You may not understand the appeal of sticking needles into your eyeballs to tint them a different color but nevertheless, people are into it.
What is sclera staining, you ask? Well, it's getting ink injected into the whites of your eyes, otherwise known as an eyeball tattoo.
You may be wondering why so many people are doing it, and to be honest, we're at a loss ourselves. We don't understand the appeal of sticking needles into your eyeballs to tint them a different color. But nevertheless, people are into it.
Back in October, a Canadian model tattooed her eyeballs a shade of her favorite color, purple, and got a nasty infection in one of her eyes. It was swollen shut, and doctors told her there was a possibility of going completely blind, so she took to social media to warn others against doing what she'd done.
But that's not stopping another woman from Knoxville, Tennessee, from wanting her eyeballs tattooed. As WVLT TV reports, Carolanne Millett wants to accentuate her blue eyes with a tint of either teal or gray, noting that she views her body as a "work in progress."
"There's a risk factor with every body modification that anybody decides to get, whether it be plastic surgery or a tattoo," Millett told the news station.
But tattooing the inside of your eye is way more dangerous than some ink on your shoulder (although those still come with some risks as well.)
"You can have immediate vision loss," Kirk Haun, M.D., an ophthalmologist for Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun, told WVLT TV. "You can even have long-term inflammation."
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, other risks include sensitivity to light, the feeling that there's something stuck in your eye, decreased vision or blindness, infection, and even losing your eye completely.
Michael Contessa, who is the owner of Naked Ape Tattoo in Knoxville and has been tattooing for seven years, isn't a fan either.
"It scares me more than anything," he told WVLT TV. "To me it's not worth the the amount of trouble and the risk for what you get out of it [or] how it looks."
But Millett remains undeterred, saying the tattoo "fits her aesthetic." She advises others to do it if it makes them feel beautiful, but also to do their research. Russ Foxx, a tattoo artist in Vancouver, Canada, advocates for making sure you know what you're getting into as well.
We, on the other hand, advise that maybe this isn't the greatest idea. If you're itching for a new tattoo, try a sleeve instead. Or as the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends, if you really want your eyes to have a different color, get colored contacts.