Scleral tattooing

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Scleral Tattooing

Scleral tattooing is the practice of tattooing the sclera, or white part of the human eye. This process is relatively new and is viewed as an extreme practice.


In late 2007, Body Modification Ezine wrote an article describing the first three scleral tattoo procedures performed on sighted eyes. The artist known as Luna Cobra (Howard "Howie" Rollins) experimented on three volunteers; Shannon Larratt, Joshua Matthew Rahn and "Pauly Unstoppable".[1][2] Luna Cobra tried two different procedures, the first covering the needle with ink and puncturing the eye. This method was deemed unsuccessful, and the second method was attempted. This procedure, in which the sclera was injected with blue dye, was successful. The procedures were “effectively painless because there aren’t nerve endings in the surface of the eye,” says the article's author Shannon Larratt. The aftereffects include “fairly minor” pain, bruising, and some discomfort. Also, the author, who had the procedure performed on himself, seems to have some blisters between the sclera and conjunctiva. The author twice indicates the risks and possible complications, the most important including blindness, of the procedure and warns that it should not be performed without a professional.[3] Scleral tattooing is extremely new and still experimental.

Oklahoma legislation[edit]

A local Oklahoma newspaper wrote about the Oklahoma Senate panel trying to make eye tattooing illegal. Senate Bill 844 was filed by Oklahoma Senator Cliff Branan and would make it illegal to tattoo the sclera of the eye. The Oklahoma Academy of Ophthalmology requested for this bill to pass because of the dangers of the procedure.[4] It was eventually passed April 21, 2009.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A sad and premature goodbye to Josh Rahn
  2. ^ Eyeball Tattoo Interview, Five Years Later
  3. ^ Shannon (2 July 2007). "Three blind mice". Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Bisbee, Julie (20 February 2009). "Oklahoma Senate Panel wants us to make tattooing the eyeball illegal". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "Week in Review the Oklahoma Senate." 31 Oct. 2009 <>.[full citation needed]