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Allergies to tattoos: an awkward truth

La tinta negra también provoca alergias

The ink black also causes

allergies Allergic reactions to tattoosare not isolated cases, but a serious problem mainly because of the ingredients of certain inks used to color the drawing: cobalt salts, titanium, zinc oxide, potassium dichromate or ferric hydrate.

Although black is the one that produces the least allergies, it is not completely exempt since one of its components is parafenylenediamine. On the contrary, the ink that causes the most allergic reactions is red, because it carries mercury.

Allergies to tattoos: how to prevent them

Dermatitis de contacto: no es para tomársela a broma

Contact dermatitis: not to take it to joke

Dermatologists from Osaka medical school determined that some people have a high risk of systemic contact dermatitis when they have been tattooed with red ink. Subjects had developed mercury allergy that manifested when ingested fish with a concentration of mercury.

The Hospital General Universitario de Valencia, after examining several tattooed patients with severe infections, tumors, granulomatous reactions and contact allergies, ruled the close relationship between them and the tattoo (especially red)

Alergias a las pomadas con corticoides

Allergies to corticosteroid ointments

Specifically, after seeing cases of patients who had allergic contact dermatitis after applying corticosteroid ointments recommended by their tattooist (Terra Cortril® ointment), they ruled that tattoos should be considered within the group of risk factors for developing allergy to hydrocortisone.

It is essential that the tattoo artist pre-perform an allergy test of the components of the ink that he will apply; it consists of applying a patch on the back with the allergen and leaving it 48 hours. If there is no reaction, it can be tattooed. Don’t trust a tattoo artist who doesn’t offer you the proof.

Finally remember that bacterial and microbacterial local skin infections can occur due to lack of hygiene, so it is essential that the establishment offers all the sanitary guarantees legally required and follow the instructions given to us for the care of the tattoo.

More information — From what inks are made to tattoo

Sources — Dermo-siphilographic Acts, Puleva health Photos — Taringa,, Dermo-sifiliográficas

Actas dermo-sifiliográficas

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