The man who invented the scleral tattoo concept, better known as the eyeball tattoo, wants to make the practice illegal. Luna Cobra, the Australian tattoo artist famous for his radical body modification techniques, has successfully tattooed the whites of many eyeballs, but says the pigmentation process can seriously damage your eyes.
In order to safely change the color of your eyeballs, ink needs to be injected between the sclera, the white part, and the conjunctive, the clear, thin layer on top of your eye. This is practically a surgical practice that requires incredibly delicate precision, and can be safely done with just a few sparse injections. If the artist’s hand slips or injects too much dye or makes too many piercings, the eye can be permanently injured.
A few body art appreciators have experienced an eye tattoo gone wrong. Take for example, Canadian model Catt Gallinger, who received a botched eye tattoo that caused her “excruciating” pain and left her eye infected and partially blind. Another Canadian lost his vision after the second ink injection. His eye eventually had to be removed “due to intractable pain.”
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has taken a strong stance against scleral tattooing, and says that the procedure can result in infection, light sensitivity, permanent discomfort, and even blindness. If you really want to change the whites of your eyes, the AAO recommends getting a prescription for costume contact lenses.