Tattoos can lead to an unwanted surprise, study finds

People looking to express themselves with tattoos could be facing a shocking new health risk, especially if those people suffer from allergies. According to an NBC News report, a new study has found that certain varieties of ink commonly used in tattoos can lead to itchy, scaly rashes that can linger for months in some people.

Scientists published a study in the journal Contact Dermatitis this week that conducted detailed interviews of about 300 people with tattoos in Central Park, New York City. 149 men and 151 women were interviewed for the study, and each participant was over the age of 18.

The doctors asked participants if they had ever experienced any sort of irritation or rash around their tattoo since getting it, and for how long the irritation lasted.

The study found that about 4 percent of people who had gotten their tattoos recently had also developed a rash that lasted for a short period of time. 6 percent of participants developed rashes or scaling that persisted longer than four months. Interestingly enough, the doctors singled out color as one of the main indicators of how much irritation a certain tattoo was likely to cause.

The results suggest that many people with tattoos exhibit an allergy to some component in red ink. The study found that a significant amount of participants who reported irritation with their tattoos had red ink present.