While we hear that those with tattoos may someday come to regret their decisions to get “inked,” less is known about more immediate concerns over medical complications. According to one survey of about 300 adults between the ages of 18 and 69, ten percent of the respondents experienced some form of short-term complication within weeks of getting a tattoo. These complications included rashes, swelling, and severe itching lasting longer than four months and up to several years. While the exact cause of these problems is difficult to pinpoint, researchers noted that long-term complications often occurred around the areas injected with red and black ink. Further research may help establish what ink colors and possible dye components lead to adverse reactions.

The lack of controls dictating what substances can be used to create tattoo ink has resulted in formulas that may cause mild to severe reactions in certain individuals. Should you be experiencing a reaction to tattoo ink, contact Elmhurst Dermatology at (630) 832-2111.

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board-Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Most reactions to tattoos can be treated with anti-inflammatory steroid drugs and, in some cases, surgery.