In trend: Eye ball tattoo?
Tattoo enthusiasts around the world have inked various parts of their body. And it might sound strange, but getting your eye inked is gaining popularity worldwide among extreme body-modders, or body modification enthusiasts.
"Today, tattoos have become very fashionable. Every fourth person is getting it done despite knowing the harmful effects and consequences. There can be many factors which may lead to such behaviours," says Dr Manish Jain, Consultant, Psychiatry, BLK Super Speciality Hospital.
People interested in radical cosmetic procedures have shown interest in this procedure all over the world. Body modification enthusiasts who often get tattoos all over their body or their tongue surgically split find scleral tattooing as the next logical step.
Dr Prashaant Chaudhry, Senior Consultant, Cornea and Refractive Surgery, Cataract, Glaucoma and Medical retina at Aakash Healthcare, says, "Eyeball tattooing is a procedure done to change the colour of the white portion of the eye. The procedure requires putting some numbing drops in the eye followed by injection of a dye of the chosen colour between the two layers of the white part of the eye. Most commonly, the white of the eye is dyed black in the process. However, eyeball tattooing is not without attendant risks. If it is performed without a thorough knowledge of the anatomy of the eye or the right technique, it can be vision threatening.
There are numerous reported instances where eyeball tattooing has led to the loss of vision of the eye, especially when done by untrained persons and not specialist doctors. The complications most commonly arise due to the needle entering into the eye and leading to cataract, detachment of the retina, bleeding or infection in the eye. The experience can quickly turn into a nightmare with a persistently painful and watering eye, not to mention the dreaded vision loss if things really go wrong. The risks increase dramatically if a person wears prescription contact lenses or has a pre-existing eye disease. The inks used also vary in nature, and UV reactive inks and red inks can cause more problems. A spot testing before the full ink application is, therefore, definitely recommended.
So why does anyone want to go through all that? Dr Manish Jain explains, "Firstly, tattoos are used to modify self-esteem as well as bodies. Sometimes people feel something missing or inadequate in their bodies and envision themselves imperfect. Therefore they get these tattoos done on their bodies.
Secondly, some people do it to seek attention, especially those who had been neglected by others around them. So, by this way, they express their unheard emotions, feelings and situations.
Thirdly, to stand out and to blend into a group, adolescents follow the trend. Several studies have shown that people who are rebellious and aggressive express their passive aggression through this.
Lastly, in the form of self-punishment or just to undo their acts; people express their pain and guilt to themselves through such painful procedures. And in this particular case, any of the above reasons could be behind such a risky behaviour."