FDA warns that tattoo inks can cause infections

by Mary Clare Jalonick

Thinking about getting inked? Check the bottle first.

The Food and Drug Administration is warning tattoo parlors, their customers and those buying at-home tattoo kits that not all tattoo ink is safe.

Last month, California company White and Blue Lion Inc. recalled inks in in-home tattoo kits after testing confirmed in unopened bottles.

At least one has been linked to the company's products, and FDA officials say they are aware of other infections linked to inks with similar packaging.

People getting tattoos can get infections in the skin even in the cleanest conditions. The ink can carry bacteria that can spread through the bloodstream—a process called sepsis. Less severe infections may involve bumps on the skin, discharge, redness, swelling and pain at the site.

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