What Does A Tattoo Infection Look Like
As mentioned above, tattoo infections can take on different forms, but the important part is that most often they are noticeable.
It’s very typical the excessive swelling around the ink and itchy red welts that appear almost like a border to the design.
Tattoo infections can appear in a number of ways:
- Pus emitting from the tattoo sight
- Rash on or around the tattoo
- Redness of the skin, or warmth near site almost like a fever
- Noticeable swelling around the tattoo
- Firm bumps or welts appearing
- Small skin lesions, often itchy ones
One important thing to note is as the infection progresses, the tattoo itself can lose some of its initial luster.
The colors fade as the pigment is not retained by the skin. The longer the infection takes to recognize, the more touch-ups might be necessary to get the tattoo back to its former glory.
Infection likely wont completely ruin your tattoo, but its important to make sure to wait a couple months to fully heal before you repair the damage done.
Burns During An Mri Exam
In some cases, the magnetic resonance imaging may feel a burning, tingling sensation at the tattoo area. This is due to the fact that some tattoo inks still use iron particles and they react to a strong magnetic field. However, modern inks contain practically no iron, and such reactions are rather exotic.
Can An Infected Tattoo Heal On Its Own
While tattoos and the after-effects to your skin can often heal on their owninfections do not. Tattoo infections will grow in size, become more noticeable, detrimentally affecting your tattoo.
If we let our infected tattoo to heal on its own, it could open the door for bacteria to enter your bloodstream, causing some very dangerous, even life-threatening, conditions.
Therefore, even if luck is normally on your side, don’t chance it.
Look for the signs, and take action.
You May Like: Walk In Tattoo San Diego
Tattoo Infection Vs Tattoo Allergy
E. Coli bacteria
A lot of people confuse a tattoo allergy with an infection. And its easy to see why during the first few hours or days, the symptoms may appear to be very similar. Now, since Ill be talking about tattoo infections throughout the rest of this article, please allow me to explain what a tattoo allergy is:
Common signs of an allergic reaction include redness, swelling, rashes, and flaking in the tattooed area. Unfortunately, some people are more susceptible to allergies than others.
For instance, lets say you have eczema ordermatitis . Chances are, youmay be more prone to getting rashes where your tattooists gloved hand appliedpressure on your skin .
Additionally, you may also be allergic to tattoo ink. The most common offender is red ink . This is because tattoo ink ingredients can include manganese, cadmium sulphide, cobalt chloride, iron oxides, and mercury salts. And you may be allergic to any of these.
Tattoo allergies can be mild or severe. For relatively mild symptoms, an antihistamine or an antibiotic may do the trick. However, if you suddenly puff up like a balloon, then you may have a serious allergic reaction! Dont waste any time head straight to the emergency ward.
In worst case scenarios, the tattoo mayneed to be removed especially if you turn out to be deathly allergic to theink. Cant have that staying in your skin for the rest of your life!
How Do I Treat And Care For An Infected Tattoo
Next we are going to see tips to treat an infected tattoo at home. But it is very important to make it clear that The first thing we have to do is call or go to the doctor and explain the situation, with the symptoms we are having. He will assess the situation and will tell us if home remedies are enough or if a more exhaustive treatment should be followed for the most serious cases.
In the same way, you should analyze the progress of the symptoms, seeing if they improve or if, on the contrary, they worsen. After all, it all comes down to common sense. And if we see that the infection is increasing, we must seek medical attention. Not only because the tattoo heals well, but because our health is at stake. With that said, we see the best tips for treating a tattoo that has become infected.
Don’t Miss: Best Cheap Tattoo Shops In Nyc
First Few Days: Sore And Oozing
The first few days will feel sore and your body will continue to excrete plasma to heal the open womb. In this stage, its normal to have some redness, swelling, and inflammation but be wary of the development of a rash, blistering, or bumps surrounding the tattoo.
In this early stage, tattoo infections can start small but its important to monitor if the pain is increasing, the redness or swelling increases which would indicate that it is infected, and recommended to consult a doctor to stop the infection early.
Should I Tell My Tattoo Artist If I Develop An Infection
Your infected tattoo is not the responsibility of the tattoo artist or studio. Technically, the studio was only responsible for what happened while you were being tattooed and they have no obligation to fix or re-do your tattoo.
The only situation in which the artist might have a legal obligation to fix an infected tattoo is when you have proof that you were tattooed in unsanitary conditions and proof that you correctly performed the aftercare recommended by the tattoo artist. But really, would you let them touch you again? A better option might be giving the health department a quick call so you can save another person the stress you’re now experiencing.
Read Also: How To Choose A Tattoo Design
Other Health Concerns And How To Avoid Them
When getting a new tattoo, whether it be your first, fifth, or fifteenth, you should be aware of potential health concerns. In addition to the risk of having a tattoo become infected, you can potentially contract gangrene, syphilis, TB, hepatitis B and C, and HIV from infected needles and instruments.
How Do I Know That A Tattoo Has Become Infected
It is estimated that about 5% of tattoos become infected. As we can see, it is not very common. In addition, following the instructions on how to cure it and, above all, getting tattooed in professional studios where proper hygiene guidelines are followed, it is very difficult for us to suffer an infection. But there is always risk. After all, when we get tattoos, we go home with open wounds on our skin.
Be that as it may, the main causes and risk factors behind a skin infection from tattooing are, in addition to going to unsanitary studies, bathing in the sea, brushing the skin with surfaces, using an excess of healing cream , picking off the scabs, having contact with our pet … All this increases the risk of suffering an infection in the wound area.
Now, one of the great doubts we have is that of “How do I know that my tattoo is infected?”. Each skin responds in a different way to an infection, but it is true that there are a series of signs that indicate this infection:
- Severe pain in the area
- Appearance of bumps or rashes
Notably irritation, itching, and redness are normal signs for the first two days. If after four days you continue to experience these symptoms and / or, obviously, others have arisen , it is very possible that the tattoo has become infected. The most common infections are caused by bacteria, but they can also be by fungi. Be that as it may, at this point, the important thing is to start treating this infection.
Also Check: Do It Yourself Tattoo Removal
Don’t Try To Treat It Yourself
You cannot count on an infection to clear up without medication. “If not treated, infections typically do not resolve on their own, says Dr. Zeichner. They can grow in size and become quite large and tender. As with any skin infection, in severe cases bacteria can enter your bloodstream and actually become life-threatening.”
Keep in mind, tattoo infections are usually deeper in the skin as the needle pierces 1.5 to 2 mm into the skin, notes Dr. Rodney, so an OTC antibiotic ointment isnt going to cut it. “Depending on the severity of the infection, your dermatologist may prescribe a prescription topical antibiotic,” Dr. Zeichner explains. “In some severe cases, you may receive an oral antibiotic instead.”
If you try to treat an infection on your own, you could delay the treatment and end up with scarring. Not only is this risky, but it can also ruin the appearance of your new tattoo, says Dr. Rodney. The infected skin may not heal correctly, leaving an unsightly scar or an abscess that needs to be drained by a doctor.
What To Do If Your New Tattoo Gets Infected With The Flu
If you have such an allergic reaction, go to the emergency room right away. Tattoo infections are usually easy to treat and even easier to prevent. Most infections can be cured within a week with antibiotics. However, some infections can be very serious and require long-term antibiotics or other medications.
Also Check: Best Cover Up Tattoo Artist In San Diego
Infected Tattoos: Essential Guide
Whether its your first tattoo or your fortieth, theres always the chance of tattoo infection. That awesome piece you got on your last holidays in Bali, now’s ended up a longer ordeal than I anticipated. If you feel that your new tattoo starts hurting more than usual, it’s red, itching… it’s very possible that your new exotic tattoo is infected.
So how do you treat an infected tattoo? The simple answer is to consult your dermatologist. Theyll be able to determine the severity of the infection and prescribe you with oral or topical antibiotics . Most infections will heal, at least, within a few days.
That being said, while most infections can be assuaged with immediate care, its important to know what causes the infections, how to recognize them, and what you can do to prevent them in the future.
Blistering As A Side Effect
A common side effect of laser tattoo removal is blistering. The intense heat from the laser light causes the tattoo ink particles to disintegrate, which in turn causes the surrounding blood vessels to break.
The bodys immune system responds by sending the resulting water and tattoo pigment to the skins surface in blisters.
Read Also: Best Tattoo Places In Atlanta
Symptoms Of Infected Tattoos
Tattoos are made by tiny needles puncturing the skin and leaving a drop of ink there. Therefore, its only natural that you will have some inflammation, pain, and even some bleeding for a few days after the tattoo.
However, if your tattoo is still inflamed and itchy after a few days, it may be because the tattoo is infected with a Staphylococcus bacteria. Some common symptoms of an infected tattoo are:
What Are The Signs Of An Infected Tattoo
A tattoo infection is the cause of bad bacteria entering the open womb which often leads to redness, swelling, inflammation, a rash, or bumpy skin around the tattooed area. Its normal in the tattoo healing process to have some redness, swelling, and inflammation, but if those factors progress or occur for more than a few days, you likely have an infection. Below are some causes that lead to tattoo infections.
Recommended Reading: Best Place To Get Eyebrows Tattooed
The Process Of Tattooing
Tattooing involves a process of injecting dyes and pigments directly under the skin. Todays tattoo artists use a tattoo machine. The tattoo machine has small needles that go up and down rapidly, somewhat like a sewing machine.
Before a tattoo is placed, a tattoo technician cleans the area and places a temporary tattoo in the area for the customers approval before the actual tattooing is begun. Once approved, the tattooing begins. The amount of discomfort for the customer depends on the size and placement of the tattoo. The process can take anywhere from an hour or two to several sessions over several days for larger, more complex tattoos.
How Do You Treat Tattoo Infection
Now lets say you did everything you were supposed to but luck wasnt on your side and you got a tattoo infection. Dont worry, its not the end of the world.
To treat a tattoo infection, find a dermatologist. Upon their examination, they will be able to prescribe exactly what topical ointments, oral antibiotics, or anything else you might need.
However, the most important thing is recognizing it as early as possible, and acting as quickly as possible.
If you think your tattoo might be infected, if you think its getting worsedont wait, go to a doctor.
Severity of infection can vary based on a number of factorsso it is important not to guess as to what it might be, but go to professional and find out exactly what it is.
Read Also: How To Remove Tattoo Ink From Skin
What To Do If You Have An Allergic Reaction To A Tattoo
Antihistamines: For example, Benadryl can reduce the symptoms of a mild allergic reaction, such as small red bumps or a slight rash around the tattoo area. Topical Creams: A hypoallergenic, fragrance-free cream that prevents the skin from drying out. These measures can help reduce the risk of infection.
Ways To Avoid Infection
We dont recommend trying to treat an infected tattoo without medical intervention. We do suggest trying to avoid an infection in the first place, though.
Thankfully, its relatively easy to avoid an infected tattoo. Here are three tips to help you avoid the antibiotics:
Choose a reputable tattoo studio. Shop around, visit a few places and test the vibe. A good studio will feel clean and sterile and use single-use needles. They will also be happy to talk to you about their hygiene procedures.
Follow your tattoo aftercare advice. It means keeping your tattoo clean and dry and avoiding baths, hot tubs, pools, and the ocean for a minimum of four weeks after the procedure.Pay special attention if your tattoo is in an area prone to sweating. The armpit, lower back, or groin are specific areas that harbour bacteria from sweat. They need to be kept clean and sweat-free to stop the introduction of bacteria to the tattoo.
Tattoos are an exciting and unique path to self-expression, and complications of newly tattooed skin are relatively rare. Knowing the symptoms of an infected tattoo and treating it early can stop a minor infection from becoming a major problem. Our advice is to stick with reputable artists, follow the aftercare advice, and seek prompt medical advice if anything seems wrong.
Recommended Reading: Can You Donate Bone Marrow If You Have Tattoos
If The Situation Does Not Improve Contact A Doctor
Now, as we have said, there is always a risk that the infection will not subside by following the advice we have seen. In the event that this is the case and it does not improve with the days , it is very important that you go to the doctor.
He may recommend stronger antibiotics and even, even if only in very serious and exceptional cases, the possibility of undergoing surgery. But, in the vast majority of cases, tattoo infections, provided they are taken care of correctly, are mild and, beyond the annoyance of perhaps having to touch up the tattoo, they do not represent serious health problems.
What Causes Tattoo Infection
The cause of tattoo infections revolves around bacteria and viruses. Whether from contaminated ink/equipment that makes contact with the wound, or bacterial contact with the tattoo during the aftercare process, infections can spread.
Don’t Miss: Can I Join The Marines If I Have Tattoos
Tattooed Area Feels Hot When You Touch It
Your body naturally takes time to heal after getting a tattoo. So, tattooed skin stays warm for a few days due to boosted blood flow to the specific area. As a result, temperature of the site increases. This warmness should be cooled down in a few days. There could be a possibility that your tattoo is infected if your skin still feels hot after a week.
Infected Tattoo : Causes Symptoms And Treatment Options
Getting an infected tattoo is one of the scariest things youll probably experience in life. Here you are thinking youve finally made it out of the danger zone, a.k.a. the tattoo parlour. But if you contract a nasty tattoo infection, youll be in for a different kind of pain! In this article, Ill cover all the bases of an infected tattoo the causes, symptoms, and of course, treatment options.
Don’t Miss: Dating Sites For Tattoo Lovers
Tattoo Infection: Reasons Symptoms Prevention And Treatment
Tattoos are an increasingly popular phenomenon in todays society and the number of tattooed people continues to rise. However, with that popularity comes to some important risks that arise from not taking proper care of your tattoos and lack of sterility. For a tattoo to be safe and healthy, there are many instructions you must follow correctly before and after you finish getting your tattoo.
Tattoo infections are often due to bacteria or fungi on the skin surface prior to getting a tattoo. Tattoo infections are caused by the reaction of the human body to foreign materials, specifically tattoo ink pigments that have been placed into subdermal layers of the skin. These reactions are called inflammatory processes. Tattoos that are improperly done increase the risk of infection exponentially. Improperly done tattoos often result in an outcome that is less than desired aesthetically and results in a larger number and wider range of tattoo ink particles and colorants to be used resulting in further complications.
The most common infection that people run into is a staph or staphylococcus aureus bacterial infection, however, other infections can pop up as well. If you do not take care of your tattoo appropriately after it heals, this can lead to very bad consequences, such as death from an infection spreading throughout your body. Therefore, it is extremely important to follow these guidelines and steps after you get a tattoo in order to live a healthy and happy lifestyle!