Materials Used in Body Art

  • Christa De Cuyper
  • Davy D’hollander


Body art has become increasingly popular resulting in the rising occurrence of adverse reactions; some of them are related to the procedures; other side effects are caused by the chemical substances. Nickel allergy is the most common complication of body piercing. The composition of tattoo and permanent Make-Up inks is complex. Besides a variety of inorganic and organic colorants, they contain impurities resulting from the production process of the pigments and a wide range of auxiliary ingredients. In order to identify the harmful agents, it is essential to know the exact composition of the materials. There is still a lack of knowledge about the biokinetics and metabolism of these substances and their impact on human health. More in particular there is a lot of concern about the safety of the pigments because their degradation in the skin leads to the formation of hazardous decomposition products. Although much work has been done to improve ink quality and safety, more research and epidemiological surveys are required. There is still a need of uniform worldwide regulation on the procedures and materials.

This chapter will give an overview of materials used nowadays in the different forms of body art and new initiatives to reduce potential side effects.


Tattoo pigments Tattoo inks Permanent Make-Up inks Auxiliary ingredients Carbon black Carcinogenic aromatic amines Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Nickel Heavy metals Biokinetics Biodegradation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christa De Cuyper
    • 1
    • 2
  • Davy D’hollander
    • 3
  1. 1.DermatologyBlankenbergeBelgium
  2. 2.AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende AVBruggeBelgium
  3. 3.Tek TikAartselaarBelgium

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