Is Sharpie bad for your skin?
Sharpie is a popular marker brand that is used in various environments worldwide. When coloring or doing activities with your children, it’s easy to accidentally get ink on your skin. As a result, a question arises: can Sharpie have a negative impact on your skin?
Using Sharpie on your skin in moderation is not harmful. As long as you avoid excessive exposure to the ink, it is generally safe. Nevertheless, it is advisable to investigate the specific chemicals present in the Sharpie product you purchase, as some may be toxic.
Here are a list of hazardous chemicals that Sharpies may contain:
- Xylene: Markers contain xylene, a toxic substance that can be harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Excessive exposure to xylene can lead to skin inflammation and defatting, a condition that often occurs with repeated or prolonged contact with this liquid substance.
- Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether: While not widely regarded as toxic to humans, this chemical only causes skin irritation. However, it is important to note that a much higher quantity than what one would typically get from applying Sharpie on their skin would be necessary to pose a significant threat.
Sharpies can pose potential health risks through inhalation or direct absorption into the bloodstream. Whether you consume the ink or come into contact with it on your skin, the risk of poisoning is relatively low.
It’s important to be cautious when dealing with the situation. If it comes into contact with your skin, rinse it off with water.
What is Xylene
Xylene is a chemical derived from petroleum that is known for its solvent properties and ability to dissolve substances, especially in the printing industry. Additionally, this compound is used for various purposes including cleaning agents, paint thinners, and as a major component in varnishes.
This substance is classified as a type of benzene compound, which means it has flammable properties and can be highly dangerous in large amounts. As a result, it has the potential to cause skin irritation and strip it of its natural oils, leading to excessive dryness. Xylene is commonly used as a solvent in many permanent markers.
Are Washable Markers Safe on the Skin?
Over time, there has been a growing awareness of harmful substances found in permanent markers.
Schools and educational facilities have switched from permanent markers to washable alternatives to avoid the harmful substances found in permanent marker brands. However, one might consider if washable markers have any potential risks when they come into contact with the skin.
When it comes to skin safety, rest assured that washable markers pose no threats. If any of these markers accidentally come into contact with your skin, simply washing it off immediately ensures complete safety. However, it is important to carefully examine the brand and type of marker to ensure that there are no hazardous or harmful chemicals present.
Washable markers are considered to be skin-friendly due to their low solvent content, unlike permanent markers. Because they do not contain solvents, they have fewer harsh chemicals that may cause skin irritation.
Removing a Sharpie Tattoo
The solvents found in the ink of Sharpie pens are typically the primary focus of health concern, rather than the pigments. After drawing on oneself and allowing the ink to dry, the product poses minimal risks. Occurrences of reactions to the pigments appear to be uncommon. The ink only penetrates the outer layers of your skin, causing it to fade after a few days. Alternatively, if you prefer not to wait for it to fade on its own, there is another method to remove the Sharpie ink. Applying mineral oil, such baby oil, can assist in removing pigment molecules, making it easier to wash away the majority of the color with soap and water.
The ink from a Sharpie can be erased by using rubbing alcohol, such as isopropyl alcohol. However, this type of alcohol can penetrate the skin, which may introduce potentially harmful substances into the bloodstream. A potential alternative worth considering is grain alcohol, such as ethanol, which is commonly present in hand sanitizer gel. Ethanol can penetrate unbroken skin, but it is not as toxic as other forms of alcohol. It is important to avoid using toxic solvents such as methanol, acetone, benzene, or toluene. There is a viable alternative to eliminate the pigment that does not pose any health hazards; therefore, it is recommended to avoid using the current method.
Sharpie Ink vs Tattoo Ink: The Argument
The biggest concern with Sharpie body art is the ink penetrating the skin. This is a matter of concern as chemicals that enter the body through broken skin can directly enter the bloodstream. Engaging in this practice involves exposing oneself to toxic chemicals that quickly enter the circulatory system.
There is a difference between temporary Sharpie tattoos and permanent tattoos in terms of how deeply they penetrate the skin, but it is unclear why people feel more confident in getting permanent tattoos compared to temporary Sharpie tattoos.
Markers ink have different chemical compositions, which helps explain the question.
Tattoo inks are composed of pigments held in a carrier solution, primarily metal salts, which sets them apart from normal inks or pen ink. The chemical composition of tattoo inks differs from Sharpie ink due to their varied sources.
The primary purpose of pen ink is to create visible markings on paper. Some markers have the ability to create impressive artwork. When considering body art, it is recommended to choose temporary tattoos made with skin-safe markers or authentic, safe tattoo ink.