Warning: This post contains graphic content.
People get tattooed for a variety of reasons. Some people do it to honor a memory or a loved one, while others get tattoos as a form of self-expression. Regardless of the reason people get themselves tattooed, it is always advisable to do some careful planning first. After all, tattoos are permanent fixtures on the body, and getting rid of them will only mean double the pain and cost.
The harrowing experience of this model will make you think twice about getting a tattoo in sensitive areas like the eyes. Find out what happened after this model’s ill-fated eyeball tattoo session went horribly, horribly wrong.
Eyeball Tattoo Leaves Model in Horrible Pain and Partial Blindness
Twenty-four-year-old Catt Gallinger is living proof that you should never ever undergo a cosmetic procedure involving your eyes.
The model from Ottawa, Canada, underwent a procedure known as scleral tattooing. To put it simply, scleral tattooing involves using a needle to inject ink into the whites (the sclera) of the eyes to change their color. In Gallinger’s case, she wanted her sclera to turn purple.
Gallinger’s decision to have her eyeballs tattooed came at the urging of her now ex-boyfriend, Eric Brown. Ironically, the two had only been together for a month when she caved into the pressure.
“The artist, my ex-boyfriend, just kept pushing me until I got it done that night,” Gallinger said in an interview with Vice News. “We were only together for a month, but I’ve known him for years. It was something I thought I could trust him with because he had a portfolio. I was wrong.”
Things go downhill . . . pretty fast
Brown quickly proved that he was nothing but a bungling amateur when he used a needle that was too big. He then proceeded to stick it in Gallinger’s eye deeply while using pure ink instead of a diluted mixed with saline. The pain almost immediately sunk in, and Gallinger needed to be rushed to the hospital.
After her initial checkup, Gallinger said that the doctors had sent her home because they weren’t sure if there really was an infection. But after getting a second opinion weeks later, medical professionals were horrified with what they saw.
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Aside from the excruciating pain, Gallinger oozed purple tears, severe swelling, and eventual loss of vision. She tried antibiotic drops but ended up needing surgery. To this day, Gallinger isn’t sure if she will ever regain her lost vision, and to make things worse, experts have told her that further complications may occur in the future.
Gallinger’s ex-boyfriend has since spoken out since performing the procedure. Brown told CBC News that it was his then-girlfriend who was responsible for the reaction since she refused to take the eye drops he had recommended.
Is scleral tattooing safe?
In general, experts have warned the public of the dangers of scleral tattooing. The process itself is not common in the United States with the State of Oklahoma completely prohibiting it in 2009.
The eye is a complex and sensitive organ that serves a lot of purposes. The slightest interference with its structure can have dire results. Imagine having some foreign material come in contact with your eye. You’ll almost immediately feel the pain, and over time, an infection may occur.
With scleral tattooing, you are allowing a dye to be injected between the layers of your eye. This does not only result in severe pain, but it can also cause complete loss of vision. Thus, any form of cosmetic procedure involving the eyes is dangerous and unregulated. There are no guarantees that the equipment used is sterile, or in Gallinger’s case, you could be placing your life in the hands of an incompetent individual.
Ever since photos of Gallinger’s eye condition went viral, numerous publications have issued several warnings on scleral tattoos. Gallinger herself has said that anyone interested in getting an eyeball tattoo should look into the tattoo artist’s portfolio first before undergoing the procedure.
An even better advice? Just don’t do it. One small mishap can lead to permanent damage, so there’s no point risking your life for something as dangerous as this.