Permanent tattoos have become increasingly common, with at least 21% of adults in the United States reporting to have a tattoo. Unfortunately, outbreaks of tattoo infections linked to contaminated inks have also become more common.
Need a Texas Tattoo Ink Infection Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with an infection after receiving a tattoo, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit in Texas.
Think Before You Ink: Are Tattoos Safe?
Federal safety officials have issued a Consumer Update about the risks of getting a tattoo after receiving hundreds of reports of infections and other adverse events. Infections can cause a rash, redness, or bumps in the area of the tattoo, as well as fever and other serious side effects:
“More aggressive infections may cause high fever, shaking, chills, and sweats. Treating such infections might require a variety of antibiotics—possibly for months—or even hospitalization and/or surgery.”
Red Tattoo Ink Might Cause Cancer
July 27, 2016 — Health experts in Europe are warning that tattoo inks, especially red inks, can be toxic and increase the risk of cancer. In September 2014, a 48 year-old man developed aggressive skin cancer only in the red areas of his tattoo. He had to have a painful skin graft from his arm onto his thigh.
FDA Wants You to Reconsider That Tattoo
May 6, 2016 — The FDA is warning about the risk of serious infections from non-sterile tattoo inks and needles, as well as bad reactions to ingredients in the ink. Click here to read more.
“A Thousand Virgins” Tattoo Ink Recalled for Infection Risk
August 5, 2015 — Tattoo ink sold by Miami-based “A Thousand Virgins” Corp. has been recalled due to fungal and bacterial contamination that could lead to a life-threatening infection. Click here to read more.
December 3, 2014 — A class action lawsuit has been filed in California by two people who developed severe tattoo infections after using bad ink from White & Blue Lion, Inc. Click here to read more.
Getting a Tattoo? Watch Out for Bad Ink
The FDA has issued a recall for contaminated ink, but they are warning that similar products are still being sold online and may be causing tattoo infections. Click here to read more.
“Consumers and tattoo artists should be aware of the origin of their materials and should be able to identify and contact the manufacturer in case adverse events occur. Be wary of products that don’t carry a brand or the name and place of business of the manufacturer or distributor. In addition, consumers should take appropriate steps to minimize the possibility that the inks injected into their skin may be contaminated. In this circumstance, the inks have been made from pigments that are not intended for injection into the skin.”
There are many reasons why a tattoo becomes infected. Most infections are caused by failing to properly care for a new tattoo, non-sterile equipment at a dirty parlor, inexperienced tattoo artists, or wearing irritating clothing that prevents the tattoo from healing.
In some cases, however, tattoo infections are caused by tattoo ink that is contaminated with bacteria. Even if a person gets a tattoo at the cleanest tattoo parlor, there is a risk of infection from contaminated ink. Most cases occur within a few weeks after getting a new tattoo, but some bad reactions do not occur for months or even years.
FDA Recalls White & Blue Lion Tattoo Ink for Microbial Contamination
White & Blue Lion, Inc. and 8Decades have recalled contaminated tattoo inks in July 2014, but the FDA is concerned that the products are still being sold by online distributors.
If you are buying at-home tattoo ink or getting a tattoo from a professional artist, you should ask to examine the products. The FDA warns:
“Don’t use tattoo inks and kits that have no brand name, carry a dragon logo, and/or are missing the name and place of business of the manufacturer or distributor.”
The ink is sold in single bottles and also kits that contain anywhere from 5 to 54 or more bottles of ink in various colors. They are usually marked with Lot or Batch numbers and “Best By” dates. Click here to read more.
Outbreak of Mycobacterial Infection Sickens 50+
In 2012, the New England Journal of Medicine published a report on a nationwide outbreak of tattoo infections that was traced to gray tattoo ink.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 50 cases were reported and 23 cases were confirmed in the outbreak.
Experts believe the problem occurred because manufacturers used non-sterile water, glycerin, or pigments when mixing the inks. The patients were infected with nontuberculosis mycobacteria, which is very difficult to treat. Symptoms of infection are similar to an allergic reaction. Diagnosis may require a skin biopsy, which can cause further scarring.
Symptoms of a Tattoo Infection
- Weeping wounds (yellow-green pus)
- Raised bumps around the tattoo
- Hard nodules or knots (granulomas)
- Blisters (may be filled with blood or clear fluid)
- Excessive pain at the site
- Foul odor
- Red streaks going outward from the tattoo
Tattoo inks are regulated as a cosmetic, but the FDA rarely screens tattoo inks before they enter the market. At least 50 pigments and shades are currently in use, with new ones introduced routinely. However, the FDA has not approved any color additives for injection into the skin. They have discovered that some inks contain known carcinogens and pigments with printers’ ink or automobile paint as ingredients. Side effects may include infections, allergic reaction, skin cancer, keloids, granulomas, and more. Click here for side effect information.
Tattoo infections that are untreated or inadequately treated can cause cellulitis. Infections can also spread bacteria to the bloodstream, in a complication known as sepsis (blood poisoning). Early symptoms of sepsis include fever, shaking chills, and sweats. Patients with these symptoms may need to be treated with antibiotics, hospitalization, and/or surgery.
Not sure if your tattoo is infected? Your artist should be able to tell you what is normal and what isn’t. If you think you might have an infection, visit a doctor as soon as possible. Do not wait until the wound is festering — not only do you risk destroying your tattoo, you could be risking your life. Skin infections can rapidly spread and even cause death. A doctor will probably give you a prescription for an antibiotic. Unfortunately, there have been outbreaks of tattoo infections that are resistant to antibiotic treatment. Click here for more treatment information.
Scarring & Disfigurement
One of the most disappointing complications of an infected tattoo is permanent scarring and disfigurement. Minor blemishes on the tattoo may be correctable, but changes in skin texture or tone are usually permanent.
There is no excuse for manufacturers who sell contaminated inks. When the tattoo ink is contaminated, it is not your artist’s fault. At the very least, your artist will have a challenging time fixing the problem, costing both of you time and money. In severe cases, victims may be hospitalized or suffer from life-threatening complications.
Tattoo Infection Class Action
The Clark Firm, LLP is nationally recognized as a class action law firm, our Product Liability Litigation Team is not filing a tattoo infection class action. Instead, we are filing individual lawsuits. Although many people have filed lawsuits for infections caused by contaminated inks, these cases are not typically part of a class action. Instead, they are filed by individuals who have hired an attorney to represent their legal and financial interests. Contact us today for more information.
Need a Tattoo Ink Infection Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas tattoo ink infection lawyers for a free lawsuit review.