FDA recalls certain tattoo inks for bacterial contamination

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The Food and Drug Administration has issued a recall for certain tattoo inks because they are contaminated with bacteria.

The recall warns consumers, tattoo artists and retailers to not use six different inks from several manufacturers, since tests determined they were contaminated with "bacteria harmful to human health."

"Tattoo inks contaminated with microorganisms can cause infections and lead to serious health injuries when injected into the skin during a tattooing procedure since there is an increased risk of infection any time the skin barrier is broken," the FDA said in a news release.


The following inks are included in the recall:

- Scalpaink SC, Scalpaink PA, and Scalpaink AL basic black tattoo inks manufactured by Scalp Aesthetics (all lots)
- Dynamic Color - Black tattoo ink manufactured by Dynamic Color Inc (lots 12024090 and 12026090)
- Solid Ink-Diablo (red) tattoo ink manufactured by Color Art Inc. (dba Solid Ink) (dba Antone's Ink) (lot 10.19.18)

Symptoms of tattoo-ink-associated infections include the appearance of rashes or lesions consisting of red papules in areas where the contaminated ink has been applied. According to the FDA, some tattoo infections can result in permanent scarring.

"Indications of an infection can be difficult to recognize as other conditions (e.g., allergic reactions) may initially have similar signs and symptoms, leading to misdiagnosis and ineffective treatments," the FDA said.

For more information on the recall, visit the FDA's website.