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Black Light Tattoo Information

author image Kristeen Cherney
Kristeen Cherney began writing healthy lifestyle and education articles in 2008. Since then, her work has appeared in various online publications, including Healthline.com, Ideallhealth.com and FindCollegeInfo.com. Cherney holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Florida Gulf Coast University and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in English.
Black Light Tattoo Information
Woman with tattoos driving a car Photo Credit Hill Street Studios/Daniel Hebert/Blend Images/Getty Images

Black light tattoos are a type of body art which you can only see under black lights. This type of tattoo is popular among people who frequent places with black lights, such as night clubs. According to ABC News, black light tattoos are prevalent among people ages 18 through 30. Seekers should keep in mind that getting a black light tattoo takes longer than a traditional tattoo. It is also not visible all the time.


Black light tattoos are not only popular among young people but also favored by those who cannot have tattoos at work, since they are not visible in other types of lighting. These tattoos are an alternative if you want a tattoo but are not sure if you want it for life. If you change your mind, you will only have to deal with it if you step under a black light, something that is easily avoidable.

How It Works

According to the Tattoo Tips website, UV-reactive ink is used in black light tattoos. It is the only type of ink visible under black lights. Traces of the tattoo may be visible under fluorescent lighting at first, but the full colors and effect are only visible under black lights. According to ABC News, the traces are only seen for approximately 18 months until the tattoo completely heals.

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A tattoo artist draws a design on tracing paper and applies it to the skin, as in a normal tattoo process. The UV tattoo ink is placed within the tattoo gun with a carrier agent to help apply it. Some people use UV tattoo ink on certain parts of a normal tattoo for enhancement purposes. Black lights are used in tattoo shops for this type of body art to ensure a smoother process. ABC News states that this type of tattoo ink has been on the market since 1999, and it comes in 18 different colors.


Black light tattoos are often confused with glow-in-the-dark tattoos. Unlike black light tattoos, glow-in-the-dark tattoos are only visible in the dark without any light sources. Black light tattoo ink purportedly has few side effects. However, tattoo ink is not completely free of side effects, especially if you have sensitive skin. The chemicals in UV ink are FDA-approved for animal usage, but they have not been cleared for humans. Since the FDA does not regulate tattoo ink, there is no proof whether it is truly safe.


Black light tattoos cost more than traditional tattoos, due to the time-consuming nature of the application. Another reason for the increased cost is the type of tattoo ink used. Seek a tattoo artist who is experienced in black light tattoos, as UV inks are more difficult to use, due to the fact that they apply more thinly than traditional inks. Someone who is inexperienced in this type of ink can easily make a mistake during the process or possibly cause an infection.

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