated ink. According to Reuters Health, icky ink caused at least 22 skin and soft tissue infections in the United States last fall. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention promptly launched an investigation into the matter.
“People who get tattoos must be made aware of this risk and seek medical attention,” researchers wrote in a commentary published in the New England Journal of Medicine. As soon as symptoms begin to appear, the infected individuals should contact their physician as soon as humanly possible.
During the investigation into reports of contaminated ink, the CDC discovered 22 confirmed cases, 4 probable cases, and 27 possible cases in New York, Washington, Iowa, and Colorado. Presently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate tattoo ink.
According to reports, bacteria found its way into the ink containers when the manufacturers used contaminated water to dilute the black ink into different shades of gray. As a result, many of the infected individuals in the New York cases experienced reddish or purple bumps all over their tattoos. Many people tend to write these problems off as allergic reactions, which can ultimately lead to even more complications.
Dr. Byron Kennedy of the Monroe County Department of Public Health in New York claims that standard care doesn’t work in some instances. “They were not getting better,” he explained. “You had some folks who were on treatment for 6 months or more.”
Although the FDA doesn’t regulate a product they deem to be cosmetic, the group can step in should something go seriously wrong once it hits the marketplace. Presently, there aren’t any national regulations for tattoo ink, though Los Angeles County does require that all diluted inks use sterile water during the process.