Green Soap Allergy

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Many (most) tattoo artists use green soap (typically 10% green soap — glycerin or linseed oil and potassium or sodium hydroxide — in water) while tattooing to clean off the skin of blood and ink. While it's not at all common, some people will exhibit a minor allergic reaction. One reader describes,

"I had never heard of this happening until it happened to me. The area around the tattoo was bright red, and you could see the individual spots of spray radiating from that tattoo. The green soap got into my blood stream via the tattoo and caused an extreme all over itch for about a month. While it was extremely annoying, it was by no means life threatening for me."

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