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Your mother has a new reason to dissuade you from getting a tattoo: it could infect your skin.
Health officials say they are seeing more cases of a nasty skin infection caused by a common bacteria traced to tattoo ink. But all the New York cases were linked to an unidentified artist who wore disposable gloves and sterilized his instruments.
Even if you get a tattoo from a facility that does everything right, it's not risk free- Dr.
In the past year, there have been 22 confirmed cases and more than 30 suspected cases of the skin infection in Colorado, Iowa, New York and Washington state, health officials said. Scattered reports of the illness in tattoo customers have been reported over the past 10 years. The illnesses were caused by a bacterial cousin of tuberculosis named Mycobacterium chelonae (pronounced chell-OH-nay). The bacteria are common in tap water, and have been seen in the past when tattoo artists used contaminated water to lighten dark ink. Companies that make gray wash sometimes use distilled water to lighten the ink, thinking it's clean of infection-causing contaminants.


Some ink manufacturers add witch hazel or an alcohol preservative to lower risk of certain viruses, but those additives don't kill off the hardy chelonae bacteria, she added.
Investigators found the bacteria in opened and unopened bottles of ink at the New York tattoo parlor.
Health officials say tattoo customers should ask what kind of ink is being used and what measures are in place to prevent infections. Russia Prepares for Catastrophic Earthquake, Warns America Is In Worst Danger - Keshe's warnings.
The bacteria can cause itchy and painful pus-filled blisters that can take months to clear up, and involve treatment with harsh antibiotics with unpleasant side effects. But the bacteria can live in that too, said Tara MacCannell, who led a related investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is lead author of a report on last fall's Rochester cases was released by the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday. Tattoo artists and ink makers should use only sterile water to dilute ink, health officials advise. The ink can carry bacteria that can spread through the bloodstream — a process known as sepsis.


Symptoms are fever, shaking chills and sweats, and the risk is particularly high for anyone with pre-existing heart or circulatory conditions. Less severe infections may involve bumps on the skin, discharge, redness, swelling, blisters or excessive pain at the site. In general, the FDA says those looking to get a tattoo should always ensure that the ink has a brand name and a location of the business that manufactured it. Reports of infections have increased as tattoos have become more popular in the last decade.
An FDA alert earlier this year warned that temporary tattoos popular with kids and often found at beaches, boardwalks and other holiday destinations can be dangerous. The main risk is from black henna, an ink that is combined with natural red henna and can include chemicals that can cause dangerous skin reactions.



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