How Safe Is Your Ink?
"Think before you ink" is more than a catchy tag line at Delete. From spectacular artwork to amateur tattoos, we like to think we have seen it all and only truly hate the tattoo that makes you sick. With millions of people, or roughly 23% of Americans, having at least one tattoo (PEW Research Center, 2010), there are a number of questions on how tattoo ink impacts health. Many patients at Delete - Tattoo Removal & Laser Salons have multiple tattoos, plan to add to their tattoos, and have also reported sensitivity to their ink upon receiving a tattoo in the past. Check out the Delete's video from "Good Evening Arizona" How Safe Is Your Ink?
Since our skin is the biggest organ and the body’s first line of defense against toxic substances, it will absorb anything that we put on it (like lotion), or in it (like tattoo ink). Even though tattoo ink settles into the skin and stays there permanently, it can fade by being absorbed by the body or by being exposed to sunlight. The ink that the body slowly absorbs over time is taken into the blood stream and picked up by white blood cells to detoxify through the liver. In fact, Laser Tattoo Removal counts on this natural mechanism for the tattoo removal process.
Sensitivity to tattoo ink is caused by ingredients commonly found in it. And while the FDA could regulate specific ingredients found in tattoo ink, action to protect consumers will only be taken if and when sufficient safety issues related to the inks are reported. "Our hope is to get a better understanding of the body's response to tattoos and their impact on human health, and to identify products at greatest risk," says Linda Katz, M.D., M.P.H., Director of FDA's Office of Cosmetics and Colors in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2009. Think Before You Ink: Are Tattoos Safe?).
Currently, the FDA reports tattoo risks as scarring from the tattoo artist, general allergic reactions from the ingredients found in the ink, dirty needle infection from a blood borne pathogen, such as HIV or hepatitis, small bumps or granulomas formed by the body’s response to ink particles, or swelling/burning associated with an MRI. There has not been sufficient information on the risks of being tattooed with the ingredients of tattoo ink. This has led to the unregulated use of a number of toxic ink ingredients. Lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, titanium and other heavy metals may be found in tattoo inks. In fact, our "White Hot Trend Alert – Rethinking White Ink Tattoos" blog post, highlights the danger of titanium dioxide found in white ink. These ingredients can lead to different health conditions, such as heavy metal toxicity, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain fog, memory loss, early aging, and autoimmune disorders such as lupus, celiac, and hypo/hyper active thyroid. Some black ink has been reported to have polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); there is a possibility that PAHs is linked to some skin cancers. Since the FDA does not regulate the ink industry, it is close to impossible to predict what the possible side effects and outcomes are from receiving a tattoo with toxic ink.
Luckily, a number of the possible toxic substances found in ink have a very short half-life, meaning they do not stay in the body for a long time. Staying healthy before and after getting a tattoo, and also during the tattoo removal process, is crucial. If you are healthy, the body is well-equipped with detoxification pathways that can handle many of the ingredients in tattoo ink. However, if you are sensitive to new substances introduced to the body, or have a compromised immune system or unhealthy life style, then be cautious and educated about what substances are used in the tattoo ink.
It is important that if you do, or even if you do not have a tattoo, you take an active role in your health. This means drinking plenty of water, exercising, and eating lots of vegetables. Helping your body detoxify, keeping the circulation moving and fortifying the liver as it flushes out any and all toxins can protect you from chronic disease. It is also a good idea to consult a physician or nurse at Delete about what supplements you can be taking to support the liver and maintain a healthy life-style. The Pure Encapsulations’ Liver Detox, Fish Oil and Multi T-D supplements found at Delete help in the tattoo removal process. We also recommend B-12 Boosts and Nutrient Infusions that will give your body extra nutrients to help the detoxification pathways function at their best.
If you don’t have a tattoo but are thinking of getting one, talk with your tattoo artist about the ingredients found in the ink they are using. Do your research and be as informed as possible. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is a valuable tool. If you have any questions about an ink ingredient, our medical team is here to help before, during and after your tattoo. Take an active role in your health. We predict that tattoo ink will be regulated in the future, but for now it is "Buyer beware."
Below are some helpful links. Do your research and stay healthy Deleters!
Mayo Clinic:Tattoos: Understand risks and precautions
FDA Consumer Update
You can only imagine the crazy tattoo stories that we hear at Delete—Tattoo Removal & Laser Salon. Even if there is not a story, that itself is a story! It is practically impossible to escape and celebrities are no exception to the rule! We are giving you the dish on some of the crazy celebrity tattoos!
We start the top story with Kelly. Why? Because she literally has the word “Stories” tattooed on her scalp. And she obviously has so many. Currently undergoing tattoo removal for a different tattoo, you think she would have learned her lesson! The good news is she can always cover it up by growing her hair out!
Mr. beautiful himself, whose only imperfection happens to be a tattoo he did himself! Of the tattoo Ryan admits, “One of my tattoos is supposed to be a monster's hand dropping a bloody heart but I did it myself with a tattoo kit so it looks like a cactus." Because a cactus is somehow less sexier than what the alternative would have been? Will say that the cactus worked out in his favor!
No, that is not a bunch of gibberish on RiRi’s clavicle. Rihanna was clearly never taught to read from left to right. Her tattoo is a backwards phrase, “Never a failure. Always a lesson.” She claims that it is printed backwards so she can read it whenever she looks into a mirror. "It basically says that it is OK to make a mistake," she added, "Just don't make them twice.” Hopefully she’ll start living by that advice when adding to her collection of tattoos!
It’s very hard to criticize sweet Emma Stone. She seems pretty down-to-earth. Here is why there is truth in that statement: Sir Paul McCartney, former Beatle, drew the customized tattoo on Emma’s wrist! Now we don’t know what kind of strings she had to pull…but it is a pretty awesome story! The tattoo is of two little bird feet because “Blackbird” is a favorite song that Emma and her mother share! Her good taste in music also gives her extra points!
Of course, John is too intelligent to get the initials of an ex-lover tattooed on his skin. So have you ever wondered what the initials “SRV” stand for on his left arm? Stevie Ray Vaughan, of course! Who happens to be a legendary guitarist that John Mayer idolizes!
Mel is probably one of the most talked about celebs reportedly getting tattoo removal. She is removing her “Antonio” tattoo, as she and husband Antonio Banderas are calling it quits! We never would have seen that one coming! They seemed like such a perfect match! At least Melanie finds humor in all of this. She has been spotted covering the tattoo with a bandage that she wrote “Mel” on top of! We got to hand it to her, she is one clever gal!
There is nothing Lady Gaga could do to surprise us at this point! However, the story behind every tattoo on her body is pretty interesting! Gaga has reportedly only inked the left side of her body to obey her father's wish to leave one side of her body "normal." What a kind gesture! Although, a bit surprising! She seems to be more of a “daddy issues” girl than a “daddy’s girl.”
We know you have a story you are dying to tell! Share it with us using the hastag #tattootales ! Even if you don’t have a story, enlighten us! We would really like to see that story-less tattoo! Check out some of Delete Tattoo Removal & Laser Salon's favorite stories on our #idelete page!
My Journey is Nearly Complete - By Tatum Davis
Last week I went in for my 9th treatment on my arm tattoos. As time goes by, the power of the laser gets turned up in order to target the deepest ink in my skin. It's uncomfortable sure, but I still stick with the opinion that getting the tattoo is more painful than removing it, especially since I had it numbed!
When I started this journey you couldn't ignore my tattoos if you tried! They were very prominent and the black ink was extremely deep in my skin. I used to cover them every day for work, but that is a routine of the past. Now, it's as if no one realizes I have tattoos and I also find myself forgetting them. It's amazing how well they are disappearing considering I still have roughly four sessions left. Now that I'm in the last stretch of the tattoo removal process, I am beginning to get excited! It seemed like such a long journey in the beginning, but now it's quickly coming to an end. Soon my forearm and bicep tattoos will be a thing of the past and I will finally be able to focus on my future!
At Delete, we’re all about showing off your American pride. We live in a great country where we’re free to express our frustrations, angst, and pride for our government and country. There are cute ways to do this, like buying an Old Navy Independence Day t-shirt, hosting a BBQ, or painting your face on the 4th of July. There are some people that take this freedom of expression just a little too far. We’ve compiled a list of the best of the worst American Pride tattoos…Enjoy!
Eric Hartsberg of Michigan City had this Romney-Ryan logo tattooed on his face back in 2012. He auctioned his face on eBay for ad space. The winning bid paid a pretty penny to have the tattoo on his face. Since Romney’s loss in 2012, Hartsberg has had the tattoo removed. Eric said the tattoo, “Stands not only for a losing campaign, but for a sore loser.”
If you looked up “Tattoo Failure” in the urban dictionary, we are sure you would find this guy’s tattoo. The tattoo reads, “Made in the USA” and is
stamped on his buttocks. Patriotism? Or just a really bad idea? Wouldn’t you say he went a little too far? Let’s hope this one goes back to the factory!
Texas is great. There’s amazing landscape, no state income tax, and of course this tattoo. Seriously though, we hope there’s a delete button in the near future for this guy to hit!
If you haven’t seen the Statue of Liberty, we suggest you check it out! It’s pretty magnificent and represents the hope of our immigrant ancestors. There are a lot of tattoos of Lady Liberty that are truly artistic. Unfortunately, this lady had a few to many and needs to be liberated. At first glance you’re probably thinking, it’s not so bad.
But, take a closer look and you’ll notice the misshaped hands, saucers flying in the background, and the disproportioned shading. Look at it long enough and it’ll make your head hurt. All in favor… Say, “hit delete!”
The liberty bell is an iconic piece of US history, and this tattoo just destroys any hint of historical significance. Loud and proud this bell rings for something other than freedom. We think someone got a little carried away with Philly Beer Week!
Last, there are the American flag tattoos. They come in all shapes and sizes, and are either a big hit or a horrific miss. This flag tattoo is definitely a miss. But let’s face it, we’re all proud
of our country, and there’s nothing like showing off our pride on the 4th of July even if it’s on this list.
These tattoos redefine what it means to be a proud American. Just make sure you find yourself on the right side of history this holiday! Delete—Tattoo Removal & Laser Salon wishes you a happy and safe Fourth of July!
Tattooing as an Art Form and the Coorelation Between Bodies and Galleries By Jason Anthony
Tattooing is an art form as much as it is a learned skill set, as are traditional art forms such as painting and drawing. This is something I've understood for a while and I'm constantly reminded of, whether it's seeing some new amazing piece posted on Instagram, or the random person that I run into on the street assuring me that it 'really is art' after seeing the mess that I'm wearing on my arms. Many people would agree with this.
Tattooing in this day and age has evolved past the simple folk imagery of traveling carnivals and shops filled with hand painted flash-images all created by the artists that work there. We now live in an age where, for the most part, people don't walk into a shop and pick something off the wall. People are looking for a custom tattoo, and if you're not able to draw up a good-looking one (sometimes with extreme brevity) then there's a good chance that tattooing may not be a terribly fruitful endeavor for you.
People expect a higher level of quality in their tattoo-artist, as opposed to someone who can successfully trace the lines and fill the colors exactly the way the picture on the wall looks. Clearly, I'm driving home the point that we're at a point in history where tattooing is truly coming into it's own. Some pieces are composed so well, and rendered so flawlessly that they rival half the things I've seen in art museums and can stand up to a very hard critique.
That being said, in the event that you're at an art museum meandering around and taking in all the paintings, drawings, sculptures, and various exhibits, would you at any point think it's okay to maybe take a painting off the wall and hold it up to the light just to get a better look at it? Would you run your finger across the canvas just to see what the texture was like? You might, and if you weren't escorted off the premises you would at the very least be reprimanded and warned not to do so again.
With this in mind, I wonder what makes some people think that they have the liberty to grab another person to get a better look at a tattoo that someone has. I promise that the person being grabbed is aware that they have an amazing piece of art on them. I also promise that most of the time they are very annoyed about being groped by a stranger, no matter how innocent the gesture may be. You don't go snatching glasses off of someone's face if you think you like the frames their wearing, or slip a pair of flops off their feet to see if they'll look good on you. Don't grab people. It's rude. It's intrusive. In some cases it may get you punched in the face or have you washing pepper spray out of your eyes.
If you absolutely must see someone's tattoo then politely ask. If they don't mind then I'm sure they’d be happy to show it to you, and you probably won't even have to touch them at all. If they don't want to show it to you or even bother to acknowledge your request, then as an adult you should be able to accept that rejection and continue grocery shopping, lurking the mall, walking to the light rail stop, or carrying on with whatever event is current in your life. If you can't accept the rejection then that's another discussion for another time, and you probably have some part of you still left undiscovered and should go on a road trip by yourself with a great mix tape (read playlist). What I’m getting at here is that a tattooed person’s body is like a museum, please ask – don’t touch.
With more than 49% of Americans having one or more tattoos, the working world has had to undergo dramatic shifts in policies regarding the appearance of tattoos in the workplace. Companies such as Revana, Bank of America and Dell Computers now allow employees to have non-offensive tattoos visible. Traditionally, business establishments such as these required employees to completely cover tattoos and make their ink invisible to customers. In fact, it’s not only these few companies that allow tattoos; most do. Unfortunately what these businesses don’t report is that for those who have visible tattoos, receiving a promotion is highly unlikely.
Right or wrong, acceptance of workplace tattoos has opened up doors that were previously closed and allowed many who would have been considered unemployable to now hold jobs in traditionally conservative fields. Diversity is both embraced and a cornerstone value of most corporations and businesses. Employment seeking individuals with tattoos can definitely land the job with the company of their dreams, but is it the job of their dreams? Mark Brenner, senior VP of external affairs at Apollo Group says, “Depending on if they are visible or offensive in nature, tattoos can have an impact on professionalism. “ Despite the acceptance of tattoos in the workplace, many senior execs believe tattoos portray a lack of professionalism and dependability.
Regardless of company owners’ and policy makers’ opinions on tattoos, Dr. Ira S. Wolfe expects, “there will be a sea change of attitudes toward tattoos in the next 25 years as tattooed and pierced peers begin running more companies.” Wolfe also predicts that policies banning tattoos will likely become a thing of the past. Once the current generations shift into being the movers and shakers, it will be interesting to see how social norms will be tested. In the meantime, 25 years is a long way away and Millennials looking to move up the career ladder might feel the need to choose between keeping their visible tats and possibly missing that promotion, or removing them to make that climb. Just as we have the freedom to get a tattoo, we also have the freedom – and should feel empowered – to delete our tattoos when they no longer represent our desired image.
As Deleters, we believe that all people are individuals with valuable skills and aptitudes. Tattoos are a means of self-expression, period. Having a tattoo doesn’t make anyone less qualified for a position. But if the opportunity to move up presents itself and your ink is holding you back, turn to Delete – Tattoo Removal & Laser Salon for the most comfortable, effective and affordable tattoo removal possible. It’s about having options, but you need to be 100% ready to part with your art.
Having your tattoos removed is a personal choice, and a sensitive one. So when you’re ready, let Delete give you a fresh tattoo-less start.
Realizations On Why You Should or Shouldn't Get A Certain Tattoo - By Jason Anthony
While helping a good friend move the other day (because that's what real friends do) we discussed the utter astonishment that some people get when you tell them
"No, these tattoos don't mean anything."
"Wait, like, nothing at all?"
"No, nothing. I like the pictures."
How on earth could you put something on your body that doesn't mean anything? The very idea seems so foreign to people. Tattoos are after all (semi) permanent. What are you going to do when you get old and have to explain them to your kids or grandkids? Did you know that they're permanent?
The fact of the matter is that for every single individual there's a different reason for getting tattooed. Sure, lots of times those reasons overlap, but that makes them no less important to the individual that is getting the tattoo. Thanks to the popularity that tattooing has gained through our mass media overlords, we as (good) tattooers, have become increasingly in-demand. But with that increase comes some of the ideas that were planted in our little brains about what a tattoo is, and should represent. It is after all (relatively) permanent, so it absolutely must mean the ENTIRE universe to you, if you're going to go through the pain of getting something (somewhat) permanently marked into your VERY FLESH.
With the vast ocean of importance that your tattoo holds, there has to be a story that goes along with it. A story that explains and showcases everything to a person about what makes you as an individual, tick. It should showcase the very essence of your every fiber, right? ... Sure ... Maybe ... But not really.
In the end, it's going to be a picture that has been tattooed by countless other artists onto countless people years and years before you were born. Even my most creative colleagues are still tattooing the same imagery that's been done by mankind since cave drawings. If there's a story to your tattoos, then that's awesome. However, sometimes people get tattooed simply because tattoos look cool. I don't live on a TV show. I'm not looking for that one epic and emotionally moving story to get ratings to increase the number of ad dollars I can seek out of sister companies with similar vested interests. I'm just trying to get a good-looking tattoo. For example, tigers can represent fearlessness, or royalty, or perseverance, or whatever, and that's cool, but it's still a bad ass looking animal that makes for a great tattoo. That's why my back has a giant tiger on it. But thank God these things are only kind of permanent, because some of those things that meant the world to me a decade ago (that I couldn't wait to get tattooed), are starting to look pretty busted.
With that said, take your own time thinking about the imagery that you'd have tattooed. It could be a few days or a few years...even a few seconds. Either way my goal as a tattoo artist is that you’ll love your tattoo even if it doesn’t have a great story.
About Jason Anthony:
Jason Anthony has been tattooing professionally since January 2004 and through his illustrative interpretation of the ancient art of tattooing he has been awarded several honorific titles including: "That loud guy in the corner", "Most likely to accept any compliment with grace and humility", and "The one that nerds go to for their video game/comic book/d&d tattoo". You can find him creating his life's work on the beautiful people of earth at The Golden Rule Tattoo in downtown Phoenix. More recently Jason Anthony has been named Best Tattoo Artist of Phoenix by AZ Foothills Magazine.
Tattoos have certainly grown in popularity and especially ones with unique and custom artwork. Today's hottest trend in the tattoo world is white ink tattoos.
Celebrity tattoos are typically how trends start and this one is no exception! Starlets like Kate Moss and Lindsay Lohan, as well as Rihanna have popularized this white hot tattoo trend. Despite white ink being hot, many tattoo artists and physicians ask you to "think before you ink."
Jason Anthony from Golden Rule Tattoo says, “Some of us will do white tattoos as long as people know that the results can vary greatly from person to person. Our willingness to do them is also contingent on the final design. If we know that it won't make for a good tattoo then we won't do it.” The white ink could eventually turn yellow or brown and fade away, or even turn pink by simply mixing with your blood. Another issue with white ink tattoos arises when the ink mixes with the outline stamped onto your skin.
Aside from reluctance of tattoo artists, the end-result of your white ink tattoo shouldn’t really be your main concern. Medical experts including Delete's Dr. Jen Mundt warn that the toxins that create the pigment in white ink is a risk to your health.
According to Dr. Mercola, of Mercola.com, The main toxin in white ink is a chemical compound called titanium dioxide. Other chemicals include; Lead carbonate, anatase, and rutile (anatase and rutile bring variations of titanium dioxide). The naturally occurring compound has been categorized as a possible carcinogen, which cause cellular malfunction, and further cause the cells to become cancerous upon impact. The combination of these ingredients can become lethal to the surrounding tissue and cells. There is simply not enough scientific evidence because the effects of titanium dioxide being mixed with the above chemicals are not fully tested on humans at this time; the risk of a possible and very probable carcinogen to your health is real.
In addition to the toxic ingredients found in white ink, it's response to laser tattoo removal varies greatly. “Laser tattoo removal requires that there be a pigment (black, blue, green, pink, etc.) for the laser to hit. When the ink is white (and light colored) all tattoo removal lasers have difficulty identifying and breaking up the the ink” says Dr. Mundt. "The other issue with white ink is the tricky, toxic ingredient - titanium dioxide. Dr. Mundt explains further, “When this ingredient is hit by the laser it actually turns gray or black first and may take a number of extra sessions to remove.” Regular gray or black ink usually takes 10 treatments, so titanium dioxide extends and may even double the length of the tattoo removal process.
Still considering getting a white ink tattoo? Josh Squires from Richmond Tattoo Shops reccomends keeping some money set-aside, as white ink tattoos require frequent touch-ups.
Every day is filled with stories of tattoo regret at Delete - Tattoo Removal and Laser Salons. So "think before you ink" is more than a cliche'. We love the tattoos that you love and hate the ones you do not. So if you are thinking about a white ink tattoo weigh the risks of application and to your health, be prepared for the costs to touch up and remove and keep us posted on your questions and decision.
Tattoo Regret at the Ripe age of 18 – By Tatum Summer Davis
Hey everyone! My name is Tatum, I'm 18 years old, and a dancer for the Phoenix Suns. I'm young, and yet, depending on Delete—Tattoo Removal & Laser Salon already. I am a real example of why you're supposed to wait until you're 18 to get your first tattoo. Ha!
I was 15 when I got my first tattoo. I was in Newport for New Years and managed to snag my older sister’s ID. I got a simple crescent moon tattooed on my left forearm that I absolutely adored and still do. My second tattoo is the holy grail of tattoo horror stories. I was 15 years old and under the very silly impression that I was in love. Yes, you see where this is going! I had the word "Endlessly" sprawled out across my right hip for LIFE. It turns out that endlessly in fact does end but the ink in your skin still remains!
My third tattoo was a tribute to my mom. Her signature lays across my right arm, right above the crease where my elbow is. I was 16 and still in that "tattoos make me cool!" phase and adoring my ink. Don't get me wrong; I adore my crescent moon and my mother’s signature; they are extremely meaningful tattoos to me. And frankly, I still think tattoos make you cool! Haha! But my advice to my younger self and all of you readers: Try playing with hair color, makeup, or ANYTHING that isn't permanently embedded in your skin. Contrary to my belief, your mind does change, especially between the very formative ages of 15 to 18.
At the age of 17, about to turn 18, I started putting a lot of thought into my future and began plans to try out for my dream job as a “Suns Dancer”! In my dream world, I would become a Suns Dancer and marry my dream man. Now that I really am a Suns Dancer, all I see I in this dream is myself covering up my tattoos! Tattoos can’t show on the court and nor do I want them to show in my future wedding photos, (I know, I'm such a girl)! Many of you may be asking why did I even get the tattoos in the first place then? The answer is simple; I was a teenager! Now, the thought of my future husband looking at my "Endlessly" tattoo mistake makes me cringe. So, I turned to Delete Tattoo Removal for help.
The first time I went to Delete, I was embarrassed. That barely 18, I need to have a laser used on my skin. Ugh! I can remember meeting Dr. Mundt for the first time and being blown away by her sweet and calming disposition. Delete was, and is completely free of judgment, and not to mention a safe and comfortable place to have my tattoos removed. The laser Delete uses is calibrated especially for my tattoos and the tattoo areas are even numbed before Dr. Mundt uses the laser! You really wouldn't think that anyone in their right mind would look forward to their tattoo removal appointments, but I can honestly say I do. The fact that the process is practically pain-free is an added bonus. Delete has truly been a life... and a dream saver!
Thanks for reading my first blog post with Delete, and check back for more every six weeks! I’ll be blogging about my tattoo removal experience and why iDelete after each appointment!
We are constantly telling our patients how important it is to stay healthy. Not only is staying healthy a good habit to stick with, but it also helps your ink clear faster. Taking supplements, pairing your tattoo removal treatment with Collagen Induction Therapy, our B12 boosts and nutrient infusions can help too! Even more so, keeping up with healthy activities like bicycling are crucial to your health. On that note, May is national bike month (there’s a lot of recognition in May) and anyone who rides into our salon in Phoenix will receive a free B12! You heard us right, A FREE B12 boost for bicyclists that show up with their bikes.
Delete – Tattoo Removal & Laser Salon is all about the healthy things in life. We like to ensure that our clients, and future clients, are recognized for their health efforts! B12 boosts are perfect for bicyclists because they not only give you a burst of energy, but also increase your metabolism. Since you’re already cycling around town this B12 boost will do you good!
Stop into our Delete Phoenix location to get your boost today! Click here to learn more about B12 vitamins and why we love it so much!