The Food and Drug Administration is warning people that getting a tattoo comes with several risks, including the possibility of being infected with HIV or hepatitis, allergic reactions, and other skin problems.
And if you ever decide to remove your tattoo later, the FDA is warning about “pain and high costs.”
The FDA’s warning focused on women who get tattoos for “beauty, self-expression or cultural events.” It explained that tattoos can be done by injecting ink into your skin, injecting henna, or by getting a temporary tattoo.
FDA said that because of the risk of infections, scarring or other problems, the FDA “has not approved any inks for injecting into your skin.”
FDA has also not approved the injection of henna or hair dye into people’s skin. The FDA said it does not regulate tattoo parlors, but does monitor problems associated with tattoos — problems can be reported by calling 1-800-332-1088.
The agency said removing tattoos is not easy. “You may not be able to completely remove your tattoo,” it said. “You could get a scar when you remove your tattoo.”
There are other more complicated methods for removing them as well.
“Tattoos can sometimes be removed by cutting out the tattooed skin then sewing the skin back together,” it said. “Other times, the skin can be sanded down to remove the tattoo.”
The FDA indicated that least painful and easiest to remove option is the temporary tattoo, like the ones found in Cracker Jack boxes.
“A tattoo design is on a coated paper,” FDA said. “It is put on your skin with water. Temporary tattoos may last up to 3-4 weeks. Sticker tattoos last hours to days.”