UV and Glow-in-the-Dark Tattoos: Are They Safe?

UV and Glow-in-the-Dark Tattoos: Are They Safe?

The popularity of tattoos has surged in the past decade. Tattoo artists have invented some exciting new techniques including ultraviolet and glow-in-the-dark tattoos. However, many expert tattoo artists refuse to apply these types of tattoos due to safety concerns.

Why Get a UV or Glow-in-the-Dark Tattoo?

Especially popular in the electronic dance music (EDM) scene, ultraviolet and glow-in-the-dark tattoos stand out in low-light situations like discotheques and underground dance parties. EDM clubs often use blacklights to enhance the psychedelic ambiance of their parties.

A second reason some people might choose these types of tattoos is their relative invisibility under normal light conditions. Conservative workplaces may frown upon an employee’s tattoo. Unfortunately, this can narrow job possibilities for tattoo-lovers.

Ultraviolet and Glow-in-the-Dark Inks

Ultraviolet and glow-in-the-dark tattoos use different kinds of ink to create their special effects. UV or blacklight ink manufacturers often erroneously label their products as “FDA-approved.” The FDA has never approved of any inks for tattooing humans. The agency has only approved of UV ink for branding seafood for marketing purposes.

Tattoo artists use phosphorescent ink to create glow-in-the-dark designs. Phosphorescent inks sometimes contain radioactive materials that may provoke cancer. Additionally, these inks are often derived from bioluminescent sea animals. Using these specialty inks may subject clients to harmful chemical and microbiological toxins.

Application of UV and Glow-in-the-Dark Tattoos

If you do choose to accept the risks and get a tattoo that includes ultraviolet or phosphorescent inks, be sure that you select your tattoo artist carefully. Also, keep in mind that these tattoos will be considerably more expensive than regular tattoos. Artists who apply blacklight and glow-in-the-dark tattoos face several obstacles, such as:

Expensive Inks- UV and phosphorescent inks cost around fifty percent more than normal ink colors.
Longer sessions- Artists need to constantly stop and check the progress of the tattoo with a blacklight or work under low-light conditions.
Difficult Inks- A tattoo artist must often wrestle with thin ultraviolet and phosphorescent inks which are harder to work with than traditional tattoo pigments.

A tattoo artist must have years of experience with these materials to learn how to manage them properly.

Removal of UV and Glow-in-the-Dark Tattoos

Most laser tattoo removal clinics, including Clean Slate, advise clients against including ultraviolet and phosphorescent inks in future tattoos. Although most normal tattoos respond positively to laser removal, UV and glow-in-the-dark tattoos often pose problems during the removal process. This may leave clients with no alternative except for surgical removal.

As you can see, you may be signing up for more than you bargained for if you decide to get a UV or glow-in-the-dark tattoo. Make sure you speak with experts in the industry before proceeding with your tattoo.

If you are in the Austin, Texas area and have questions about a tattoo that you would like removed or about the laser removal process, contact us at (512) 953–8566 or fill out the form below. Clean Slate’s expert technicians can set up a consultation, and we can discuss your removal options.

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