A thorough investigation revealed that infected tattoos could also be related to tainted ink. Authorities warn people that they could get contaminated with bacteria residing in the ink even if the salon offers the best sanitary conditions, says the Associated Press.
Tattoos have become as common as any other accessories and this has led to the appearance of new and dangerous skin infections. Many diseases, such as, staph infections and hepatitis have been related to inks, so tattoo artists were forced to make sure that their saloons observe all the sanitary conditions. However, the efforts that have been made until now are not enough, according to health officials. They have discovered that a new skin infection could be caused by a bacterium that resides in the ink.
Many tattoo lovers were confronted with skin issues after contacting an unidentified artist in New York City. The growing number of patients has determined authorities to start an investigation. At first, they thought the artist didn’t use sterilized instruments and disposable gloves, but after careful analysis, they discovered that the saloon was in conformity with all rules. Thus, they turned to the only element that was not subject to lab analyses, that is, the ink and they discovered that it was, indeed, contaminated.
Dr. Byron Kennedy, deputy director of the health department in New York’s Monroe County advised people to be very careful when getting a new tattoo because they run the risk of getting infected even if the facility does everything right. According to his recent research, there have been 22 confirmed cases and 30 suspected cases of skin infections in various states, such as, Colorado, Iowa, New York and Washington. The water that was used to dilute the ink was identified as the main source of contamination. As a consequence, health officials urge people to use only sterile water to dilute the ink.
Tap water may contain the bacterium called Mycobacterium chelonae, which is related to tuberculosis. People who have been contaminated with the disease experience itchy skin and painful pus-filled blisters that usually take several months to cure with harsh antibiotics.