Tattoos and Health – Knowing is Half the Battle

“Knowing is half the battle.”  ~ GI Joe

In our last post, we wanted to remind you, Dear Reader, of the importance of health and safety in the tattoo industry.  (Catch the first part of our report Tattoos and Health here!)

Tattoo Adam Siehr, who founded our tattoo studio in Waikiki, 434 Tattoo, has been in and around the field for over 20 years and knows the importance of tattooing effectively and using the most advanced of health standards.

In addition to being licensed and sanctioned by the State of Hawaii Department of Health, Adam has experienced and been licensed to tattoo in Wisconsin, Nevada, and at conventions and studios around the world.  In his continuing evolution as a Custom Tattoo Artist, taking care of the Mind, Body, and Spirit of all he encounters ranks up there.

With that, let’s continue relaying the FDA info so that you can make an informed decision and/or know what’s going on should you unfortunately encounter something described.

Tattoos and Health cont.

In our last post, we warned of the possibility that some inks and pigments might contain the harmful Myobactera.  

This issue was brought to light earlier this year as a number of cases were reported in New York, followed by reports in Colorado, Iowa, and Washington.

In addition to the pathogens found in non-tuberculous Mycobacteria family, tattoo pigments and inks may also infect people if they contain fungi and molds.

Dr. Linda Katz, the Director of FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors, has asked that anybody involved in tattooing or “its consequences,” including health care professionals such as Doctors and Nurses, to report any complications related to tattoos to its MedWatch program.

Doctors in particular, need to become aware of the signs and symptoms so that the risk of misdiagnosis may be reduced.

Tattoo artists especially should be fully aware about this potentially serious complication. Even the most precise of tattoo artists, who follow rigid hygiene practices, may not be know that an ink or pigment is tainted.

Katz shared that without the right equipment, it is often hard to determine if there is contamination.

“The FDA says that it has two priority objectives at the moment:

  • To encourage tattoo artists to take special precautions
  • Encourage tattoo customers to seek medical care immediately if any of the signs and symptoms associated with infection are detected”

This is very important because it will help the FDA to do the proper research and provide the adequate information to tattoo artists and customers in order to keep these severe health complications from happening.

Tattoo Artists are urged to use inks known not to be contaminated by pathogens.  Other precautions can be taken including the use of sterilized water to dilute inks.

In the meanwhile, we will keep you updated as we learn more and we encourage you to tattoo and get tattooed safely.

Tattoos and Health – Knowing is Half the Battle

It is important to take care of your health every step of the way! Because of stereotypes, beliefs, and idiots (for lack of a better way of describing them), tattoo shops are often heavily scrutinized when it comes to health and safety.  

The reality is that those stereotypes and outdated beliefs, though once holding validation are now outdated.  Unfortunately, idiots will always be around but as far as we can tell, it is symptomatic of humanity and not exclusive to tattoo artist

s or collectors.  That being said, we take professionalism and tattooing safely very seriously at our Hawaii Tattoo studio.  Tattoo Adam, Owner and President of 434 Tattoo, was trained in the traditional arts while also continually studying and growing to stay up to date with new laws and innovations.

At the end of the day, a good Tattoo Artist, cares about her/his work and will do what is necessary to see that it heals nicely because the customer wears the work for Life, with little option to get rid of the piece, nor should the goal be to get a tattoo removed or covered up.  Life changes and people change, but when one is inked, the Artist leaves an essence of her/his Spirit with the customer and that’s pretty special.

Mumbo jumbo aside, we want to take the time to share some important information with you, so that you can make an informed decisions throughout your selection of a Tattooist, through the process itself, and the tattoo-aftercare.

Read on and enjoy!

FDA Report – Tattoo Inks

Some tattoo inks are tainted with non-tuberculous Mycobacteria. 

Mycobacteria is very serious and the cause of grave infections, which includes lung diseases, eye problems, several organ infections, and infection of the joints, the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) informed recently.

The Agency followed that disclosure up with the fact that Mycobacteria-linked infections are not easy to diagnose and canrequire treatment that may be as long as six months.

The FDA says it has received reports of serious infections which started coming in last year (2013) in multiple states.

The Agency is asking that all people l involved in the tattoo industry, including artists, manufacturers of tattoo ink, consumers, as well as health care professionals, public health officials to be aware of this potential infection risk.

To be cont.

Exclusive From Japan – Calligraphy Artist Shoran

Looking for something truly unique and one-of-a-kind while visiting Hawaii?

Have an interest in Japanese culture?

Well look no further than your favorite Hawaii Custom Tattoos Studio, 434 Tattoo!

In addition to creating the original and quality tattoo pieces at our award-winning, tattoo studio in Waikiki, we have access to Japanese Calligraphy Artist Shoran, who will be in town until the 26th of this month!

Check this gallery out for some samples of this truly original art:

Come on down for a jolly good time all around as our Hawaii Custom Tattoo Artists are talented in everything including freehand tattoos, handpoke tattoos, traditional Japanese tattoos, and more!  Led by Tattoo Adam, who has been tattooing for over 20 years, our team is willing and able to get you the best tattoo service around!


Adam Siehr, President and Proud Owner
434 Tattoo
Custom Tattooing LLC.

434 Ena Road
Honolulu, Hawaii