Since the world is on fire right now, it feels appropriate that “eyeball tattooing” has become a trend. The obviously dangerous technique — which has become increasingly popular in the body modification community — has already claimed many victims, even causing one man to cry black tears. Now, the procedure has left a Canadian woman partially blind in one eye.
According to Catt Gallinger’s Facebook, the 24-year-old model recently went to have the white of her eyes — known as the sclera — tinted purple. After the procedure, her eyes began to swell and ooze purple sludge from the ink.
“As it stands I will have to see a specialist and am at risk of being blind if it doesn’t get corrected,” Gallinger wrote in a disturbing Facebook post from September 20. “This was caused by undiluted ink, over injection, not enough/smaller injections sights. There are multiple people who can attest that my aftercare was good and any other part of what I am saying.”
While Gallinger says she’s sharing her story to urge her fans to “do [their] research” before getting their sclera similarly tinted, in no universe is this procedure safe, no matter how much research one does. No matter what technique the tattoo artists uses, the procedure involves piercing a person’s eyeball and injecting the puncture with ink, basically inviting in bacterial infection. It doesn’t take being a doctor to know that repeatedly sticking a needle into your eye and filling it with ink is unequivocally a bad idea.
Speaking of doctors, according to Stephanie A. Castle, an optometrist in Park City, Utah, the damage left from eye tattoos is particularly difficult to treat. Specialists might not be able to do much to repair a person’s damaged eye tissue.
“It blacks your eye doctor’s ability to view ocular structures-which provide us with important information about eye health and systemic health,” Castle tells Newsweek. “In some cases there’s a danger of patient’s having to have an eye enucleated (removed) because of infection and pain.”
In an update on Gallagher’s Facebook, she says her vision is improving but that there’s still “a lot of buildup around [her cornea].” Doctors say it’s unlikely she will ever fully regain sight in that eye.
While I won’t tell anyone how to live their lives, please know that if you’re considering an eye tattoo, please ask yourself why, and then do literally anything else.
If you liked this article, check out this video on why tattoos are more likely to attract men than women.