Can I claim for tattoo poisoning?

Tattooist drawing tattoo on clients arm

As tattooing requires making thousands of tiny puncture wounds in your skin, you might ask yourself, “Can I claim for tattoo poisoning?” if it goes wrong. You can call Accident Advice Helpline for help and advice on our 24-hour free helpline – 0800 180 4123.

Skin is your first line of defence against an invasion of germs, so piercing holes in it is like opening a door and inviting bacteria in. A new tattoo is an open wound and just like any other can become infected if not cared for properly, causing tattoo poisoning.

Our ancestors made tattoo inks with dyes from natural products, but many of today’s inks contain an unknown mixture of sulphides, oxides, selenides, organic dyes or plastics, which are suspended in a carrier solution. The wide range of pigments currently used in tattoo inks can sometimes cause health problems.

Awareness groups

There are at least 1,500 licensed tattoo parlours in the UK, with nearly three in ten people aged between 25 and 34 having at least one tattoo. Tattoo Regulations 2013 is a group led by celebrity tattooist Kevin Paul, who has worked on celebrities such as Harry Styles and Ed Sheeran. Another group that represents the tattoo industry is The Tattoo Education and Public Awareness Group (TEPA). Both are calling for tighter regulations in the industry and promote self-help and awareness before embarking on body art.

Be prepared

Make sure that your tattoo artist adheres to strict hygiene guidelines. There is a tiny risk of contracting a serious illness, such as Hepatitis C or even HIV if a tattoo artist uses the same needle on you that they have used on an infected person. In addition, ensure that they sterilise all equipment with an autoclave. Allergies to latex are more common than to ink, so also ask your artist to use non-latex gloves if you are at all concerned.

As it requires breaking the skin barrier, tattooing may carry health risks, including infection and allergic reactions. Ask to be tested prior to having a tattoo done to ascertain if you have an allergic reaction, which will begin to show within several minutes. If you do develop a reaction it is most likely to be dermatitis, which causes inflammation, rashes and swelling around the site. Any swelling, tenderness or pain that is accompanied by drainage of a yellow or white pus-like substance could be a sign of a local bacterial infection.

Blood poisoning

Infections can result in blood poisoning if they are allowed to develop, so you must seek medical advice. It is possible to get ink poisoning from a tattoo, but it is very rare. In order for you to contract blood poisoning the ink has to get into your bloodstream and tattoos are applied into the dermal layer of the skin rather than into the bloodstream. Red streaks spreading from the tattoo are a symptom of blood poisoning and require immediate medical attention.

The short answer to the question “Can I claim for tattoo poisoning?” is yes and we strongly advise you to call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 180 4123 as soon as possible. The line is open seven days a week.

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Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.
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