How Long Does Tattoo Ink Stay In Your Bloodstream?
Do Tattoos Affect Blood Tests? – No, tattoos do not affect blood tests. Not all ink particles from a tattoo enter your bloodstream, so it shouldn’t interfere with any blood tests you might have to take in the future. If your tattoo is fresh and is still healing, your blood test may result in elevated levels of white blood cells due to the open wound caused by the needle.
- 1 Does ink from tattoo get into bloodstream?
- 2 Is tattoo ink cancerous?
- 3 Do tattoos affect blood tests?
- 4 Do tattoos shorten your life?
- 5 What happens to tattoo ink in the skin?
- 6 What happens if a tattoo needle hits a vein?
Does ink from tattoo get into bloodstream?
Where Does the Ink Go? – Most of the ink doesn’t stray too far from where you want it to be. Once deposited, the ink begins to take a little journey, according to the latest research. The particles of ink injected into the skin can travel through your lymphatic system and into the bloodstream.
- Not all of the ink particles make their way here, but enough to cause some concern;
- Some of the ink that finds its way into your bloodstream is broken down by the immune system;
- The good news is that getting multiple tattoos can potentially strengthen your immune system because they make it work harder;
The more your immune system is challenged, the stronger it gets. There is a fine line between living in a bubble and overdoing it, though. Some of the tattoo ink gets trapped within skin cells called fibroblasts and macrophages. It’s this ink that proudly displays your chosen tattoo design. The body clears some of the ink away by way of special repair cells called macrophages. The macrophages carry the ink to the closest lymph nodes. Your body can’t break these particles down, so they become stuck. A side effect of this is that the lymph nodes can change color to match the color of your tattoo. Evidence is also showing that the tattoo ink particles can travel through your blood and end up in your liver , where they also become stuck.
- Researchers have been looking at what happens to the ink that travels further around your body, and the results have been surprising;
- A group of German and French scientists collected tissue samples from human lymph nodes — 50% of the individuals tested showed ink particles in the lymph nodes;
Researchers analyzed the forms of the tattoo ink found in the lymph nodes. They also made a note of any damage caused. What they found were nanoparticles. Not enormous, admittedly, at less than 100 micrometers across, but they were there, nonetheless. Also found in the lymph nodes were potentially toxic heavy metals , thought to be from tattoo ink.
Does tattoo ink end up in your liver?
Heavy Metals – Traces of tattoo ink have been found to make their way into your bloodstream, the lymph nodes and liver. The presence of heavy metals in tattoo ink could negatively affect liver enzyme levels and cause inflammation, which is a sign of stress in the liver.
Do tattoos cause health problems?
Know the risks – Tattoos breach the skin, which means that skin infections and other complications are possible, including:
- Allergic reactions. Tattoo dyes — especially red, green, yellow and blue dyes — can cause allergic skin reactions, such as an itchy rash at the tattoo site. This can occur even years after you get the tattoo.
- Skin infections. A skin infection is possible after tattooing.
- Other skin problems. Sometimes an area of inflammation called a granuloma can form around tattoo ink. Tattooing also can lead to keloids — raised areas caused by an overgrowth of scar tissue.
- Bloodborne diseases. If the equipment used to create your tattoo is contaminated with infected blood, you can contract various bloodborne diseases — including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
- MRI complications. Rarely, tattoos or permanent makeup might cause swelling or burning in the affected areas during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams. In some cases, tattoo pigments can interfere with the quality of the image.
Medication or other treatment might be needed if you experience an allergic reaction to the tattoo ink or you develop an infection or other skin problem near a tattoo.
Is tattoo ink cancerous?
Cancer – Do tattoos cause skin cancer? This has been a question that researchers have been exploring for years. While there is no direct connection between tattoos and skin cancer, there are some ingredients in tattoo ink that may be linked to cancer.
- When it comes to cancer, black ink can be especially dangerous because it contains a very high level of benzo(a)pyrene;
- Benzo(a)pyrene is currently listed as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC);
Health officials and researchers are especially concerned about the effects of black tattoo ink, as it is the most commonly used color for tattooing. “Blackout” tattoos have also raised significant concern among health officials and researchers. This hot new trend may be especially dangerous since it requires individuals to have large portions of their bodies covered in thick, heavy solid black ink.
- In addition to the fear of carcinogens contained in the ink, individuals are also concerned about the way these tattoos cover the body;
- A change in skin pigmentation is one of the earliest signs of skin cancer, particularly melanoma;
When the body is “blacked out” with tattoo ink, individuals may not be able to notice these changes right away. For this reason, tattoos should never be placed over pre-existing moles, birth marks, or other skin discolorations or abnormalities. Another cause for concern is what happens to a tattoo after you’ve had it for a while.
How do you detox from a tattoo?
Tattoo Detox? – If you’re already sporting a tattoo, chances your lymph nodes contain heavy metals, nanoparticles and other tattoo ink compounds. If you’re concerned about long-term effects of tattoos, it’s important to know there are things you can do to help your body clear some of the unwanted compounds. To do a heavy metal detox , try this:
- Load up on detoxifying foods like leafy greens, antioxidant herbs and spices, vitamin C foods, garlic and onions, flax, chia seeds and lots of water.
- Avoid foods made with additives, potential food allergens and non-organic foods.
- Use supplements that help to break down heavy metals to promote expulsion from the body. This includes chlorella, milk thistle , vitamin C and probiotics.
- Introduce detoxifying treatments, like chelation therapy, activated charcoal treatments and bentonite clay.
Do tattoos cause earlier death?
Abstract – Objectives: At autopsy, tattoos are recorded as part of the external examination. An investigation was undertaken to determine whether negative messages that are tattooed on a decedent may indicate a predisposition to certain fatal outcomes.
- Methods: Tattooed and nontattooed persons were classified by demography and forensics;
- Tattoos with negative or ominous messages were reviewed;
- Statistical comparisons were made;
- Results: The mean age of death for tattooed persons was 39 years, compared with 53 years for nontattooed persons (P =;
0001). There was a significant contribution of negative messages in tattoos associated with nonnatural death (P =. 0088) but not with natural death. However, the presence of any tattoo was more significant than the content of the tattoo. Conclusions: Persons with tattoos appear to die earlier than those without.
There may be an epiphenomenon between having tattoos and risk-taking behavior such as drug or alcohol use. A negative tattoo may suggest a predisposition to violent death but is eclipsed by the presence of any tattoo.
Keywords: Autopsy; Drug overdose; Forensic sciences; Suicide; Tattooing; Violence. Copyright© by the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
Do tattoos affect blood tests?
– If you have a tattoo, you can only donate blood if you meet certain criteria. A good rule of thumb is that you may not be able to give blood if your tattoo is less than 3 months old. This goes for piercings and all other nonmedical injections on your body, too.
Introducing ink, metal, or any other foreign material into your body affects your immune system and may expose you to harmful viruses. This can affect what’s in your bloodstream, especially if you got your tattoo somewhere that isn’t regulated or doesn’t follow safe practices.
If there’s a chance that your blood has been compromised, the donation center won’t be able to use it. Keep reading to learn about the eligibility criteria, where to find a donation center, and more.
Do tattoos shorten your life?
the MPR take: – Having a tattoo may mean an earlier death, says a new report in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology. Investigators compared the deaths of people with and without tattoos and found that people with tattoos appeared to die earlier than people without (mean age of death: tattooed: 39yrs; nontattooed: 53yrs).
Who should not get tattoos?
What Tattoos Do to the Skin
What are the long term effects of tattoos?
When you think about the health risks of getting a tattoo, problems that reveal themselves right away come to mind—like infections and allergic reactions. Now, one later-in-life consequences should worry you too. Toxic particles from tattoo ink penetrate beneath the skin and travel through the body, and that may have implications for long-term health, according to a new study.
- Writing in the journal Scientific Reports , German and French scientists describe their finding during autopsies of four individuals with tattoos: Using X-ray fluorescent technology, they were able to identify nanoparticles of titanium dioxide, a common ingredient in white and colored tattoo pigments, in those individuals’ lymph nodes;
The role of the lymphatic system, which the lymph nodes are a part of, is to remove toxins and impurities from the body. So it makes sense, the researchers say, that the lymph nodes would collect some of the ink particles injected into the skin. In fact, they wrote in their paper, ” pigmented and enlarged lymph nodes have been noticed in tattooed individuals for decades.
” But their new discovery, that ink particles are found in the lymph nodes at nanoparticle sizes (smaller than 100 nanometers in diameter) is especially disturbing, they say. Particles that small can behave differently in the body and pose different health threats.
Even in non-nanoparticle form, tattoo inks made with titanium dioxide (especially white pigments) have been linked to problems like delayed healing, skin elevation, and itching. In addition to titanium dioxide, the researchers also found a broad range of other tattoo-related nano-scale chemicals in the lymph nodes, as well.
- To be clear, the research does not provide evidence of any specific health problems that could be linked to tattoos;
- But it’s one of the first studies to show that nano-scale pigments—some of which are made of toxic elements and preservatives—do migrate and accumulate within the body;
And the authors point out that chronic health effects, like the development of cancer, are difficult to link to events like tattoos, because they only emerge after years or decades of exposure. More research is needed to further understand the true implications of these findings, they scientists say, and to develop guidelines for safer tattoo procedures.
- For now, if you’re thinking of getting inked, know that a lot of unanswered questions exist, says first author Ines Schreiver of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment;
- “It is important to know that there is not much regulation on tattoo inks in the world that would allow one to state that tattoo inks are generally safe,” Schreiver told Health via email;
“The ingredients have never been approved for the injection into skin, and there is a significant lack of data to explain the so far known side effects like allergies and granuloma formation. ” “There might be more risk associated with tattoos then the ever increasing trend of tattooing might imply,” she added.
Can you get leukemia from tattoos?
I have heard in the media that some scientists are concerned with the dangers associated with tattoo ink. Is it true that some tattoo ink contains carcinogens?” We are not aware of a reported cancer case directly attributable to tattooing. However, evidence does show that some tattoo inks contain carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) – chemicals that have been classified as known or possible carcinogens by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer.
- Subsequently, a 2016 report from the Australian Government’s Department of Health, National Industrial Chemical’s Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS), looked into the composition of 49 tattoo inks and found a mismatch between content and labelling, as well as concern about some components;
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), a group of chemicals which are known carcinogens, was found in a fifth of the samples tested and in 83% of the black inks tested by NICNAS. Other hazardous components included barium, copper, mercury, amines and various colourants.
- In order to achieve the permanent effect, tattoo ink is injected into the dermis – the deeper layer of the skin – and stays in the skin for a lifetime;
- Over time, macrophages take up pigment and may transport it into the lymphatic system and lymph nodes;
This means other tissue in the body can be exposed to potentially carcinogenic materials in the tattoo ink. A recent review found that the number of skin cancers in tattooed skin was low, and therefore seems coincidental, however a number of carcinogens that have been found in tattoo inks have been associated with cancers elsewhere in the body, such as the liver or bladder.
- If a tattoo covers or surrounds a mole you might not see changes that could indicate skin cancer, and the tattoo pigments in your skin may make it difficult for a doctor to accurately detect cancer, delaying diagnosis of melanoma or skin cancer;
If you are concerned, don’t get tattooed. Or if you choose to get tattooed, ask if the inks being used comply with the European standard known as ResAP(2008)1, which sets out the requirements and criteria for the safety of tattoos..
Does pen ink go into your bloodstream?
Temporary Tattoos – While on the subject of temporary Sharpie tattoos it is worth noting that the ink in most of the temporary tattoos that you can buy packaged either online or in the mall should be non-toxic and safe to use on your skin. These are the type that you stick on dry skin and then rub with water and let dry.
- Always check the packaging to make sure that you know what’s in them and that they are AP certified;
- However, if someone offers to paint a black tattoo on you often referred to as black henna or neutral henna don’t get one they contain high levels of an illegal black chemical dye that is banned from use on people’s skin;
Not only can it scar you for life but there is also the possibility of having a life-threatening allergic reaction. more information can be found here on the NHS Website. If you accidentally jab yourself with a pen and are worried that the ink has gone into your bloodstream you should be perfectly safe as pen ink is usually considered to be nontoxic. You may have a slight reddening of the skin and some skin irritation but treat it as you would if you had a cut or a graze clean the area and then apply antiseptic cream. If you are concerned that you may have an infection, then obviously seek medical advice. ” The World Health Organization goes even further regarding the toxicity level and dismissing the idea of ink poisoning from pens. It lists pens under the heading “products that are usually not harmful,” in its ” Management of Poisoning: A Handbook for Health Care Workers “. The book states that: “Ink: ball-point pens, felt-tip pens, and fountain pens contain so little ink that there is not enough to cause poisoning if it is sucked from a pen.
But in case you’re concerned about the toxicity of your pens and markers, you can check the Art & Creative Materials Institute. The organization has a program that certifies items that “contain no materials in sufficient quantities to be toxic or injurious to humans or to cause acute or chronic health problems.
Some inks may cause soreness in the mouth. Large amounts of ink swallowed from a bottle could be irritant, but serious poisoning has not been reported. ” This is confirmed by the NIH Website that goes on to say that, “large amounts of writing ink must be consumed (more than an ounce) before treatment is needed,” Basically, if you don’t drink large amounts of ink, you’ll be just fine. These are the following symptoms of ink poisoning although as we have already discussed technically speaking it is not actually poisoning. In any case, if you have an accident with an ink pen then you may experience the following symptoms: If you get ink in your eyes, then you are likely to suffer from irritation of the eyes and possibly blurred vision. The first course of action is to flush the ink out with cool water and then seek medical treatment if required.
However, there’s a caveat to all this. Some inks contain tiny amounts of chemicals like phenol, ethyl glycol, or xylene (usually used in permanent markers), all of which can be dangerous in large amounts, so you’d obviously want to avoid ingesting too much of them.
Swallowing ink is unlikely to have any lasting effects but it may cause a mild stomach ache and slight nausea. Once again if the symptoms persist then seek medical advice. Staining of the skin or mucus membranes, if you have an ink stain on your skin the treatment basically consists of scrubbing away the ink.
How does tattoo ink leave the body?
When you get a tattoo , you can pretty much expect that it’ll be with you forever. But, if for whatever reason you change your mind, there are removal options. Unfortunately, even after removal, the ink doesn’t just disappear — we actually excrete it through our lymphatic system.
- The tattoo removal process is performed through a series of laser treatments (which can take up to four to 10 sessions), wherein the tattoo pigment absorbs light, which causes the ink to break down and be absorbed by our immune system, says Melissa Doft, a New York City-based plastic surgeon;
(We also learned this interesting tidbit in a recent Buzzfeed report. ) Although many people may think lasers simply fade the tattoo ink (similarly to how ink on paper simply fades if left in the sun), it’s actually a little more complicated. After the laser-removal process, which Doft notes, typically works best on darker, older tattoos, the ink is recognized as waste within the lymphatic system and discarded via either sweat, urine, or fecal matter.
- “The focus of the laser treatment is to disintegrate the ink particles of the tattoo,” says celebrity cosmetic dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank;
- “A high-intensity light beam is targeted at the pigmentation, causing it to break apart, become absorbed into the body, and be excreted through the body’s natural immune system;
” The effectiveness of the removal is partially determined by the location of the tattoo, says Frank. “Places in the body with the most circulation most easily wash away the pigmentation, while places with low circulation (like the fingers and toes) are typically harder to treat,” he says.
The treated area can become sensitive post-procedure, which can result in stinging, allergic reactions, and small bumps. Frank says these reactions are a result of the dissection of ink nanoparticles that occurs during treatment, and scientists are currently researching the effects of the procedure.
Bottom line: Even after laser removal, your tattoo isn’t completely gone. That is, until you, ahem, excrete it. But, don’t worry, it’s not something you’ll notice the next time you use the restroom — no matter how big the tattoo was. As Buzzfeed points out, “you will not be able to tell that there’s tattoo ink in your poop — so please don’t go looking for it.
What happens to tattoo ink in the skin?
– The tattoo needle punctures your skin around 100 times per second, with the aim of depositing the ink in a region of 1. 5 to 2 millimeters below the surface of the skin. The reason for this depth of penetration is to bypass the outer layer of the skin, or the epidermis.
- This part of the skin constantly renews itself;
- Every day, thousands of epidermal cells are shed from your skin and replaced with new cells;
- Ink injected into the superficial skin layer would simply come off within 3 weeks;
In order to give the ink a permanent home in your body, the tattoo needle must travel through the epidermis into the deeper layer, or the dermis. Nerves and blood vessels are located here, which is why getting a tattoo hurts and your skin tends to bleed.
- The bleeding is part of the skin’s natural defense against injury;
- The result is an influx of immune cells to the site of injury;
- Macrophages are specialized immune cells, whose job it is to engulf foreign particles and clear them from the tissue;
But this process is only partially successful when it comes to tattoo ink. Some macrophages loaded with ink particles remain in the dermis, while other pigment particles are taken up by the main dermal residents, which are called fibroblasts. Clumps of pigment particles have also been found to stick between the dense collagen fibers of the dermis.
- Although every new tattoo will display some pigment loss, the majority of the ink will stay in the skin;
- A study in mice reported that 42 days after tattooing, 68 percent of the dye was still located at the injection site;
But where is the rest of the ink?.
What happens if a tattoo needle hits a vein?
– This type of tattoo isn’t entirely risk-free. But then, getting a tattoo always involves some level of risk, with an infection being the main cause for concern. The risk for an infection gets a little higher when it comes to tattoos on veins, according to Dr.
Stacey Chimento, a board certified dermatologist at Riverchase Dermatology in Bay Harbor Islands, Florida. “Tattoos involve applying pressure on your skin with a needle, which can rupture the vein, making it bleed into the surrounding tissue and cause an infection,” she says.
If you have varicose veins, Chimento goes on to explain, this could make things worse and result in veins that protrude even further. “Varicose veins struggle to heal due to their pre-existing damage. If pierced during the tattoo session, they could randomly bleed internally or externally, affecting surrounding organs,” she says.
- Another thing to keep in mind when considering a tattoo to cover varicose veins? How that tattoo could potentially impact any future treatment of the veins;
- “To treat the diseased veins, they need to be somewhat visible;
And if left untreated, the blood can leak into the leg tissue and cause hyperpigmentation. Although rare, infections and undiagnosed veins can cause a need for urgent care if left untreated,” Chimento says.