Tattoos and Permanent Makeup

Some women get tattoos for beauty, personal expression or cultural events. Whatever your reason, know the facts before and after getting a tattoo. Permanent tattoos last a lifetime. Temporary tattoos can last up to 3 or 4 weeks. Tattoos with decals last from hours to days.

Types of Tattoos

Permanent Tattoos: A needle inserts colored ink into the skin.
Permanent makeup: A needle inserted into the skin colored ink that looks like makeup, such as eyeliner, lip or eyebrow or other makeup.
Henna: To dye the skin uses a vegetal ink called henna or mehndi.
Black henna: Developed from henna, it may contain hair dye or other dye to darken the dye and make it last longer.
Temporary Tattoo Made with Decals: The tattoo design is on a piece of paper covered with an adhesive substance, which is then applied to the skin with water.
Risks of tattoos
Problems can occur.

Permanent eyeliner problems

Infections and serious illnesses, such as HIV or hepatitis, due to dirty tools, practices or products.
Allergic reactions to inks or dyes can cause skin problems, such as rashes.
Other skin problems, such as increased chance of sunburn, lumpiness, redness or scars.
Inflammation and burn of the tattoo when undergoing an MRI.
Pain and high costs if you want to remove a permanent tattoo.
Contact your state or local health department to request information about tattoo safety to reduce your risk. Tell your doctor about the tattoos you have before undergoing a medical procedure.
Function of the FDA
The FDA:

Has not approved any ink to inject it into the skin.
Has not approved henna or hair dye for use on the skin. Some people have reported severe skin problems after using henna or black henna.
It does not regulate the tattoo parlors.
Oversees the problems caused by tattoos and permanent makeup.
Report any problems at: or by calling 1-800-332-1088.
How to Remove a Tattoo

Removing permanent tattoos can be difficult and painful. You may need several treatments that cost a lot of money. Talk to your doctor about your options.


You may not be able to remove the tattoo completely.
When you remove the tattoo, you may have scars.
Laser Removal
The FDA approves certain laser devices to remove tattoos. It is more difficult to remove lighter colors such as yellow, green and red than dark colors such as dark blue and black. It may take 6 to 10 treatments to remove a tattoo. Some side effects may include bleeding, redness, or pain.


Sometimes, tattoos can be removed by cutting off the tattooed skin and then suturing the skin. Other times, the skin can be sanded to remove the tattoo.

Ointments and creams

The FDA does not approve ointments and creams to remove tattoos or equipment to remove tattoos of own elaboration. These products can cause rashes, burns or scars.

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