Someone got a glow-in-the-dark, tattoo of Harry Potter, and while an image of it has gone viral, getting one for yourself could be dangerous.
The above image has gotten well over a million views on Imgur since it went up a week ago. And it’s not hard to see why. It is, obviously, very cool. While Harry Potter tattoos are nothing new, this one, of a series of black footprints on top of the incantation needed to reveal the secrets of the Marauder’s Map—”I solemnly swear I am up to no good”— only shows up if a blacklight is cast on it. (The quote, that is—the footprints are always there.) The secret to this effect is ultraviolet ink. Should you rush out and get one?
Probably not. According to Style.Mic, dermatologic surgeon Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains with authority what a lot of people probably knew on instinct: injecting glow-in-the-dark ink into your body may not be a good idea.
“There are risks with any tattoos, regardless of the method used or the type of ink involved,” Dr. Schlessinger said. “The FDA doesn’t regulate any type of tattoo ink so you never know what is being injected under your skin.”
Another cause for concern is many inks that glow in the dark contain phosphorus, a dangerous element that can be incredibly toxic to humans depending on where it’s derived. Because tattoo ink is not regulated by the FDA, it can be difficult to know if the ink to be used contains even the smallest amount of phosphorus.
So there you go. You may want to think twice about getting a phosphorescent tattoo for fear that you will poison yourself. But then again, it looks really neat…it’s a toss-up.