White Hot Trend Alert – Rethinking White Ink Tattoos

    White Ink Tattoos

    Tattoos have certainly grown in popularity and especially ones with unique and custom artwork. A hot 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 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 the 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 the white ink may pose a risk to your health.


    What is in White Tattoo Ink

    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 causes 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 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 recommends 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 Salon.  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. If you are considering having a white ink tattoo removed, give us a call to schedule a free consultation.



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