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Contaminated tattoo ink draws FDA warning to consumers

  • The FDA warns that tattoo ink contaminated with bacteria could cause infections and serious injuries. 
  • The regulator says consumers getting tattoos should first ask about the ink being used.
  • The agency says it's working with manufacturers and retailers to get these risky products off the market.

If you're thinking about getting a tattoo, make sure the ink being used isn't among six products found to be contaminated with bacteria. They pose the risk of serious infection and injury. 

In an alert issued Wednesday to consumers, tattoo artists and retailers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned that getting your skin pierced with tattoo ink containing microorganisms can cause infections and lead to serious injury. "There is an increased risk of infection any time the skin barrier is broken," the agency noted.

Common symptoms of infections related to tattoo ink include rashes and lesions in areas where contaminated ink was applied. Some tattoo infections can result in permanent scarring, the FDA said. The agency said it's working with manufacturers and retailers to get the following recalled and contaminated products off the market: 

Scalpaink SC, Scalpaink PA and Scalpaink AL: All lots of the basic black tattoo inks made by Scalp Aesthetics.

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Recalled tattoo ink manufactured by Scalp Aesthetics  U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Dynamic Color: Two lots, 12024090 and 12028090, of black tattoo ink made by Dynamic Color.

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Recalled tattoo ink manufactured by Dynamic Color U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Solid Ink-Diablo: Red tattoo ink made by Color Art. (dba Solid Ink, dba Antone's ink, lot 10.19.18).

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Recalled tattoo ink manufactured by Color Art U.S. Food and Drug Administration