Here is how eyeball tattoos are supposed to work
Science & Tech / /
Sometimes white eyeballs just aren’t enough. Trends have gone so far that it is now possible to dye the eyeballs in your favorite color. A fast internet scan will throw out of a lot of photos (real and fake) of people with black, blue or multicolored eyeballs. But just because some of them remained undamaged does not mean that this venture is safe. Sorry for that mental images in advance.
It has already been noticed that eyeball tattoos have caused permanent damage, but the recent case of a model who wanted to dye her eyes has put this procedure in center of the attention, again. Namely a girl who wanted to dye here eyes purple, after what a side effects started to appear. She ended up with massively swollen eyeballs, not just the skin around the eyes.
After all, it actually is possible to tattoo the whites of the eyes safely. The point is to get the needle inside a barely-millimeter-wide gap, between two layers of the eye.
2. Sclera 3-15. Irrelevant to this story
Ink needs to be injected between the conjunctiva and the sclera, which are marked as 1 and 2 on the picture above. The sclera is the white part, while the conjunctiva is a thin, clear layer at the top. In body tattooing, there’s basically only one method that involves a few needle pricks, and that is by injecting small amounts of dye into the space between the conjunctiva and the sclera, and letting that ink to spread. The traditional tattoo on the other side requires that the tip repeatedly pierces the skin. Theoretically it would be possible to do that to an eyeball, but the final result would be a lot of holes for the dye to leak out of.
The artist who first performed this method, Luna Cobra, has himself said that it’s not a safe thing to try. Eyes are keen to infections, can easily be damaged, and it is often difficult or even impossible to reverse the side effects of such a procedure. For instance, if the artist misses the right spot and the needle goes too far, or the amount of dye is too great, or the ink is too thick it can easily lead to permanent damage of the eye. A lot of experienced tattoo artists will suggest that you need to choose an artist carefully before putting anything into your skin permanently.
For that purpose a surgeon would be the best choice, but there are also cases of medically-sanctioned eye tattoos. Just like any physical defect, people with eye damage can suffer not just from the thing itself, but also from the stigma of having a visible defect. In such cases corneal tattoo wouldn’t repair vision, but it can dye the eyeball back to white.
A thing worth mentioning is that tattoo artists are not trained to poke eyeballs with needles there isn’t an official certificate for corneal tattooing. All you can lean on is their recommendation and experience.
source: Popular science