Pigments in Tattoo Ink can Travel to Lymph Nodes- Study Shows

Planning To Get A Permanent Tattoo Inked? It Can Damage your Immune System

A new study in the Nature journal Scientific Reports found that microscopic particles from tattoo ink can migrate into the body and wind up in the lymph nodes of your immune system. But most of the time, they are not checking the chemical composition of the ink colors that the tattoo artist will use in their bodies.

One of the most common ingredients in tattoo inks is the white pigment titanium dioxide (TiO2). Since tattoos cause wounds, the lymph nodes respond by cleaning the entrance of the #Tattoo Ink. We come across this inorganic chemical constantly in our everyday life, from food additives to sunscreens to paints.

Delayed healing accompanied with itching and skin elevations are mostly linked with white tattoos, which are thought to be a effect of using TiO2.

The researchers at the european Synchrotron of Grenoble and the German federal Institute for risk assessment in Berlin explain that this nanoparticle serves as the base for the ink to aoutage. The hazards that potentially derive from tattoos were previously known only by chemical analysis of the inks and their degradation products in vitro.

Pigments from tattoo that travel to the lymph nodes in a nano form implies that they may not have the same behaviour as the particles at a micro level. Particles still finer were also present in the lymph nodes.

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Scientists used powerful X-rays to track the titanium dioxide nanoparticles down in skin and lymph tissue taken from dead tattooed individuals.

The team tracked micro- and nanoparticles in the skin and lymph nodes.

"We already knew that pigments from tattoos would travel to the lymph nodes because of visual evidence: the lymph nodes become tinted with the color of the tattoo", says Bernhard Hesse, one of the two first authors of the new study. And that is the problem: "we don't know how nanoparticles react".

To evaluate the biomolecular changes happening in the tissues located near the tattoo particles, the researchers also used Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The ink is precisely deposited via a needle below both the dermis and epidermis, where, too big for your immune system to break down, the ink particles will remain permanently. They also provided evidence for conformational modifications of biomolecules that might be associated with cutaneous inflammation and other dangers of tattooing.

From here, the team plans to conduct further research exploring the links between the chemical structures of tattoo pigments and adverse effects using patient samples.

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