The Eyeball Tattoo FAQ

**Please note that as of 2020, there have been a few documented cases of both temporary and permanent blindness associated with this procedure. The risks are great and real and this procedure has been banned in several places because of the risks it poses. – BME**

Eyeball Tattooing FAQ
by Shannon Larratt


  • Unless otherwise indicated, this document refers to scleral tattooing (over the white of the eye) using the ink injection method, rather than to corneal tattooing (over the iris) using repetitive needle punctures.
  • This document is under constant revision and reflects the current amateur understanding of the art of eyeball tattooing. It should not be taken as definitive or absolute advice. This document is not medical advice. This document will be updated whenever relevant and possible, so please check back for updates.
  • Eyeball tattooing carries with it significant risks up to and including blindness and life-threatening complications. Nothing in this document should be taken as condoning or recommending or encouraging eyeball tattoos, or presenting it as safe. Proceed at your own risk.
  • Because this FAQ is constantly changing, please do not reprint it elsewhere. Instead, please link directly to where it is hosted:


Current Version: 1.1 / November 21, 2012

Updates since the previous version are highlighted in red (like this).

1.1 – Added additional risks information (glaucoma, ocular hypotension, etc.), multicolor inks, and various notes.
1.0 – FAQ updated after long talk with Howie/LunaCobra
0.9 – Original version written by Shannon Larratt

** What is eyeball tattooing?

Eyeball tattooing, in the context of this FAQ, is the process of permanently altering the color of the eye. Generally this refers to the injection of ink under the surface of the white of the eye, rather than changing the color of the iris, although this is theoretically possible.

** Why would someone want to tattoo their eye?

This is a rude question that no one should feel obligated to answer to anyone but themselves. But to generalize, people get eyeball tattoos for the same reasons people would get any tattoo or make any permanent change to themselves — because it makes them happy or feels right in some way. Because they like the way it looks. Because it suits them spiritually. Because they find it sexually appealing. Because they want to differentiate themselves from others. Because they feel tattooing has gotten to mainstream and want something more socially offensive. Because they saw it in a dream. Because it appeals to them as an artist. Because they want to make a political statement. Because they’re mad at their mommy for not hugging them enough. Because it’s none of your business.

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