Infection Risk with Certain Tattoo Inks and Kits, FDA Warns

Before going for that tattoo, check that the ink used is not under recall. The FDA has reported cases of infection with certain tattoo inks.

Print Email

Before getting a tattoo, take extra caution with what ink and tools are being used. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning about the potential of pathogenic bacterial contamination with the use of recalled tattoo products.

According to the FDA, a Calif. company called White and Blue Lion, Inc. has recalled all lots of its tattoo inks, needles, and tattoo kits. Using these products may cause bacterial infection and can lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection.

The products under recall have been sold for use by consumers directly or may be used at tattoo parlors.

So far, at least one skin infection case has been linked to the company’s products and the FDA is aware of other reports of infection involving tattoo ink with similar packaging.

The FDA has advised to not use the recalled products from White and Blue Lion, Inc. as well as bottles with a multicolored Chinese dragon image with black-and-white lettering. Everyone should also be wary about using ink bottles missing the brand name and the manufacturer or distributor’s name and location.

The risk for skin infection is particularly high to individuals with pre-existing heart or circulatory conditions. Reactions to contaminated ink may also result years later.

Less severe conditions may include bumps to the skin site, discharge, redness, swelling, blisters or excessive pain.

Infections left untreated or improperly treated could spread through the bloodstream requiring treatment with antibiotics, hospitalization and/or surgery.

The contaminated products were recalled on July 11, 2014 by White and Blue Lion, Inc., but there are concerns the products are still being purchased through other distributors.

In addition to caution around permanent tattoo ink, the FDA has previously warned that temporary tattoos popular with kids may also pose a danger for skin reactions.

[Source: FDA]