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Tattooing over dark spots

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Hi folks,

Some unconventional questions ahead!

I have 2 dark spots next to my armpits (see attached picture of one side) that appeared due to an allergy to over-the-counter deodorants (they appeared like 5 years ago).

Unfortunately, the realization that I'm allergic to whatever ingredients that are in those deodorants (aluminum, alcohol, you name it...) was too late and only after my armpits started to cut and bleed, I assumed I should get rid of those deodorants. The result was sever PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) spots that appeared a few weeks after I fully healed. 
Over the years, I have tried some top-notch creams and laser therapies to try and combat the pigmentation (I visited some of the most famous skin clinics in my country), but the spots are extremely stubborn and don't seem to fade away at all (I've tried IPL, Q-switch, TIXEL, Hydroquinone 8%, etc').

I was told by a lot of dermatologists that the spots will never fade away and that I'll have to live with them.

Since the spots are here to stay, I thought that my last resort is to tattoo over them, but I have some concerns. I asked all those specialists that tried to treat me about tattooing the spots, but the answers I got were indecisive. They didn't really know what to tell me, so I'm trying my luck here, maybe someone here can share his knowledge with me.

1. How will a tattoo look when the underlying skin is brown? I mean, will it be like mixing 2 colors with each other, or will the ink overpower the spot's pigment?

2. I know that tattooing on high-friction, high-moisture areas (exactly like mine) isn't the brightest idea, because the tattoo might fade away quick. Is it true? If it is true, how come the "natural" brown pigmentation I have hasn't faded away? Are tattoo pigments and my pigments residing on different layers of the skin?

3. Obviously my skin is more sensitive than others'. Is there any way to assess the consequences of having a tattoo? Can I be allergic to the ink? Can the tattoos cause inflammation like the deodorants did? I read that most inks contain some nasty metals and unfriendly materials that will surely irritate my skin. But maybe are there natural pigments or anything less harmful that I could tolerate? 

4. Since the area is close to the lymph nodes, do you think that the ink can somehow diffuse to them and cause unwanted effects? Or am I too paranoid?

Will appreciate any kind of help!

Thanks.

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If a fully qualified dermatologist can’t answer your question I personally would play the safe card and not get a tattoo. You obviously understand what caused your reaction and also realise that some of the ingredients in tattoo ink/pigment has some nasty shit in it although in small doses but with your skin type could cause a very serious effect which could lead to even more serious health issues. Loads of people get armpit tattoos and don’t seem to have problems with them , but in your case I would just forget it and be happy that where your skin discolouration has happened is in a part that’s mostly hidden. 

Just my opinion

 

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as mac said, a dermatologist would be your best source., and if theyre at a loss, a tattoo artists should not override a skin specialist. mark and mac know their shit.. but just asking online, puts you in a position where you can get all sort of answers, even from a 14 yr old kid, acting like a know it all, and not giving a shit whether you fuck up your skin. here, no one is accountable as a professional that you can actually have proper access to, should something go wrong. 

my opinion is.. you re being fuckin paranoid ;)

I can hardly see the spots from the photo. I d either live with them, or get a tattoo because I want one, and not to cover anything. but if you walked in my shop, I would personally have no problem tattooing you. 

1. cant know if the ink will show through or cover, but it s very easy to hide, just the same. if you decide to go ahead, I d suggest you do something that has a texture.. in those small areas. the colour will help hide them, but in the eventuality that you see a darker patch underneath, that would blend with the texture, as opposed to a clean, flat area. as an example, patchy feathers on a bird, or dotwork, or any thousand and one other things that would help the eye look collectively, rather that on the single spots. that way you d be fine both ways.

2. I don't know why your brown hasn't faded away, because I don't know what it is. but tattoo ink in that area would need double care and attention, for the simple reason that sweating, moving the arm back and forth causing friction wont help the healing. definitely not to do any workouts, jogging etc for the first week or two..

3. anyone can be allergic to ink. not sure if you were thinking of a coloured tattoo or in black / black and grey. your odds are way better with the last.  I had once written to kuro sumi to ask as I had a client that was allergic to nickel. they texted me back and confirmed that it is all carbon / plant based, I would not be worried. you could check with the artists or the suppliers, or look up the ink, colour / brand's msds sheets up, if you have to. at one point, painful pleasures used to supply them, I think.

id say many inks are subject to more stringent control than the deodorants you used, unless it s cheap, china crap you re getting inked with. however, what happens if you disinfect your skin with a 70% alcohol wipe? since you also mentioned alcohol... tattoo inks contain a small amount of alcohol too. personally I don't think that s what the problem was, but it s good to keep it into consideration, as well.

4. nahh

what I say is not religion, just how I feel about your situation. however I hope the mentioned facts might help you come to a more informed decision.

merry fuckin ho ho ;)

Edited by dead bird singing
cos i m bored and it s christmas... and have nothing better to do with my time

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On 12/9/2018 at 12:38 AM, mac_1au said:

If a fully qualified dermatologist can’t answer your question I personally would play the safe card and not get a tattoo. You obviously understand what caused your reaction and also realise that some of the ingredients in tattoo ink/pigment has some nasty shit in it although in small doses but with your skin type could cause a very serious effect which could lead to even more serious health issues. Loads of people get armpit tattoos and don’t seem to have problems with them , but in your case I would just forget it and be happy that where your skin discolouration has happened is in a part that’s mostly hidden. 

Just my opinion

 

Thanks for the answer.

It is hard for me to live with those spots, I feel like I'm "stained". Maybe people without such discolorations can't relate, and maybe it's 100% psychological, but this is the reality :(

1 hour ago, dead bird singing said:

as mac said, a dermatologist would be your best source., and if theyre at a loss, a tattoo artists should not override a skin specialist. mark and mac know their shit.. but just asking online, puts you in a position where you can get all sort of answers, even from a 14 yr old kid, acting like a know it all, and not giving a shit whether you fuck up your skin. here, no one is accountable as a professional that you can actually have proper access to, should something go wrong. 

my opinion is.. you re being fuckin paranoid ;)

I can hardly see the spots from the photo. I d either live with them, or get a tattoo because I want one, and not to cover anything. but if you walked in my shop, I would personally have no problem tattooing you. 

1. cant know if the ink will show through or cover, but it s very easy to hide, just the same. if you decide to go ahead, I d suggest you do something that has a texture.. in those small areas. the colour will help hide them, but in the eventuality that you see a darker patch underneath, that would blend with the texture, as opposed to a clean, flat area. as an example, patchy feathers on a bird, or dotwork, or any thousand and one other things that would help the eye look collectively, rather that on the single spots. that way you d be fine both ways.

2. I don't know why your brown hasn't faded away, because I don't know what it is. but tattoo ink in that area would need double care and attention, for the simple reason that sweating, moving the arm back and forth causing friction wont help the healing. definitely not to do any workouts, jogging etc for the first week or two..

3. anyone can be allergic to ink. not sure if you were thinking of a coloured tattoo or in black / black and grey. your odds are way better with the last.  I had once written to kuro sumi to ask as I had a client that was allergic to nickel. they texted me back and confirmed that it is all carbon / plant based, I would not be worried. you could check with the artists or the suppliers, or look up the ink, colour / brand's msds sheets up, if you have to. at one point, painful pleasures used to supply them, I think.

id say many inks are subject to more stringent control than the deodorants you used, unless it s cheap, china crap you re getting inked with. however, what happens if you disinfect your skin with a 70% alcohol wipe? since you also mentioned alcohol... tattoo inks contain a small amount of alcohol too. personally I don't think that s what the problem was, but it s good to keep it into consideration, as well.

4. nahh

what I say is not religion, just how I feel about your situation. however I hope the mentioned facts might help you come to a more informed decision.

merry fuckin ho ho ;)

Thank you for this elaborated answer!

I find it odd you don't see the patch. I could notice it even in the dark! Don't you see this big, elongated dark-brown patch all over my skin?

I became paranoid because I think I'm the only one in the entire world who's skin got so messed up from simple use of over-the-counter deodorants, so I just don't trust my skin anymore. 

Obviously I have consulted with many professional people before coming here, but since I didn't get decisive answers, I thought that maybe wisdom of the crowd will be handy: maybe someone heard/saw/know anyone with a condition similar to me and can offer some tips.

I have read that red pigment is the most dangerous one, so obviously I wouldn't dare using it, but I saw a long list of nasty chemicals used in other pigments as well, so I don't know what to think anymore, and which color will be the safest (probably black, as you said).

I did contact a very popular and trustworthy tattoo firm in my country and explained them the situation. They told me the name of the suppliers from whom they buy the ink. I reached out to them with requesting to get the list of ingredients/MSDS chart, but only one supplier replied back and wrote that their black pigment contains: carbon black 7, acrylic resin, isopropyl alcohol. I don't really know what do these ingredients mean and how safe they are, I still have some research work to do.

I thought the contrary - that deodorants are more supervised and checked in special laboratories, as deodorants are sold in a much greater volume than ink, and has a massive effect on the population. But I guess I was wrong.

I haven't tried the alcohol test you suggested, I may try it and see whether I die or not :P

I guess I'll still have to contemplate about this matter a little longer until I decide what to do next.

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On 12/9/2018 at 12:38 AM, mac_1au said:

If a fully qualified dermatologist can’t answer your question I personally would play the safe card and not get a tattoo. You obviously understand what caused your reaction and also realise that some of the ingredients in tattoo ink/pigment has some nasty shit in it although in small doses but with your skin type could cause a very serious effect which could lead to even more serious health issues. Loads of people get armpit tattoos and don’t seem to have problems with them , but in your case I would just forget it and be happy that where your skin discolouration has happened is in a part that’s mostly hidden. 

Just my opinion

 

Thanks for the answer.

It is hard for me to live with those spots, I feel like I'm "stained". Maybe people without such discolorations can't relate, and maybe it's 100% psychological, but this is just the reality :(

1 hour ago, dead bird singing said:

as mac said, a dermatologist would be your best source., and if theyre at a loss, a tattoo artists should not override a skin specialist. mark and mac know their shit.. but just asking online, puts you in a position where you can get all sort of answers, even from a 14 yr old kid, acting like a know it all, and not giving a shit whether you fuck up your skin. here, no one is accountable as a professional that you can actually have proper access to, should something go wrong. 

my opinion is.. you re being fuckin paranoid ;)

I can hardly see the spots from the photo. I d either live with them, or get a tattoo because I want one, and not to cover anything. but if you walked in my shop, I would personally have no problem tattooing you. 

1. cant know if the ink will show through or cover, but it s very easy to hide, just the same. if you decide to go ahead, I d suggest you do something that has a texture.. in those small areas. the colour will help hide them, but in the eventuality that you see a darker patch underneath, that would blend with the texture, as opposed to a clean, flat area. as an example, patchy feathers on a bird, or dotwork, or any thousand and one other things that would help the eye look collectively, rather that on the single spots. that way you d be fine both ways.

2. I don't know why your brown hasn't faded away, because I don't know what it is. but tattoo ink in that area would need double care and attention, for the simple reason that sweating, moving the arm back and forth causing friction wont help the healing. definitely not to do any workouts, jogging etc for the first week or two..

3. anyone can be allergic to ink. not sure if you were thinking of a coloured tattoo or in black / black and grey. your odds are way better with the last.  I had once written to kuro sumi to ask as I had a client that was allergic to nickel. they texted me back and confirmed that it is all carbon / plant based, I would not be worried. you could check with the artists or the suppliers, or look up the ink, colour / brand's msds sheets up, if you have to. at one point, painful pleasures used to supply them, I think.

id say many inks are subject to more stringent control than the deodorants you used, unless it s cheap, china crap you re getting inked with. however, what happens if you disinfect your skin with a 70% alcohol wipe? since you also mentioned alcohol... tattoo inks contain a small amount of alcohol too. personally I don't think that s what the problem was, but it s good to keep it into consideration, as well.

4. nahh

what I say is not religion, just how I feel about your situation. however I hope the mentioned facts might help you come to a more informed decision.

merry fuckin ho ho ;)

Thank you for this elaborated answer!

I find it odd you don't see the patch. I could notice it even in the dark! Don't you see this big, elongated dark-brown patch all over my skin?

I became paranoid because I think I'm the only one in the entire world who's skin got so messed up from simple use of over-the-counter deodorants, so I just don't trust my skin anymore. 

Obviously I have consulted with many professional people before coming here, but since I didn't get decisive answers, I thought that maybe wisdom of the crowd will be handy: maybe someone heard/saw/know anyone with a condition similar to me and can offer some tips.

I have read that red pigment is the most dangerous one, so obviously I wouldn't dare using it, but I saw a long list of nasty chemicals used in other pigments as well, so I don't know what to think anymore, and which color will be the safest (probably black, like you said).

I did contact a very popular and trustworthy tattoo firm in my country and explained them the situation. They told me the name of the suppliers from whom they buy the ink. I reached out to them and requested the list of ingredients in their inks/ the MSDS charts, but only one supplier replied back and wrote that their black pigment contains: carbon black 7, acrylic resin, isopropyl alcohol. I don't really know what to do with this information, what do these ingredients mean and how safe they are, I still have some research work to do.

I thought the contrary - that deodorants are more supervised and checked in special laboratories, as they are sold in a much greater volume than ink, and have a massive effect on the population. But I guess I was wrong...

I haven't tried the alcohol test you suggested, I may try it and see whether I die or not :P

I guess I'll still have to contemplate about this matter a little longer until I decide what to do next.

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by more controlled, I meant... free of the metals that you mentioned were present in the deodorants etc.. referring to kuro sumi, or any other carbon / plan tbased inks. 

yes, I see the patch now, at first I thought it was a shadow, from the photo. and was looking for tiny spots..

red is the most common one to get allergic reactions. I ve read some even contains, or used to contain arsenic, in very small doses. 

cant you, instead of focusing on the ink, just straight away make an allergy test, as a more generic one? then you could better know what will not agree with you.. or specifically know what you need to avoid.  as is, you seem unsure whether it was the aluminium, alcohol, anything else in the sprays you used.. just to narrow it down, then better know what to avoid.

just a thought. 

Edited by dead bird singing

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