Signs of a Tattoo Allergy & Tattoo Infections

It's well know that tattooing has evolved in terms of fashion, style, and self-expression. People are tattooing their bodies at a growing rate but there are still some risk factors that we should take care off. It is not necessary that every person, who gets a tattoo, has to suffer from infection, but the risk factor cannot be completely ignored as well.

What are the Risks?
Some of the skin infections that can be caused, as a result of tattooing, are impetigo, cellulites, herpes simplex, tetanus, staph, fungal infections, transmission of syphilis, leprosy and viral warts.

Hepatitis B, a dangerous liver infection, and HIV/AIDS are two of many diseases that can be passed along through bodily fluids. This means you can catch these diseases if you get a tattoo from someone who uses a dirty needle.

Hepatitis C infection, a deadly blood disease that attacks liver function. The disease is typically transferred from one person to another when proper sterile procedures aren't followed. This can include reusing needles between clients, and reusing inks.

There is no known cure for hepatitis C, and the disease can be fatal unless it goes into remission. Even then, stress and other illnesses can trigger its renewed attack on the liver, leading to eventual death.

HIV-HIV infections can lead to full blown AIDS, a deadly disease for which there is currently no known cure. The virus is mainly passed through improperly sterilized tools, but can also be transferred if an infected artist accidentally prick his hand while working on a tat.

What to do?
Familiarize yourself with basic sterile procedures to be followed when creating tattoos.
Take a look around the shop to make sure they have an autoclave and that they are using it.

Sharps bin for Used Needles.
Watch your artist to make sure he/she properly disinfects before donning plastic gloves and a surgical mask.
Insist your artist uses a brand new needle rather than one that has been run through an autoclave. Although a properly operated autoclave forces sterilizing steam through very tiny spaces, there's still a chance that a pocket of infection could survive in the hollow. Follow all aftercare instructions to the letter.

How to Recognize an Infection or Improper Work:
The most common symptoms of the skin infections caused, due to tattooing, are inflammation on and around the tattooed part of the body. Usually, the skin near the area becomes tender to touch. There may even be a swelling or discharge of blood from the spot. It is not common that after undergoing the process of tattooing, a person falls sick. Continuous pain even after 48 hours, can lead to skin infection.

Signs of a Tattoo Allergy


Every new tattoo will have a certain amount of swelling during the healing time. But if your tattoo is swollen and very tender to the touch, you might have a tattoo allergy. If you can't change out your bandage without extreme pain, you should see a doctor right away.

Bumps and Hives
If you have raised bumps all along the edges of the tattoo or are developing hives around the tattoo area, you may be having an allergic reaction. A slight amount of redness is normal for new tattoos, but if your redness is accompanied by bumps and sores, you may have an allergy problem.

An allergy to a tattoo can quickly become infected if not treated properly with lotion or anti-allergy medication. If your tattoo becomes infected, you will see oozing from sores on the tattoo and puss around the area. See a doctor immediately if you are experiencing an infection.

Allergic Reactions - Treatment
Most reactions to tattoos are relatively minor and do not require medical attention. Applications of aloe vera or specialty products made for tattoos can help relieve the discomfort of the reaction. Rarely, severe reactions, such as anaphylactic shock, can occur at the time the tattoo is being applied; in those cases, treatment should be administered immediately by a medical professional.

Who Should Avoid Getting a Tattoo?
It is important for anyone who is considering getting a tattoo to know what they are going to get. People with sensitive skin or allergies to some metals need to know what is in the tattoo inks the artist will be using. Anyone who has a history of severe allergic reactions to metals or any other ingredient that may be contained in tattoo ink should avoid getting a tattoo, or should find an artist who uses hypoallergenic pigments.

Inform Your Artist
Before getting a tattoo, you MUST inform the tattoo artist of any diseases that you may have, such as: hemophilia (difficult blood coagulation), hemorrhage? (quick appearance of bruises due to rupture of blood vessels), diabetes, allergy to iodine, creams, metals, blood pressure problems, pregnancy (possible skin problems, dizziness, inability to endure the tattoo process, droop). In the case of pregnancy, consulting a doctor is highly recommended. You must not be hungry, sleepy tiredness and lack of energy may cause nervousness, uncontrolled movements of the body, increased sensitivity and, in some cases, fainting.

You Should Know:

During the healing time after a tattoo, some people experience what seems like could be a reaction to the ink in the tattoo. Sometimes the reaction is related to the aftercare ointments, soaps or lotions being used. Anyone experiencing issues with their tattoo as it is healing should contact their artist who may have suggestions to help ease discomfort.


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