FDA Warns That Recalled Tattoo Inks Cause Infections

FDA Warns That Recalled Tattoo Inks Cause Infections
Image: Pixabay
August 7, 2014

Regret might not be the only risk associated with permanently inking yourself with the latest fad design.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to warn tattoo artists and consumers getting tattoos that ink contaminated with bacteria can lead to a potentially serious infection. The warning comes after a July 11 recall of White and Blue Lion inks and home tattoo kits that were found to be contaminated with bacteria. The FDA is still concerned that artists and consumers may be purchasing these products from other distributors.

"FDA has confirmed one case of skin infection involving a consumer that used this company's tattoo products," said Linda Katz, director of the FDA's Office of Cosmetics and Colors in a statement released by the FDA. "We're aware of other reports linked to tattoo products with similar packaging."

According to the FDA, tattoo customers and artists alike should avoid inks that:

  • have no brand name, carry a dragon logo, and/or are missing the name and place of business of the manufacturer or distributor,
  • are sold singly and in kits containing anywhere from five to 54, or perhaps more, bottles of inks of various colors, and
  • are marked with "Lotch"[sic] and Batch numbers, and "Date produced" and "Best if used by" dates.

Signs of a skin infection include redness, swelling, weeping wounds, blemishes or excessive pain at the site. Signs of an infection that has spread through the blood stream, known as sepsis, includes fever, shaking chills and sweats.

The FDA urges those that have these signs to seek medical attention immediately.