Tattoos Showing Through Tights – Is it a Problem Or a Fashion Statement?

With so many people getting tattoos these days, one of the major problem is how to conceal them, particularly in a professional setting. While many may try to cover them up by wearing tights, this doesn’t always work. Is the tattoo showing through a problem or a fashion statement? There are arguments for both!

Many people want to get tattoos so they can show them off. But, this isn’t always appropriate. While you may love your tattoos and be admired for them in a social setting, in a conservative workplace they may not be so welcome. They can look very unprofessional and won’t bring you the type of respect that you’ll need if you want to get on with your career. In this instance, tattoos showing through tights would most definitely be a problem.

The way to avoid this would be to wear opaque tights rather than thin pantyhose, the thicker the better. If you need to make a good impression, you shouldn’t let even the slightest hint be showing. As long as the tattoo doesn’t show through, you can get on with your day safe in the knowledge that you look professional, but all the time knowing that you’ve got a cheeky side just waiting to be revealed.

However, in places where the look doesn’t have to be so professional or in social settings, tattoos showing through tights can definitely be a fashion statement. People who admire tattoos will undoubtedly shoot you a few admiring glances, and if there’s no reason to hide them you can get them out with pride.

Indeed, the look is becoming so popular that there are even tights available to buy with tattoo designs printed on them! The trend was started by British model Lily Cole in one of her adverts, and has snowballed ever since. A large number of tights manufacturers are printing ever-more intricate designs onto their sheer hosiery to give people ready-made tattoos without the pain of the real thing, with a wide variety of styles and designs to choose from. Some people are even choosing to create their own DIY versions, so they can have the exact design that they’re looking for.

The question of whether tattoos showing through tights are a problem or a fashion statement largely comes down to the setting that you’re in. If you’re in a professional workplace it’s most definitely a problem, as you’re highly unlikely to be taken seriously and it can look extremely unprofessional. However, in a more relaxed atmosphere it can certainly be a fashion statement. But, if you’re happy to show your tattoos off and the situation allows it, why cover them up at all?

Tattoos – Your Health Is at Risk


The detrimental side effects of tattoos are known, but are often being ignored. Many just assume that tattooing is safe because of its popularity. Others simply fail to do their research before being injected with dies, plastics and paints. Many feel that since tattoo parlors are regulated, then the ink should be to, but that’s just not true. The potential of infection with life changing infections is also present. The biggest health risk is due to heavy metal poisoning due to tattoo ink. There are things everyone should know before they are tattooed. I will endeavor to inform you of the major risks.


The risks associated with tattooing can be described as skin related diseases, end organ disease (liver, kidney, brain) and heavy metal poisoning. There are ways to avoid these effects of tattooing and I will share those with you. But first, let’s look at some statistics.

According to Statistic Brain (2016),

• Americans spend a whopping 1.655 Billion dollars on tattoos annually.

• Americans that have at least one tattoo totals 45 Million people.

• The percentage of people who regret getting a tattoo is 17%.

• The percentage of Americans getting a tattoo removed is 11%.

Why are People Getting Tattoos?

These statistics are staggering numbers to me. It is surprising that this many people want to risk their health for skin art. People are motivated to get tattoos for a variety of reasons ranging from wearing art on their skin, remembering a loved one or to look sexy or dangerous. The motivation is unimportant for today’s topic, but I just wanted to give you a little background.

The Dangers of Tattoo Ink Carriers

What are the dangers of tattoo ink carriers? Carriers are used to keep the ink, plastic or paint evenly distributed during application and inhibits the growth of pathogens (bacteria/viruses). Please understand that these ingredients are not regulated for use in tattooing by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in most states.

• Ethyl Alcohol – rubbing alcohol is for use externally and should not be injected into the skin. It can cause skin drying, irritation and can negatively affect nerves.

• Glycerin – it is the sugar alcohol glycerol and can cause increased urination and diarrhea.

• Listerine – is an alcohol based concoction of menthol, methyl salicylate, thymol (from thyme oil), and eucalyptol (liquid derived from eucalyptus oil). It can cause skin irritation and localized allergic reactions.

• Propylene Glycol – is the primary ingredient in antifreeze which can be damaging to your liver and kidneys.

The Dangers of Tattoo Ink

That was just the carriers. What is in each color of ink? Many of these inks have ingredients that you shouldn’t even apply to the skin, much less inject into the blood rick lower layer of skin. The epidermis is the outer layer of skin that is made up of dead skin cells and acts as a whole body bandage. It protects us from bacteria and viruses. The dermis is the living skin underneath the epidermis. Things injected into the dermis can be carried away by the bloodstream to all parts of the body. That’s why we get infections when we have a cut or scrape of our skin. The protective epidermis is damaged.

What is in the ink? Most inks contain acrylic resin (plastic molecules), but they also contain other ingredients. They are listed below by color as per Helmenstine (2017) and my own research.

• Black ink – Iron oxide (rust), charcoal or carbon – this is probably the least dangerous ink. The amount of Iron oxide should be inadequate to cause iron toxicity. Ask the tattoo artist to use purified water as a carrier.

• Blue Ink – Copper, carbonite (azurite), sodium aluminum silicate (lapus lazuli), calcium copper silicate (Egyptian blue), cobalt aluminum oxides and chromium oxides. Copper can lead or contribute to heavy metal poisoning. Aluminum has been proven to attribute to Alzheimer’s disease and gastrointestinal disorders.

• Brown ink – Iron oxide and iron ochre clay – this is probably as safe as black ink and for the same reasons.

• Green ink – Chromium oxide and Malachite, lead chromate and the synthetic compound Cu phthalocyanine are used and only the first two are considered moderately safe. Lead chromate is derived from lead which is toxic even in low doses. Cu phthalocyanine is an unregulated compound of copper and can cause skin irritation and respiratory irritation.

• Orange ink – Disazodiarylide and/or disazopyrazolone, and cadmium sulfate make orange ink. The first two are considered safe, but the cadmium sulfate is considered toxic and possibly cancer causing.

• Purple – Manganese violet, quinacridone and dioxazine and the first of these is considered safe. Quinacridone is an FDA approved food coloring, but has caused localized skin reactions.

• Red – Cinnabar, cadmium red, iron oxide and naphthol-AS pigment are the various components of red ink. It is considered by most to be the most toxic color of tattoo ink. Cinnabar is derived from mercury sulfate and is devastating to the nervous system. Cadmium red is a known cancer causing agent. Naphthol-AS pigment is used in red paints.

• Yellow – Cadmium sulfate, Ochre,curcuma yellow, chrome yellow and some are safe and others are not. Cadmium sulfate is derived from lead and is toxic. Yellow derived from the spice turmeric or curcuma yellow is considered safe. The problem with yellow is the volume that must be used to provide a vibrant yellow color, so local irritation of the skin often occurs.

• White – Titanium dioxide, lead white, barium sulfate and zinc oxide (the stuff you smear on your nose at the beach). Titanium dioxide has caused cancer in lab animals. Lead white is considered a cancer causing agent in humans. Barium is derived from the metal barium and is used in barium swallows for gastrointestinal tests, but when injected can cause skin irritation.

• Glow in the dark ink – made up of compounds that are toxic and in some cases radioactive. This again is unregulated in most states.

Some of these compounds can be considered safe, but testing still needs to be done. Some of these compounds are toxic and can cause heavy metal poisoning as the copper, lead, cadmium, chromium, arsenic and aluminum leach into your blood stream. Aluminum inks can also hasten the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Some of these inks cause cancer and have known mutagenic properties (cause mutations and birth defects) per Genser (2007). The FDA should be regulating these inks, but in most states they are not. Most states have started regulating tattoo parlors though and at least that’s a start.

Regulation of tattoo parlors has greatly decreased the rate of serious infection. Use of disposable needles has made the great impact. In the past, in unregulated tattoo parlors, the risk for getting hepatitis B & C, HIV, tetanus, herpes, staph and syphilis were a real threat. Regulation and disposable one-use needles have eliminated this risk (as long as the regulations are followed).

One other major concern with tattoo art is the fact that lifesaving MRI scans cannot be done in certain instances. This is because the metals in the ink cause intense burning pain for the patient. This has prompted many radiology departments to refuse to perform MRI scans on patients with tattoos, per Grenser (2007). This could cause resulting misdiagnosis or the inability to diagnose.

There are safe tattoo inks out there that are willing to divulge their tattoo formulas. There are many more that are dangerous tattoo inks that are unregulated. Many manufacturers refuse to divulge the formula as secret proprietary information. The carriers used to evenly distribute ink can also potentially be unsafe. Both the inks or carriers are not regulated by the FDA and regulation of tattoo art is the responsibility of each individual state.


Tattoo at your own risk. Tattoos can be safe or hazardous depending on your preparation for the tattoo. Talk to the tattoo artist. Ask them what carrier solution they use. Ask them the composition of their ink. Choose your colors by which colors are least toxic. Make sure the tattoo artist’s shop has an active Health Department certificate. Ask them for their Health Department sanitation score. If you feel you must get a tattoo, please do your research and make an informed decision. I personally recommend that you don’t get a tattoo. There are just too many risks for minor irritations and lingering side effects like cancer, scaring, granulomas, infection, toxicity and infections, per Mishra (2013). I don’t think it’s worth the risk, but it’s your body. Just please study-up and make an informed decision.

Armband Tattoo Tribal Designs – Why Isn’t the Armband Circle Closed?

Armband tattoo tribal designs are very original. This type of design blends different cultures together. Armband tattoos generally make a good tattoo. Depending on where you place it, you can easily cover it with a long sleeve or even short sleeve shirt.

Suggestions for an armband tattoo are flowers, snakes or Celtic knots. Both men and women are getting armband tattoos. You may find many tattoos that do not go all the way around the arm. Some people say this is a superstition. Most likely the tattoo does not connect because it can be very hard to match up the sides as the tattoo goes around your arm. The arm changes position as it moves and the skin stretches.

To create an armband tattoo tribal, you want to add some kind of tribal design. Polynesians are famous for their armband tattoo tribal designs. As in our current military, a tattoo around the arm signified your rank in your tribe.

Tribal imagery can include dark bold intertwining lines. An armband tattoo can be small like with a ring of flowers or larger as with a snake.

The best way to find a good armband tattoo tribal design is to go online and browse through a tattoo gallery. Have patience, finding the right tattoo may take some time. A unique tattoo design can incorporate several aspects of different tattoo designs. When you’re a member in a tattoo gallery, you can shop with no pressure. You don’t have to pay by the download for tattoo designs so you can print out and cut and past several different designs into the one for you.

You should have no problem getting a unique armband tattoo tribal design. Just make sure it is the one you want. If you are getting some type of tribal design, make sure you research the design so you know what you are putting on your body. You don’t want to make the wrong statement with your tattoo.