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1087320 tn?1257895425

tatoo artists using same ink??

So when all of my doctors asked me how I think I acquired Hep C, I told them that I believe it was from a straw.  Some of them were skeptical when I told them that I have never shared a needle, since they all know that I was an IV user for years. I'm not better than anyone else, because I contracted this disease either way, but I found it rather insulting that doctors found it rather amusing that I swore I always had a fresh needle right out of the package.  The doctors always questioned my several tatoos, but I told them all the same...I always made sure that the instruments were sterelized and the needles were always right out of the package.  Then I learned something new from the Pegasys nurse, she told me that alot of tatoo artist reuse ink, and some people don't keep that in mind when checking the tatoo shop.  Got me paniking...Most of my tats are from a best friends nieghbor, he did my tatoos as well as my best friends, alot of old friends(who were users) and nearly half the people in her apart. complex.  He did all his tatoos in his house, and he always used fresh needles, but I never checked the ink.  Since Hep C can stay alive for hours in dried blood, I'm now rethinking how I got my Hep C.  And to top it off, no one except my mother and father and one brother know about my condition.  I refuse to tell others about it, I am private and believe it is my choice.  However, I would find it extremely irresponsible of me not to inform my best friend about the ink situation.  I think I'm just going to call her, and claim that I want a new tatoo(which would be a lie) and just ask her if I could watch him in the act giving another tatoo, because I am just trying to stay safe about his tatooing process.  She'll ask me why...thats when I'll say "well you know, Sharon, some diseases, like Hep C, can stay in dried blood for hours, so if he reuses his ink, this could be a problem."  My best friend, Sharon, would then think of her own health, and would definately investigate further.  It kills me to think that this tatoo artist could of possible reused his ink, and passes Hep C to lots and lots of people, including me.   I hope that is not the case, because that would be a tragidy.  Has anyone else known for sure they got thier Hep C by tatoos?  And has anyone else known for sure that they got thier Hep C from a straw?  
36 Responses
Avatar universal
Back to drug use,i have read that when dealers cut the the drugs some of them are also users themselves ans while chopping the drugs up for sale can contaminate a batch.Have u ever used with another person?...how do you know you didnt mix the wrigs by mistake or shatred the same spoon or water?...do you get your teeth cleaned??..another great way
427265 tn?1444076436
Ya know, these questions REALLY torque me...not yours Bella, but people when hearing that I have HCV asking how I got it. I used to be generous...saying it's normal to be curious. Curious, my A$$. I mean really, when someone tells you that they are going through treatment for cancer or were diagnosed with heart disease or diabetes...whatever, do you ask how they 'got' it? Man, the nerve!
412873 tn?1329174455
Tough question/situation Bella.  I can see where the conflict comes in between maintaining your own privacy and warning others.  

The way I understand it, when you get a tat, they pour your ink into something and draw from that ink.  The problem would come in if they then dumped any left over ink back into the original bottle of ink.

I think they way you proposed doing it sounds reasonable. If you see that he is reusing ink, encourage her to get tested.  And question him about it, too.  

I don't know of anybody that knows for sure if they got it from a tat. Trying to figure out how we got it can drive us nuts.  I have  4 different exposures and at this point all I care about is that it's gone.  My daughter can claim she was born with it and I dare anyone to come back to me and question that......I'm just not in the mood.

Good luck chickie....please continue to keep us posted
475300 tn?1312423126
It was explained to me by someone on the forum who is a tattoo artist like this.   Even tho ink is poured / squeezed into throw away cups there is always the possibility that when it is being squeezed from the big bottle into the cup the tip can touch the ink in the small cup and some can be sucked back into the whole bottle and then it is all contaminated.  I have never heard of any tattoo artists dumping leftover back  but I can see how a small amount can be sucked back into the bigger bottle.  

Good luck in how you decide to approach your friend

577132 tn?1314266526
What about asking the tattoo artist whether he reuses his ink, or do you think he might lie?  Also, as someone else mentioned there are other ways to get the virus - the medical profession like to put it down to drug use or tattoos, easy boxes to tick.  I know that's the box they ticked for me even tho I am sure it was a different incident unrelated to drug use (and difficult to talk about) that was the source of my infection.  I say this because I am accutely aware of my acute phase of the disease and it's timing.

But be that as it may, don't hang yourself up on how you got it.  It'll drive you nuts.  But I do think you need to let your friend know somehow.  Seems like your current plan is quite complex - if she truly is your best friend why not be open and suggest she gets checked, for her own safety.
1087320 tn?1257895425
The dentist thing upsets me...I would of hope that a dentist would properly sterilize his instruments...thats totally disturbing.  Yeah, I go to the dentist every 9 months.  It's funny, cause when I just went, I informed them I found out I have Hep C...I find it responsible to let them know, for thier safety and others.  When I told them, they kinda acted, well, sorty panicky...but in a "oh let me double check my gloves" kinda way.  It wasn't insulting by far, but now that I've been reassured that dentists can even pass the disease, I find that incident funny now.  Anyways, I already talked to my girlfriend.  She said that she was actually getting a tatoo this weekend coming up, and that she was going to investigate his activities, while he tatooed someone else.  That made me feel better, though it still deeply concerns me. To Rocker: My mother contracted Hep C through a used needle (apparantly in the 70's, HIV and Hep were unknown and everyone used dirty needles) so even though I was a freaking idiot to start using ten years anyways, I NEVER reused even my own needles.  They always came out of the package, and I never used anyone elses spoon.  Someone very close to my mother actually had to get open heart surgery because of a blood disease they contracted due to dirty habits in thier using.  But, ROcker, you are right about using with other people, I did share straws years ago, even when  a clean needle wasnt available, and I shared them with otherusers...how stupid.  Stupid Stupid.  But I must not dwell, only prepare for the future.  I must not dwell...
96938 tn?1189799858
Based on what you've written here, may be your Mom is the source.  It's called vertical transmission. Have you compared genotypes?
87972 tn?1322661239
Bella, while it might be intuitively possible to contract HCV through snorting drugs, I’m unaware of any evidence that this actually occurs. Big difference, you know? I agree with FlGuy; could you have contacted this via your mom at childbirth? Anyway you slice it, it still needs to be managed; good luck with everything--

Avatar universal
Forget how you got it,its not important,the main thing is now is to concentrate and getting SVR.But i must add,bloody noses and straws and coke dont mix.
96938 tn?1189799858
It does matter if the intent is to accuse or imply (the artist) that someone else is responsible when they might not be and in the process lie to a best friend.  That would be shameful. Sounds like a plan to me.
Avatar universal
You are young,this is a great predictor you will get cured(SVR),find out your geno type yet and all those numbers,your stage of damage?.if your not cirrotic which i doubt you are and if your a geno type  2/3 your odds just jumped up to 80-95% cured rate with just the regular drugs...you have good odds ,being a female is a big bonus...your gonna be ok.
Avatar universal
Try calling this trial

475300 tn?1312423126
My comments on the tattoo ink was not to put blame on "her" artist but just for future reference i the case of getting another Tattoo.  I want one covered up / changed in the worst way and when I asked on the forum that was the scenario I was given by a tattoo artist.  

Bella writes...even when  a clean needle wasnt available, and I shared them with otherusers...how stupid.  Stupid Stupid..................

Does this mean you used a needle after you let someone else use it?  If so that could very well be your answer.  Good Luck

475300 tn?1312423126
338734 tn?1377160168
Gotta related question ..... what is the tattoo ink composed of? Does anyone know if it is feasible for the virus to live in it or on it  and for how long?
Avatar universal
Ive read the ink it self can cause health problems :

Michael Machetti, a California tattooed biker seeking to have a very-vulgar neck tattoo re-tattooed-covered up with the number "666" has filed legal action against Bull's Eye Tattoo Studio for infecting him with a "flesh-eating virus" during the tattoo procedure. Machetti claims the tattooist utilized unsanitary equipment that consequently infected him with the virus. Machetti has required several serious medical operations on his neck and both arms to remove huge portions of eaten skin. According to Ron Bakal, Machetti's lawyer, his client's medical bills are currently over $580,000.
(Case RIC391550, Michael Machetti v. Bull's Eye Tattoo Studio, Sam Enriquez, Superior Court of California, County of Riverside, file date April 11, 2003)

Avatar universal
Did you know the American Red Cross prohibits donors from donating blood for 12 months - one complete year -- after getting tattooed? Their Blood Donation Eligibility Guidelines under "Tattoo" reads, "Wait 12 months after a tattoo. This requirement is related to concerns about hepatitis."

475300 tn?1312423126
Yes I did know that as I think most people do
1087320 tn?1257895425
Denise, I wrote : "I did share straws years ago, even when  a clean needle wasnt available, and I shared them with otherusers...how stupid."  Sorry if that confused you, I meant I shared straws.  To everyone else, thankyoufor your input.  My mother has geno 1 and I have geno 2.  I am starting Pegasys as soon as my insurance company drops it off...I hate that it takes so long for them to fill the script.  I have talked to my mother about wanting her to undergo treatment, but she says no.  She says no because she is one of the rare cases of having a "healthy" liver(meaning no fibrosis no cirrosis) at the age of 53.  She says that he has to be well, and not on treatment, to always take care of my mentally challenged brother, 28.  My response is always "Ma, you say you want to be well.  You might be sick on treatment for 1year, but you are, sadly, at the age (she has had hep c for over 25 years) where if your liver did worsen, it could worsen now.  If you want to be well for your son, maybe you should consider being well forever, not just 1 year."  But, she doesn't listen and always says that I have to be respectful to my mother, which means not arguing with her decisions.  It upsets me, but I will not defy my mother.  But I will bring it up every so often, then run away, fast....
Avatar universal
Its best to let your mother decide for her self,i have a brother the same way but he has stage 2-3,but your mom may be very will right in her decision,my advice is to back off on ma and help yourself.do you know your stage?..if you are zero you should wait too with you mom for the PI  drugs anyway.
1087320 tn?1257895425
I did not have a biopsy done, my liver spec said he didn't think I needed one.  He said I was a good candidate, and we have been discussing it for months.  I need you, rocker, to help me with some questions tho, please.  I am confused about some bloodwork talk in this forum.  I have not gotten a printout of my bloodwork, but my next appt with liver doc is on this Monday, so I plan on asking for one.  The only thing I know is that my ALT is 313 and has been going up.  Will my VL be shown in the blood work copy I ask for?  Also, I have read that  many people are given vitamins by thier doctor for treatment and general liver health, but my liver spec has not said anything about this.  I should def ask him, right?  Are there any other things I NEED to ask him on monday?  Like I said, as soon as the medicine comes in...it could be soon or it could be 3 weeks...I am starting tx.  I have already seen the pegasys nurse.  Also, you are right bout my mother...its just that she is my mother, and I live her dearly.  She helped me get clean, she has taken me into her home, and has assured me that she is going to be my caretaker during this whole situation, if I do get sick.  Her and my father support any intelligent decision I make, and I couldn't do this without them.  I guess I just feel that if she is doing all this for me, she deserves a chance too.   But please give me insight if you can
Avatar universal
Ill try to help you,first with your ALT so high .313,you would be wise to get a BX ,it helps to know where you start off with the level of damage, as this is very important.You want to know if you are improving of doing more damage.Your liver doc dont seem too smart too me.Im surprised you never even got YOUR paper work.Your VL will be known by the doctor and hes got to tell you it.Hold off on supplements for now as they may affect the TX drugs,keep your diet  simple.Dont feel rushed into doing TX in 3 weeks,you NEED a biopsy in my opinion.Its even dangerous to TX without a BX...who knows,God forbid,if you are cirrotic and in the later stages you may need a different TX approach.Im sure others will help you out as im no expert.
BTW...you may wanna look into getting a new doc,second opinions are a wise move also.


338734 tn?1377160168
Maybe I should have phrased my question differently. It was more along the line: is there any medical or scientific evidence to conclude how long the Hep C virus can live in common tattoo ink?

Avatar universal
I know there are studies proving it can live in the open air for hours.but i have to tell you something before i crash ...someone told me and this person works in the medical field,that they were moving from one location to another and they found a test tube capped ,thtt had been dropped down behind a ciupboard for 10 years and they tested it as an experiment,and guess what?

It was still active..BELEIVE THIS OR NOT.
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