WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Tattoos cover the skin of a lot of Texomans, but now people are being asked to think before they ink.
The FDA is issuing a warning about tattoo safety and what is being used under your skin.
The agency reports while ink used in tattoos is subject to FDA regulation as cosmetics and color additives, it has been low on the priority list, because there have been little safety concerns
However that is all changing, and it is not just clients that are voicing concerns.
Some local tattoo artist said they are also on board with heavier ink regulations.
Rusty Biscamp, a tattoo artist at Classic Tattoo Co. said "If the FDA tightens the regulations on the inks that only means they're going to get better and safer.>
The FDA said some inks are causing people to have bad reactions, like rashes, redness or bumps.
The agency reports, it is "in the process of studying these inks to learn how they break down in the body, the safety of the pigments and how the body responds to the interaction of light with the inks."
Some tattoo artist said illegal home tattoos contribute to the FDA's concern.
"A lot of the inks that are being sold, the ones that are causing infections, are being used by home tattoo artist, and they've never been trained in what's clean and what's not," said Biscamp.
Charish Turner, a tattoo artist at Underground Tattoo & Body Piercing, said "When you buy tattoo kits online or at head shops, a lot of times those products are coming from China. So they're not as regulated as we are."
Biscamp said the inks he uses all have batch numbers, phone numbers of the companies that made them and expiration dates.
"So we stick to those expiration dates and when they're bad we get rid of them," said Biscamp.
Turner said at Underground Tattoo and Body Piercings they use high quality inks that have organic pigments, are sterilized and OSHA approved.
"We like to make sure we're using something that's been tested, that's been shown to be safe," said Turner.
She adds those inks are made in the United States.
"There was a big problem with some of the inks coming from China. They weren't properly sterilized before they were all sent out," said Turner.
Turner said their goal is to use what is safe for their customers.
"We want to use what's best, and something that's not going to cause skin issues later on," said Turner.
These tattoo artists said proper cleaning methods, along with quality ink, is key to safe tattooing.
If you have an infection or other reaction to tattoo ink, FDA officials advise you to contact your doctor and notify your tattoo artist so they will not use that ink again.
Also get detailed information about the ink, in order to report it to the agency.
An official with the FDA said the agency is studying tattoo ink safety in hopes to get a better understanding of the body's response to tattoos and its impact on human health.