White Ink Irritation


Happy Saturday, ModBloggers! Hope the day finds you well. Today we check in with Twitter, who had a semi-gnarly reaction to these white-ink paw tattoos she got a little while ago, and then proceeded to receive a succession of poor opinions. Take it away:

I’m not sure really how to explain it. It was a blister/hive kinda thing. One paw scarred pretty bad. I just started training a new job and was stressed out. One paw started out and then it spread to all of them. Went to a few tattoo artists over town. Got completely mixed reactions. Everything from saying I’d have to get them cut out, lasered off, to take allergy meds and just wait and see how it goes. It lasted a few weeks then went away after eating at least a couple boxes of Benadryl. It hasn’t acted up again.

See more in Wildlife and Nature Tattoos (Tattoos)

31 thoughts on “White Ink Irritation

  1. Is that a healed picture of it?
    Sounds like a pain in the ass but now it looks like a well healed scar…

  2. That’s really a shame about the reaction. But I agree with Eric about the scar; I honestly think it looks good.

  3. Sometimes ‘expert’ opinion isn’t so expert… Sucks that you had to go through it, but the results are great IMO.

  4. Some good has come from something bad. It is beautiful. Hope its not too painful!

  5. Ah hon, that sucks that you had to go through that :(
    But even if it is not what you originally intended, the outcome is still beautiful imo.
    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t handle white ink well.(which sucks as I had to change my plans for my backpiece this august).

  6. I suppose that’s a different way to go about a scarification, ne?
    I like how it turned out, though. Looks like it was done on purpose.
    I’d actually debate doing that, if I knew it would get the same effect.

  7. What a great scar, seriously thought this was just some very well done and healed scarification! I know its not wshat you wanted but at least it looks good :)

  8. probably should go to a doctor to get information about bad reactions rather than the artist.

  9. 13. Chris, that was my first thought. Consulting an artist also is not a bad idea, but with a bad reaction like this one the artist should have recommended seeing a doctor first!!

  10. I don’t profess to be an expert but i bet the statement of “I just started training a new job and was stressed out.” has at least some part to play in the phenomenon. I have a heavy black work sleeve which healed quickly and fine, but i find that when i am severely over stressed (which unfortunately isnt a rare occasion as a phd student) that some of the pieces of the tattoo puff up like that at very rarely are a little itchy. Then when the stress passes everything goes back to normal and you would never know anything had ever went weird.

    My hypothesis is that the tattoo ink is probably right at the edge of things our bodies will normally tolerate so heavy stress, which is known to cause peoples immune systems to freak out (eg. stress related acne), causes the immune system to over-react to something that normally doesn’t bother it. Thus, when the stress is relieved (or the immune system placated chemically), the reaction goes away.

    If it was a full blown allergic reaction it would likely recur as soon as the antihistamines were discontinued.

  11. Man, I remember this tattoo from, what, October of 2007?

    Gorgeous white work. Now it looks like really neat scarification.

    Still a nice effect, but a bummer if it wasn’t what you hoped for.

  12. Agreed with the rest. Sorry about the pain and what, and if it’s not what you wanted to set out, but… as a piece with no context provided, it does look good as scars with the raised effects.

    So possilbly it’s “nice words too late” but still, at least take comfort in that it looks like a nice piece of art, even if not quite the one you aimed to get.

  13. #15—one of my tattoos does the same…when I’m tired or stressed it becomes raised and itchy. Never heard of that from anyone else, and it doesnt happen to any of my other tattoos. Glad to hear I’m not a complete freak!

  14. May be an autoimmune response to stress? seek the opinion of a Dr. one thing to keep in mind there is little known about autoimmune diseases. I learned this when i had a chunk of hair fall out and got few answers from my GP.

  15. Every year during ragweed season, the purple in my sleeve raises up like hives and gets itchy. Just the purple, everything else is fine. I

  16. ahhh the stress thing. ^^ i also got my lower arms tattooed and after one week I got irritations on both arms because of my stressfull rehab. thats a bad thing, I’ve got some not very beautiful scars of it now, but your raction turned out beautiful i think. an ordinary skin removal or cutting would have not healed out this beautiful. try to be proud of it!!

  17. I had a far amount of white on my arm that was scaly and itchy for over a year, MAJOR PAIN IN THE ASS. i’m fairly certain it was not just a stress reaction, but a reaction to the ink since I wasn’t under stress for the entire year. the initial work was done with dermaglo, which seems to cause trouble in lots of folks. maybe not to the same degree, but certainly a bit generally weird. Initially i tried using benadryl and while it certainly helped relieve the itching, it didn’t really fix the problem. over the last couple of months I’ve been getting the parts with the dermaglo redone with national ink. it’s been slow-ish to heal, but seems to be smoothing out very nicely. the biggest relief of it all it that’s it’s no longer constantly itchy. so yah, i’m not doctor, or tattoo artist, but in my case it seems that the answer is going over the area again in different ink.

  18. my arms blacked out wrist to shoulder and ive had certain smallish areas on it that flare up and are really itchy and uncomfortable every now an again,ive seen a few doctors over it and was prescribed steroid creams and antihistamines but to no avail really and no doctors could really tell me what it was either,after reading this i think ill look up benadryl an see if it can help…weird i thought it was only me that had this problem haha!

  19. For all those who suggest visiting a doctor, its not going to work.

    Unless you can provide the exact 100% ingredients listing that is contained in said pigment, the doctor will be unable to properly assist your needs. So essentially their troubleshooting will be along the lines of tattoo artists troubleshootings,etc.

    Simply because as of right now it is not law that pigment companies list ALL their ingredients…So that means they could be putting mercury or who knows what all else into their pigments.

    But don’t get me wrong, visiting your doctor COULD prove to be helpful…But it’ll be harder for them if you cannot obtain for them the exact ingredient listing of the pigment used.

  20. Re #27. Doctors can treat allergic reactions without knowing what the patient is allergic to. Frequently they have to. In fact, as a doctor I treat more allergic reactions not knowing than knowing. Having the list of ingredients for the ink is helpful to determine what exactly the most likely culprit is, so the patient can avoid it in the future, but certainly not necessary. Sorry about all the sentences ending with prepositions.

  21. yeah im all for going back to your artist for MINOR things, but that was probably an issue best handled by a doctor.

    its not autoimmune, since an autoimmune disease is when the body attacks itself, and since the ink that caused the problem is foregin, id say allergic reaction best cured by a doctor visit that will probably end in some steroids, and benadryl.

    but im no doctor (yet, haha, well see where life takes me) so i could be completely off base with my “dagnosis/ guess”. either way seek medical attention, since they will be of most help :)

  22. #28: Is that not more about treating the Symptoms and not the actual problem?

    With this situation its in regards to misc. pigment under the skin so one cannot “avoid” it in the future, for the most part.

    I understand where you’re coming from…It’s just a personal frustration I have with doctors, when it comes to treating symptoms and not the actual problem itself. Better to deal with the root and not its leafy parts. *shrugs*

  23. As a tattoo artist for many years, I have seen many people come and go with white in their tattoos, but 90% come back upset that there white didn’t stay in their skin. I’m not saying that it wont ever stay but it is a very hard color to tattoo successfully like other colors. I’m sorry about your reaction, I always tell my costumers to call me if they have any questions or concerns, but if I don’t have the answers I always refer them to their doctor!

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