Eyeball tattoos? Knoxville woman says yes

By  | 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Most people know someone with ink on their bodies, but how about the whites of their eyes?

One Knoxville woman said she plans on getting a Sclera tattoo, also known as a tattoo on her eyes.

Carolanne Millett said as an artist, her body is a work in progress. She said she thinks the eye tattoo would accentuate her blue eyes, and she has considered either a teal or gray color.

"There's a risk factor with every body modification that anybody decides to get, whether it be plastic surgery or a tattoo," said Millett

Bad news surfaced on Wednesday for Millett, when the Tennessee Department of Health informed Local 8 News that tattooing the eyes would not be allowed under the state's tattoo and body piercing law. If Millett decided to undergo the procedure, she would have to do it in another state.

A Canadian woman issued a warning after her botched eye tattoo may leave her completely blind, CBS Miami reported.

Catt Gallinger, 24, of Ottawa, Canada, said she decided to get a sclera tattoo nearly two months ago. The procedure aimed to change the color of the whites around the eye.

But weeks after the procedure, Gallinger said her eye started oozing purple liquid. Pictures shared on Gallinger's Facebook showed various stages of recovery from the incident.

Surgeons reportedly said her sclera tore from the size of the needle used, and the depth and amount of ink administered.

Dr. Kirk Haun, Ophthalmologist for Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun, said tattooing eyeballs is extremely risky.

"You can have immediate vision loss," said Dr. Haun. "You can even have long term inflammation.

A tattoo artist of seven years called the procedure unnecessary.

"It scares me more than anything," said Michael Contessa, owner of Naked Ape Tattoo." To me it's not worth the the amount of trouble and the risk for like what you get out of it [or] how it looks."

Millett said it's a life-changing decision, but the tattoo fits her aesthetic.
When asked if she had any advice for people considering a tattoo on their eyes, Millett said to do research, visualize what the tattoo would look like and do what makes you feel beautiful.

Check out Local 8 News Reporter Donovan Long's full interview with Millett in the video block at the top of the story.