General Question

writerini's avatar

Are Sharpies bad for your skin?

Asked by writerini (159points) July 29th, 2008

Sometimes I draw on my arm with a Sharpie. (like a temporary tattoo) Is the ink bad for your skin/body?

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20 Answers

poofandmook's avatar

it’s not great… and from my experience as a kid, they take a few days to wash off. But it’s not toxic or anything.

Lovelocke's avatar

Well, if you read the marker, it says “Non Toxic”. Unfortunately, it doesn’t warn you about how much of a tool you’ll be if you use it to draw on your arm. Take up smoking instead: Much cooler.

tinyfaery's avatar

To be safe, just get some temporary tattoos, or henna.

Harp's avatar

According to the MSDS for Sharpies, skin contact is not hazardous.

writerini's avatar

I know they take about a couple days to wash off, but are they bad for your body if done a few times?

poofandmook's avatar

No. But why on Earth would you do that? lol

writerini's avatar

I don’t know, it’s just fun I guess… =P

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

I’ll admit that I recently got rather artistic with a sharpie and my foot. It was pretty damn entertaining.

writerini's avatar

heehee. It is very fun.

srtlhill's avatar

instead purchase some physicians markers
That are made for drawing on the body. Then go nuts with your hobby.

arnbev959's avatar

It’s supposedly ‘non-toxic’, but the ink does get absorbed into your bloodstream. Just something to keep in mind.

steelmarket's avatar

Non-toxic just means that it does not kill rats within a specific amount of time. Trust me, they have not done multi-generational studies to see if exposure could cause cancer or anything like that. You could be taking a risk as serious as smoking. Go with henna.

writerini's avatar

@petethepothead… are you sure? How do you know?

Harp's avatar

The ink is essentially alcohol (3 different kinds) plus pigment. The pigments used are Permachrome pigments (also used in many inkjet printer inks, and are non-toxic.

Harp's avatar

Permachrome pigments are even used in some tattoo inks, BTW.

stevenb's avatar

A good friend of mine takes a ring of mini sharpies to bars and partys and flames girls boobs. Funny as hell to watch. Women actually ask him to do it. He does a nice job though, as he flames cars for people alot. Just sharing.

wrestlemaniac's avatar

duh! yes sharpies are bad for your skin they contain an ingredient that science proves can corrode and burn skin.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

they aren’t bad for your skin, at least according to surgeons who use them to mark where they’re going to perform surgery on their patients.

JaceWayland1028's avatar

I’ve had surgery done, and the surgeon that marked the incisions did use permanent marker, but not sharpie. There are toxic chemicals linked to various things from birth defects to cancer to liver failure if used often or frequently, or just many times over all. Maybe think twice before you uncap what’s inside being as it’s only nontoxic for it’s intended purposes- marking things on stuff that isn’t attached to a body. Just look at the other search results on google. A sharpie professional said not to use it on skin.

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