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Eyeball Tattoos? Yes, Tattoo Trends are Going There

Can your eyeballs be tattooed?

Think about the craziest places you’ve heard of people getting tattoos. On the face, inside the ear, and even on the bottom of the foot. When you’ve been in the business as long as us, then it seems like you’ve seen it all. That was until we heard of the newest trend in tattoo placements – on the eye.

Eyeball tattoos, also known as corneal tattoos, are the latest and possibly craziest tattoo trend to make the rounds in current culture. While other tattoo placements may be painful, getting ink in your eye is just plain risky.

Have you heard of eyeball tattoos? Let us break down exactly what this trend is, why it’s risky, and some facts that many people don’t even know.

What You Need to Know About Eyeball Tattoos

The best place to start is by noting that corneal tattoos cannot be reversed. 

We’ve discussed before how tattoos are meant to be permanent, but if you’ve seen our Before and After gallery from our Austin and San Antonio locations, then you know that it’s possible to get rid of many tattoos with the right laser and certified technician. However, the same cannot be said for eyeball tattoos.

What are eyeball tattoos?

They’re not tattoos at all; instead, it’s a process that involves injecting ink into the conjunctiva, which is a thin layer of skin that covers the whites of our eyes. Essentially this changes the color of our eyes. 

This is as permanent as permanent can be and is most dangerous because you’re in the hands of the person holding the needle.

While eyeball tattooing has been around for hundreds of years, the practice of injecting ink into the whites of eyes is of recent invention. A frontier of the body modification movement, eyeball tattoos have only been performed since 2007. 

Why are eyeball tattoos dangerous?

In case this wasn’t obvious, eyeball tattoos are particularly dangerous because of the needle. 

Ophthalmologists and professional medical associations have called for people to avoid the risk altogether and forego these types of tattoos. 

The smallest misstep could result in a damaging scratch, infection, blindness, or even loss of the eye. 

How Eyeball Tattoos Differ from the Average Tattoo

When tattoo pigment is injected into the skin, our body goes on high alert recognizing the foreign object and tries to remove it. Which is why with the average tattoo, some people experience inflammation. However, ink particles used in tattoo pigments are larger than the white cells in our bodies, and when injected into the eye, it can take our body even longer to confront the foreign objects. 

While some people have had successful eyeball tattoos, it doesn’t mean the procedure is safe or legal. Many states have passed legislation prohibiting tattoo artists from tattooing the whites of a client’s eyeballs. 

The biggest risks of going through with an eyeball tattoo include:

  • Retinal detachment
  • Infection from the injection, ink, or both
  • Chronic inflammation of the eye
  • Decreased vision or complete blindness
  • Loss of the eye

If you’re one of the lucky few that doesn’t have physical issues with the tattoo, it’s worth noting that getting an eyeball tattoo will make it difficult for your doctor to examine your eye health in the future. Potentially putting you at a disadvantage in maintaining good eye health.

Can eyeball tattoos be removed?

In our nearly 15 years of business performing laser tattoo removal, we have never come across an eye tattoo or had a customer inquire about removal. 

However, we can say with confidence that this removal is not possible with laser as it would cause permanent damage to the retina. We don’t even attempt removal of tattoos on the eyelids either as this also poses a serious risk to the eyes of our clients.

When dealing with the lasers and tattoos that are even near the eye, we take big-time precautions. Special eye goggles are used, and the patient must remain very still throughout the entire treatment.

Safety is always our number one priority at MEDermis Laser Clinic, and we will always make recommendations that reflect your best interest. 

Call the Tattoo Removal Specialists Today!

The MEDermis Laser Clinic team has been guiding clients through the laser tattoo removal process for 14 years. Have questions about how laser tattoo removal works? Don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling our Austin clinic at 512-637-5277, the San Antonio clinic at 210-402-4030, or by filling out our online contact form.