Eyeball Tattoos: Everything You Need to Know

eyeball tattoo

Eyeball Tattoo – Do you want to find out about the eyeball tattoo? Have you ever asked yourself what they are, how exactly they are done, and what the risks that go with them? If yes, you are not the only one. Body modification has many forms, with eyeball tattoo remaining as one of the most extreme body modifications and gaining popularity in recent years.

They are also very harmful and permanent; they lead to life-threatening complications such as infection, blindness and even death. In this article, we shall discuss all there is to know about eyeball tattoo, including their origin and interpretation, the procedure and other options.

What are eyeball tattoo?

Sclera tattoos, commonly referred to as eyeball tattoo, are one of the forms of cosmetic body modification that involve altering the whites of the eyes or the sclera. Different from conventional tattooing, where the ink is injected into the skin, eye tattoos are done instead by injecting the ink into one of the layers that make up the sclera.

The ink continues to spread, leading to permanent color change. The eye tattoo should not be confused with the corneal tattoo, which is a medical procedure that deals with the cosmetic improvement of the cornea, which is the transparent layer at the front of the Eye. Sometimes, doctors also conduct corneal tattoos for treating scars or other conditions related to the cornea, like aniridia or leukoma.

However, corneal tattoos are also risky, and problems that can arise from these tattoos include inflammation, infection, or vision loss.

What is the background and symbolism of the eye tattoos?

eyeball tattoo are a fairly recent occurrence, but they have their origins in ancient cultures and traditions. For instance, certain indigenous tribes in Africa and South America performed eye tattooing as a ritual or for identification purposes.

Horus’s Eye represented protection, royal power, and good health in ancient Egypt. It was portrayed as a human eye with a falcon’s head. An eye on the forehead, the third Eye in Hindu and Buddhist terms, symbolizes intuition, intelligence, and enlightenment.

Eye tattooing is only done today for aesthetic purposes, to show one’s uniqueness or creativity. People can also opt for eye tattoos that have a specific meaning or symbolism to them, like that of an animal or an evil eye. Some people may find it attractive or want to make a statement.

How are eyeball tattoo done?

The process of eyeball tattoos, while seemingly rather simple in principle, is, extremely complicated and very delicate in practice. It consists of inserting a needle with dye into one of the layers that compose the sclera, usually near the limbus (sclera-cornea boundary). The dye subsequently diffuses throughout the adjacent tissue, resulting in permanent colour changes.

However, this process is accompanied by a lot of challenges and risks. Here are some:

  • First, no uniform certifications or regulations concerning eye tattooing; hence, anyone can perform it without requisite training and facilities.
  • Second, there is no accepted ink for eyeball tattoo, most inks used are similar to those used for printing or car painting, which can cause toxicity or damage to the Eye.
  • Thirdly, the exact level of ink injection can not be controlled; too much ink leads to pressure buildup or leakage into other parts of the Eye; too little ink causes inhomogeneous or patchy results; injection into the wrong layer damages important structures such as blood vessels or nerves.

What are the risks and complications of eyeball tattoos?

Eye tattoos are extremely dangerous and can cause serious complications such as:

  • Infection: Bacteria and fungi that may enter through the eye needle will cause infection as the needle is used for tattooing the Eye. Infection results in inflammation, pain, discharge, redness, swelling or fever. It can also lead to infection of other parts of the Eye or body, which can cause systemic problems such as sepsis or meningitis.
  • Blindness: The ink applied for eye tattooing hinders the eye normalcy’s functioning, which means vision disruption. Light-blocking ink can occur; images are obscured or distorted on the retina; photoreceptors are damaged and destroyed, impairing communication between photoreceptors and the brain, causing scarring and retinal detachment, leading to glaucoma, and causing uveitis.


Among the most extreme and dangerous types of body modification is the eyeball tattoos. They embody injecting ink into the white section of the Eye, causing a permanent colour transformation. On the other hand, they may lead to significant complications like infection, blindness, pain, hyperesthesia, foreign body sensation or enucleation.

There is no regulation of eyeball tattoos and no approval by any insurance company or medical authority. To top it all, there is no guarantee of safety and quality. You should consider the dangers implied in this process and rather opt for safer and less permanent changes such as contact lenses or makeup.

Take your time getting an eyeball tattoos without seriously considering the results, and feel free to consult an eye specialist about the matter.