The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to tattoo parlors, their customers and those buying at-home tattoo kits after testing found certain inks could contain a bacteria that causes skin infections, the Associated Press reports.
The warning comes a month after California-based White and Blue Lion Inc. recalled the ink used in its in-home tattoo kits after it was determined that a bacterial combination known to cause infections was present in unopened bottles.
So far, the FDA says, one skin infection has been linked to that specific brand. The agency is also aware of infections related to similarly packaged inks.
Officials with the agency say they are concerned that consumers and tattoo artists may be in possession of the contaminated ink, which may have more distributors than just While and Blue Lion.
Labels on some of the recalled ink bottles contain a Chinese dragon with black-and-white lettering. Other bottles may be missing manufacturer information.
The FDA recommends that anyone planning to get a tattoo examine the ink bottle to make sure there is a brand name and location of the manufacturer included.
Skin infections related to tattoos aren’t uncommon, as the ink has been found to carry bacteria through the bloodstream, the AP reports. In the past, most health issues related to tattoos were the result of unsanitary parlor conditions and dirty needles.
Symptoms of an infection, which can occur years after the ink has dried, include fever, shaking chills and sweats, or in less severe cases bumps on the skin, discharge, redness and swelling may be present. People with pre-existing heart or circulatory conditions are most at-risk for infections.
FDA warns that tattoo inks can cause infections [The Associated Press]