The Food and Drug Administration recently issued a warning for contaminated tattoo inks that can cause infection.
“Bacteria called nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) has been found in a recent outbreak of illnesses linked to contaminated tattoo ink,” said a statement from the FDA.
Multiple cases of NTM infection were reported in New York after a tattoo artist reportedly used expired ink.
Infections that yield from the bacteria can cause irritation in the skin and treatments can last up to six months. The FDA said the red bumps caused by the infection are often misdiagnosed as an allergic reaction, leading to ineffective treatment.
The FDA is encouraging tattoo parlors to inspect their ink, and make sure they have not expired.
“Reporting an infection to FDA and the artist is important,” said Dr. Katherine Hollinger, Once the problem is reported, FDA can investigate, and the artist can take steps to prevent others from being infected.”