What to do if your tattoo gets infected?

After getting a tattoo, it's very important to pay attention to infections.
First of all, you have to confirm that this is not a normal reaction. If you are really infected, you should clean the tattoo and reduce the swelling to control the inflammation.
If the symptoms do not improve after two weeks, you must consult a doctor to receive appropriate treatment.

Tattoo infection: how to treat? treatment

Apply a cold compress to the tattoo to reduce inflammation. Never put ice directly on the tattooed area. Cover a few cubes with a thin towel before applying ice for about ten minutes.
Let the tattoo area rest for five minutes and repeat the process two or three times a day as long as necessary.
Take an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine to reduce itching. This medication reduces inflammation and tingling and should be taken with meals without exceeding the recommended dose. Consult the medicine leaflet or a pharmacist for allergic reactions, side effects or restrictions.
Use a thin layer of Vaseline and a bandage that doesn't cling to the skin to protect the tattooed area from sun and dirt.
This process (changing the bandage) must be carried out every day.
If the bandage sticks to the skin when you remove it, you may want to wet it with warm water and gently do it again.
You can use aloe vera to minimize mild irritation in the tattooed area. This plant contains compounds that help relieve pain and regenerate the skin. The method of use is to rub the product over the tattoo and leave it in the open air until it dries. Then reapply when necessary.
Don't forget to let the tattoo breathe whenever possible. It's really important to protect the tattoo from general dirt and the sun, but it's also important to let it breathe.
Expose it to clean air in your home. Outside, protect it.
Very important: Consult a doctor if symptoms do not improve within two weeks. If they get worse, don't wait and see a doctor right away! A doctor may choose to do a biopsy or a blood test so that he can later medicate you with an antibiotic for example.

Can an infected tattoo heal on its own? no

No. An infected tattoo does not heal on its own. What happens if nothing is done and if the tattoo is not treated, is that your small problem will turn into a big health problem, which ultimately can lead to death. Your infection needs to be treated. If your home treatment is not working or is getting worse, it is imperative that you see a doctor.

Tattoo infection stages

First stage of healing

This phase begins when the tattoo artist finishes his new tattoo. Don't forget that a tattoo is an open wound that needs treatment in order to avoid complications. It is the tattoo artist's duty to carefully wash the intervened area and place a film paper to protect the wound.
This area must be protected for at least 24 hours, during which time you must change the bandage as often as recommended by the tattoo artist.
Do not leave the bandage too wet, as this can make the healing process of the tattoo take longer.
It's normal your new tattoo to hurt a little, to be a little red or swollen. Later, if the healing process is going well, you will notice some scabs over the tattooed area. Do not remove them!
Tattoo hygiene should be done with clean water and neutral soap. Dry it carefully with a clean towel and don't forget to use the moisturizing lotion recommended by the tattoo artist.
Healing time varies from person to person, however this phase takes an average of one week, if there are no problems with infection. In case the pain outside is very bothersome, you can take a pain reliever to help.

Second stage of healing

At this stage of healing, itching may occur in the tattooed area. It is supposed that the scabs are already well formed and flaking, as well as the skin getting a little dry. This second phase will usually last about a week.
Peeling should happen naturally. If you scratch or remove the scabs, you are removing some of the pigment, which will influence the final result of the tattoo.

Third stage of healing

In this last phase, almost all the scabs are supposed to have already fallen off. The color of the tattoo may not be as vibrant as it was supposed to be, but don't be alarmed, it's normal.
Once your new tattoo is completely healed and in good health, you will be able to see the final result.

In general, these are the three stages of healing. After three or four weeks it will be possible to see art in its final stage.
If you have any symptoms of the above, talk to your tattoo artist. Even if he is not a doctor, your tattoo artist is one of the people most familiar with the signs of healthy healing. In more serious cases, it is best to go to a doctor without delay.

Tattoo infection signs

On the day of the tattoo, it is normal for the whole area to become red, somewhat swollen and also sensitive. In the first 48 hours, it can be difficult to know if you have an infection or not, so the option is to wait and maintain the recommended care.
Pay attention. If you have a lot of pain and this discomfort lasts for more than three days, go back to your tattoo artist and ask him to examine your skin.
The signs that something is not right are:

  • Redness and swelling;
  • Itching;
  • Thin red lines coming out of the tattoo;
  • Bumps and bubbles;
  • Scaly patches;
  • Bad smell;
  • Lumps;
  • Crusts or skin flakes;
  • Fever;
  • Pus. After swelling, if pus still appears, it is a sign of infection;
  • A watery fluid oozing from the inflamed tattoo;
  • Stretch marks are a sign of an infection in a more advanced state.

What does tattoo infection look like?

The most obvious sign of an infected tattoo is a pink or red color around where the scratch is.
However, all of the aforementioned signs are also a strong sign that your tattoo is not in good health.

Why did my tattoo get infected?

  • 1. Lack of asepsis by the tattoo artist. (Asepsis is the state of being free of disease-causing microorganisms.)
  • 2. Intake of foods not recommended by the tattoo artist in the first week after the procedure.
  • 3. Exposure to the sun before the period indicated by the tattooing professional.

Can an infected tattoo mess up a tattoo? yes

The answer is yes! If you think you have an infected tattoo, see a doctor without delay. Tattoo infections can have consequences like all other infections. They can be serious and even fatal if left untreated. If an infection goes untreated for a long time, it can damage your new tattoo.

Is my tattoo infected or just healing?

Do not rush during the first two days. When in doubt, talk to your tattoo artist. The most common signs of infection are pink or red color and unusual secretion or crusting around the tattoo and also fever. In these cases consult a doctor. You should also visit a doctor if you experience rashes or bumps that last for more than seven days.

How long is a tattoo at risk of infection?

A tattoo should continue to be washed and moisturized 1 to 2 times a day, as recommended by your tattoo artist.
The first few days and weeks are the most critical. This is when allergic reactions or infections are most likely to occur.

How common is tattoo infection?

Based on published studies, it is estimated that between 0.5% and 6% of tattoos have complications.
A tattoo is an open wound, so there is a risk of infection. Even if your tattoo artist is a good professional and the shop is clean and sterile, an infection can still happen.

Is a tattoo ruined if it gets infected? it depends

Effectively an infection can ruin the appearance of a tattoo!
By failing to heal properly, the skin can be left with an unsightly scar or a cyst of varying size with pus inside it or other debris that needs to be drained by a healthcare professional.

Can you save your tattoo if it gets infected? it depends

Infected tattoos are usually easily treated within seven days with antibiotics. They are also easy to prevent. If the infection is very severe, it may require long-term antibiotics or other more specific treatment.
>> If the infection doesn't reach a serious point, yes, your tattoo can remain intact.

Is a tattoo artist responsible for an infected tattoo? it depends

If you've had a serious infection after getting a tattoo, particularly one that requires emergency or ongoing medical care, there may be reasons enough for a lawsuit for damages to your person. In cases where the tattoo artist fails to meet the standards of care and hygiene required by law, you can effectively take the tattoo artist to court for the purpose of seeking damages.

What not to say to a tattoo artist? can not

  • 1. That you let your dog sleep in your bed. During the tattoo healing process, you are more exposed to bacteria and can easily become infected. During the first 20 to 30 days it is not advisable to have your dog in your bed.
  • 2. Ask the tattoo artist to draw something and, if you like it, make an appointment. Basically what you are asking the tattoo artist is to waste time at zero cost. It's a rude request! What is normal to do is schedule an appointment, talk about what you want, make a pre-payment and, when you are satisfied, proceed with the tattoo.
  • 3. Say you are a minor, but that your parents approve. The solution is simply to wait until you are of legal age.
  • 4. Ask the tattoo artist to hurry up. Think carefully if you really want to make that request. Maybe you prefer a good job, no?
  • 5. Say you had some alcohol to get the courage to get the tattoo. Two reasons not to drink before getting a tattoo: Alcohol thins the blood, so it's more of a challenge for the tattoo artist since you're slightly more prone to bleeding. The second reason is that tattoo artists know that drunk people are more annoying than usual.
  • 6. Ask for super short text. Why pay for a tattoo that no one can read and will probably end up looking like a blur?
  • 7. Ask to pay next week. When you go to the barber or the supermarket, do you ask this? Not? So don't ask the tattoo artist either.
  • 8. Order a huge tattoo in one day. Respect the tattoo artist's schedule and the time he has scheduled for your new tattoo.
  • 9. Say you have a habit of scratching tattoos. By saying such a thing, you are saying that you don't care about infections, scarring or less accomplished parts of your tattoo and that you will have to pay to have it retouched later on.
  • 10. Ask the tattoo artist to tattoo at a party? The place indicated for tattooing must be approved by your contry health department and have the necessary environment to do so. Think about the risks, because there are many.
  • 11. Ask to bring friends to watch the tattoo. Bringing a person with you is normal, more than that it starts to be unpleasant.
  • 12. Ask to bring young children to watch. Small kids can disturb or destabilize the tattoo artist. I don't think you'd want that, would you?
  • 13. Ask to bring your dog. For hygiene reasons, do not do this. Would you also ask your doctor to take your dog? I think not.
  • 14. Say you don't need ointment and that you have Vaseline at home. Listen and follow all the directions given by the professional who is treating you, just like you do when you go to a doctor.
  • 15. Asking what to tattoo. Ask for a catalog first so you can choose a tattoo that says something to you, a tattoo that you identify with.
  • 16. Saying that the price of the tattoo is expensive. If you don't like the price, simply look for other options.
  • 17. Say you are not going to the appointment or tattoo session 2 hours in advance. Would you like them to do the same with you? It's a question of common sense.
  • 18. Saying exaggeratedly that it hurts or asking to stop every 5 seconds. The more you move, scream or are inconvenient, the more chances there are that your future tattoo will not be as perfect as you would like. Think about it!


We hope that your doubts have been clarified.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us: carpeus@gmail.com