Love them or loathe them, tattoos are almost as common a body modification as ear piercing or self-tanning, but according to recent research getting inked carries far more risks than many people realise.
In research which was conducted by the European Chemicals Agency, there exist a number of potential health risks when choosing certain colours for your tat of choice.
According to The Independent, scientists have established that the composition of certain tattoo ink can make them more toxic than others.
"Many reports show significant concerns for public health stemming from the composition of inks used for tattooing," experts asserted ahead of the study's publication.
"The most severe concerns are allergies caused by the substances in the inks and possible carcinogenic, mutagenic or reproductively toxic effects," scientists explained.
Research concluded that red ink has been linked to dermatitis due to the presence of mercury sulphide while blue, green and purple ink are known to cause granulomas – which are characterised as little ridges or bumps on the skin.
Further to this research, the NHS in the UK have issued a warning regarding the use of black or neutral henna, saying: "If you see a shop or stall offering to paint black tattoos onto your skin, don’t be tempted to get one."
"It could leave you scarred for life and put you at risk of a life-threatening allergic reaction," they added.
As it stands, inks are not currently regulated within the EU, and if considered harmful will be banned.
Confirming the position, a spokesperson for the European Chemicals Agency said: "If it is found that a restriction is needed, a formal proposal to restrict the substances will be submitted within one year to initiate the process."