Tattoo-related skin allergy? It could be your ink color

Thinking of getting a tattoo? You may want to reconsider your color scheme.

A new study found that 1 in 10 people with tattoos will develop severe skin problems and certain ink colors could cause more allergic reactions than others.

Researchers found that 4 percent of the study's participants developed a rash for a short period right after getting a tattoo, while 6 percent complained of skin problems that lasted more than four months.

“I have heard of a rash appearing 12 months after the tattoo has been healed,” Mike Martin, president of the Alliance of Professional Tattooists, said. “It’s usually in the site where the red pigments were tattooed into the skin.”

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Researchers drew the same conclusion, finding that red ink appeared to cause the most rashes. People reported skins rashes that were “itchy, scaly, raised or filled with edema.”

“The colored portion can sometimes raise up as much as a centimeter above the skin and can affect the texture of the skin and the way the tattoo looks,” Dr. Marie Leger, co-author of the study, said.

Rashes could also appear if the inked person does not take care of their tattoo, and more people should go to a doctor for skin-related problems, Leger added. She said if people plan to get a tattoo they should stay out of the sun, try to avoid red ink and keep the site clean.

Martin said tattoo rashes most commonly occur during the initial healing process.

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