What are the Risks of Eyeball Tattooing?

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Eyeball tattoos have gained popularity as a cosmetic body modification in recent years. However, they are not for the faint-hearted, as they are considered one of the most extreme forms of tattoos. Additionally, there are significant risks associated with the procedure, making it a controversial and potentially dangerous option for those considering it.

Eyeball tattooing? What is This?

Eyeball tattooing, also known as scleral tattooing, is a procedure where ink is injected into the white of the eye called the sclera. This permanent coloring is achieved by carefully injecting ink with a needle underneath the top layer of the eye onto the sclera, in several locations, from where the ink then slowly spreads to cover the sclera. However, this procedure is extremely risky and has potential aftereffects, such as permanent blindness or loss of vision. As a result, many medical practitioners strongly advise against eyeball tattooing due to the dangerous nature of the procedure.

Are Eye Tattoos Safe?

Eye care specialists strongly advise against getting an eyeball tattoo for cosmetic purposes. This is because it is an extremely risky and irreversible procedure that can potentially lead to blindness. Only in certain cases of eye abnormalities should the procedure be performed by a licensed medical professional. Undergoing eyeball tattooing poses a range of potential health risks, from mild eye irritation to severe complications that can result in permanent vision loss. The long-term consequences of this procedure are still unknown and should be carefully considered before deciding whether to go through with it.

Risks from Eyeball Tattooing

The risks associated with eye tattoos are significant and include the following –

  • Bleeding, infection, and other complications at the injection sites.
  • Perforation of the eye, which can lead to blindness as the sclera (the white part of the eye) is thin, less than a millimeter thick.
  • Sensitivity to light and adverse reactions to the ink used in the tattoo.
  • Transmission of blood-borne viruses from unsterile equipment used in the procedure.
  • Retinal detachment, which can cause permanent blindness.
  • Delayed diagnosis of medical conditions as the true color of the sclera is hidden, for example, jaundice is often the first symptom of many diseases.
  • Staining of the surrounding tissue due to ink migration, causing permanent discoloration.
  • Endophthalmitis, an infection inside the eye, which can lead to vision loss or even blindness.
  • Sympathetic ophthalmia, an autoimmune inflammatory response that affects both eyes and can result in vision loss or blindness.

It’s crucial to understand that the methods used for removing skin tattoos cannot be applied to the eyeball. Unfortunately, tattoo removal from the eyeball is highly improbable, and it’s highly unlikely to succeed.

Are there any examples where Eye Tattooing gone wrong?

In a cautionary tale, Canadian model Catt Gallinger’s attempt at eye tattooing took a dangerous turn. Following a botched injection, she now faces the possibility of permanent blindness in one eye. Catt has since expressed her deep regret for the decision to tattoo the whites of her eyes.

Catt Gallinger’s decision to undergo a sclera tattoo procedure, which involves injecting ink or liquids into the eye to stain the area around the cornea, turned out to be a nightmare. After the procedure, she noticed her eye oozing purple liquid, but assumed it was a normal reaction. However, when her condition worsened, with swelling and blurred vision, she rushed to the hospital. The medical staff discovered that the ink, needle, and procedure itself had torn her sclera, and even after receiving steroids and other medications for several weeks, her eyesight failed to improve. In fact, doctors warned her that without surgery, she could face complete blindness in that eye.

You can find more information on her on the internet.

Are eye tattoos legal?

In the late 2010s, several cases of botched eyeball tattoos have led to a significant change in laws. As a result, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Washington are among the states where sclera tattooing is now prohibited. However, despite these regulations, some tattoo artists continue to perform these risky procedures in areas where the practice remains unregulated.

What is the Eye Tattoo Procedure?

While the process of eyeball tattooing may seem straightforward — injecting dye into the white part of the eye and letting it expand — it is in fact a highly intricate procedure. This procedure must be performed by either a medical practitioner or a trained tattoo specialist. The area where the ink must be inserted is incredibly small, often measured in mere millimeters, and finding the correct spot requires a great deal of precision and skill. As a result, the procedure is not to be taken lightly and should only be performed by experienced professionals with the necessary training and expertise.

An eye tattoo is a delicate procedure that requires a skilled and knowledgeable artist. However, finding the right person for the job can be challenging as some tattoo artists lack proper medical training and may not fully understand the intricacies of the eye. This lack of expertise can increase the risks involved, making it crucial to choose an artist who has a deep understanding of the eye’s anatomy and has extensive experience with eye tattoos.

When getting a tattoo on the eye, the artist will use a small needle to inject the dye beneath the bulbar conjunctiva, which is a thin, transparent layer that covers most of the eye. If done correctly, the needle will then apply the dye directly onto the sclera, also known as the white part of the eye.

It may surprise some to learn that the procedure involved in tattooing the sclera is not a one-time deal for each eye. In fact, multiple injections in various locations are required for each eye, which poses a higher risk of the tattoo artist inserting dye in the wrong location. Assuming everything goes smoothly, the ink should eventually disperse and cover the entire sclera region.

What are the Alternatives to Eye Tattooing?

Changing the color of one’s eyes is a desire that some people may have, but it’s important to consider the risks involved. Instead of resorting to eyeball tattooing, there are safer and more accessible alternatives available. One popular option is using colored contacts, also known as cosmetic or costume contacts.Although colored contacts are a safer alternative to eye tattoos, there are still some potential risks involved. To ensure a safe and successful experience, it’s recommended to follow these tips:

  • Purchase colored contacts from a certified ophthalmology store rather than a costume store.
  • Ensure that the contacts are the correct size to avoid infections and other complications.
  • Avoid sleeping or swimming while wearing the contacts.
  • Clean them regularly with contact solution.
  • Replace the contacts at or before the recommended time to avoid any potential issues.

By following these guidelines, individuals can enjoy the benefits of colored contacts without compromising their eye health.

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