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Body Tattoo – blog about tattoo art

Body Tattoo – blog about tattoo art
Latest tattoo news, tattoo ideas, tattoo pictures, tattoo videos.

Kinky butterfly tattoo

June 30th, 2009

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Reader Mail: Tattoo Inks and Allergic Reactions

June 29th, 2009
Question: “About a month ago I received my fifth tattoo, however this one didn’t go as well as i had planned. apparently I was had an allergic reaction to the brown tattoo ink which the doctor later labled as contact dermatitis. At first I was thinking to myself that I just won’t get that color again, but to my misfortune the doctor told me not to get any more tattoos whatsoever, because even though it may be one color now it is possible that it may spread, causing the throat glands to swell and possibly become fatal. The question I have is this. Is there a way I can find out whether or not I am allergic to tattoo inks? Another thing I had a mild problem with a tattoo i got before that, I think it might have been a small reaction, the color was red, but i had gotten some red after i had received that one. the tattoist after looking at my most recent reaction said that he was almost certain that he used the same brand of ink. is it possible that i might just be allergic to the brands?”


Answer: While I admittedly have no medical background, I think your doctor is being paranoid. It sounds like they’re just against tattoos in the first place, so this is a great excuse for them to scare you with their extremist worst-case-scenario views to keep you from getting more ink. I have never heard of anyone dying from anaphylactic shock due to an allergic reaction to tattoo ink. However, that’s not to say it could never happen and it certainly wouldn’t be worth dying just to get a tattoo, so here’s what I would do: Get a second opinion.


Go to a dermatologist, not just a family physician. Make sure the dermatologist doesn’t have any preconceived issues with tattoos and then explain the situation to them. Get tested to find out what you are allergic to (which is a simple blood test now, not the old-fashioned prick test) and maybe you can even ask if they can test for tattoo ink as well. Get a sample of the ink from your artist. Find out what brand it actually is and request an MSDS fact sheet from the manufacturer. Do whatever research you feel is necessary to determine – without prejudice – whether you should get another tattoo again or not.

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Jared Shares His Vegan Tattoo

June 28th, 2009
I met Jared while he was waiting for a train in Penn Station.

After the Manhattan Mall food court closed last summer, I discovered this wide expanse of Penn Station (especially the Amtrak area) was great for inkspotting when the weather made normal traipsing about unappealing.

Jared’s ink runs down the length of his arm, from the top of his right bicep, down to the inner part of his forearm.

As a Vegan, Jared did his research, and sought out a tattoo artist that could give him a Vegan tattoo:



There’s a school of thought that some tattoo inks are not “vegan,” in the sense that they incorporate glycerine from animal fat, or they use bone char in the black inks. See this article here.

Some artists refute this as gimmicky, and here is a more skeptical view point from a Vegan. But many Vegans who are steadfast in their ideals find the idea of a purely vegan tattoo appealing. I featured another Vegan tattoo back in October 2007 here.

Jared, who is the musical director for the national touring company of the show “Spring Awakening“, went to Cary at Body Electric Tattooing & Piercing in Hollywood for this custom design.

The top section of flowers includes at least one chrysanthemum. The bottom part spells out the word “Vegan” in twisting, viny, letters.

Jared’s whole arm took three sessions and ultimately embodies the Vegan lifestyle, not just in words and design, but in the ink used to create the art.

Thanks to Jared for sharing his work with us here on Tattoosday!

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