Case Studies Underscore Ophthalmology’s Concerns About Eyeball Tattoos
Dava Stewart writing in MD reported because eyeball tattoos are not performed by ophthalmologists, experts are concerned about their many short-term risks, and warn that the long term risks could include permanent damage, according to the authors of two recent case studies. Published in American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports, two new case studies demonstrate the risks that go along with what the authors call this “relatively new extreme body modification.”
The two case studies are both of Mexican men, one 26 years old and the second 17. Both developed complications after having an eyeball tattoo. The authors say that the cosmetic procedure “involves injecting some type of pigment directly under the bulbar conjunctiva with a needle.”
The authors list multiple risks involved in eyeball tattoos: globe penetration, endophthalmitis, retinal detachment, traumatic cataract, a severe ocular inflammatory reaction, blindness due to ocular inflammation, as well as increased severity of uveitis. They conclude by suggesting, “Regulations prohibiting the practice of these procedures are required, because despite warnings of multiple health risks, more people are looking to get this procedure nowadays.”
The two case studies were written by Gonzalo Duarte of the Eye Clinic for Inflammatory Diseases at the Dr. Luis Sanchez Bulnes Hospital, and colleagues.
Comment: Hmmmm. What some people will do to their bodies….
Have you ever wondered whether tattoos predispose you to infections? While some of that is real worry, there’s a surprise coming up next…
Tattoos Could Help Boost Your Immune System
Amy Jacob writing in MD reported tattoo aficionados who appreciate the creative license behind professional inking can now take solace in the potential health benefits of tattoos.
Researchers have found that getting tattoos could strengthen the immune system, helping fight common infections.
According to recently reported statistics, approximately 14% of Americans have at least one tattoo and spend nearly $1.65 billion annually on getting inked.
Typically the common associations between tattoos and any medical report have been regarding allergic reactions or skin infections. And, more seriously, healthcare professionals had found contaminated tattooing equipment could transfer blood borne diseases like tetanus and hepatitis B and C.
However, a recent study published in the American Journal of Human Biology indicated that the immune-boosting effect increases with multiple tattoos.
Christopher Lynn, PhD, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, and team studied 29 individuals between 18-47 years old who were receiving tattoos at one of three tattoo studies in Leeds and Tuscaloosa, AL, between May-December, 2012.
The researchers collected the individuals’ saliva samples before and after the tattooing procedures to measure levels of immunoglobulin A – the antibody primed for first line of defense against common infections.
The study also assessed information regarding the total number of tattoos for each participant, lifetime hours spent receiving tattoos, etc.
The team was not surprised to discover those participants who were receiving their first tattoos showed a significant reduction in their immunoglobulin A levels – ironically a response to an increase in cortisol triggered by the stress and pain often associated with getting tattoos.
Interestingly, Lynn noted that even though the first tattoo could make the individual more susceptible to catching a cold, subsequent tattoos sessions help the body adjust its immune defenses.