That's why finding out how your body reacted when you got your tattoo is REALLY important to us ... because what happened when you got your tattoo in the first place is likely to happen again when the laser breaks those ink particles open again and those ingredients are released into your system again. So if you got sick, fluey, infected or swollen, we definitely need to know about it.
Although the exact ingredients of tattoo ink might be a bit of a mystery, there are some pretty common components that have been used to make up pigment over the years. One look at the list below explains a LOT about why some colours tend to make a bod go berko for a bit ... and why some parts of a tattoo might get itchy or swell up in the sun, especially older reds and yellows. (A lot of newer red inks are now being made with Napthol-AS, which is less likely to cause a reaction than some of the older pigments, but 'red reaction' is still a thing.)
Tattoo Ink-gredients ...
Yellow ink: cadmium yellow, ochres, curcuma yellow, chrome yellow, cadmium sulphide. Yellow pigments using cadmium sulphide are the most likely to cause photo-aggravated reactions. This photo-toxic reaction can also occur in red inks where cadmium sulfide has been used to brighten the red pigment. Yellow pigments often cause allergic reactions because of the amount of pigment needed to create bright colour
Green ink: chromium oxide, (also called Casalis Green or Anadomis Green), malachite, ferrocyanides and ferricyanides, lead chromate, moons pigment, Cu/Al phthalocyanine, CU phthalocyanine, lead chromate
Blue ink: azure blue, cobalt blue, CU-phthalocyanine, cobalt aluminate. Blues tend to be made up of copper, carbonate (azurite) sodium aluminium silicate (lapis lazuli) calcium copper silicate (Egyptian blue), other cobalt aluminium oxides and chromium oxides
Purple ink: manganese violet, quinacridone, dioxazine/carbazole
White ink: titanium dioxide, lead white (lead carbonate), barium sulphate, zinc oxide