September 3, 2008
Continuing Choose your Own Adventure posts, in response to punkofzombies question: What are the effects of getting your eyelids tattooed.
I am relatively new to the body modification game, with my first tattoo barely a year old and my second still in the planning stages. But then again, tattooing in and of itself has become pretty mainstream with 1 out of every 4 people likely to have had had some ink done (reference american academy of dermatology, harris poll) For some people, that is an incentive to go ever further into extremes to avoid being lumped in with the rest of society, a way to stand out as different/unique/whatever
Eyelid tattoos seem pretty extreme to me. One small slip on the part of the tattoo artist and you are scarred at best, blinded at worst. So why do it? Well, honest to goodness, some women simply no longer wish to wear eye makeup, so they get permanent cosmetic tattooing done. Truth be told, that is the closest to a “good” reason I have heard, although it still skirts the edges of good sense to me. Other people just think getting other eyes or designs on their eyelids would be wicked cool. I am not among them, but then, as long as they are happy with what they have done, my opinion doesnt particularly matter, now does it?
During the procedure, a topical anesthetic cream is applied to your eye and left there for approximately 20 minutes…this is to numb the nerve endings as the more nerves you have in a given area, the more painful the tattooing process will be. Thats why arm tattoos are pretty common and genitalia tattoos, not so much. After the area is numbed, the artist goes to work with hands that must be as steady as any surgeons. Most tattoo ink is made from bone or iron dye, so another risk of having eyelid tattoos is some of the dye flaking off during a blink and landing in the cornea. You do not want any foreign material in your eye, especially iron, as it can and will lead to a rust ring
So the possible danger of lost vision comes from not only the risk of the artist actually stabbing a needle into your eye, but also the more inisdious risk of you not realizing some of the dye flaked in when you werent looking
Assuming all goes well, your eyelids will still be swollen for the next couple days. Oh yeah, and you cant rub your eyes (at all) for about a fortnight…ever tried to stop an unconscious behavior? quite difficult. Almost two weeks from the time it is done the tattoo will go through its ‘flaking’ period. and assuming you have made it safely through all of that with no infection and/or vision loss you will be in the clear
And that is all I know about eyelid tattooing. Until next post
-Almost Dr J
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