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How To Treat an Infected Tattoo?

How To Treat An Infected Tattoo

How To Treat an Infected Tattoo?

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An infected tattoo is something that nobody wants to have even in their wildest dream. However, it happens more often than not, and so you have to be very careful about your new ink.

There are many types of infections that one can get from a tattoo, including skin infection, HIV, and Hepatitis C. However, skin infection is the most common amongst all.

Our skin protects us against any bacterial infection, and the process of tattooing opens up holes for bacteria to enter the body. It is because the art of tattooing involves puncturing thousands of tiny holes on the skin so that a permanent tattoo can be etched there. Apart from this, certain types of tattoo inks are also a source of bacteria. Moreover, tattoos that are not taken care of properly during the healing stage are highly likely to get infected. So, it is important that you are very careful about your tattoo and watching out for the symptoms of an infected tattoo.

Here in this post, we are sharing with you various signs of an infected tattoo and how to treat an infected tattoo.

Signs of an Infected Tattoo

Swelling: A tad bit of swelling in the new tattoo is normal as the skin is punctured during the tattooing process. However, sometimes the area where you get tattoo swell excessively, which is not normal. As the swelling starts spreading in other parts of the body as well. It is the sign of an infected tattoo, and you need to take immediate action. It can lead to severe medical conditions if not treated on time.

Extreme pain: When thinking of getting a tattoo, pain is an inevitable part of it. However, there is a limit to that pain. More often than not, people feel pain only during the tattooing process, some may feel pain even after it also. But in a few days, tattoo pain subsides completely. But, if you still feel excessive pain even a few days after getting the tattoo, you should see the doctor. This excessive pain might be a sign of an infected tattoo.

Inflammation: Inflammation is another common infection that may occur due to the tattooing process. When a pink or red coloration starts to appear around the tattooed area, it is inflammation. This occurrence is normal as the area where you get your tattoo becomes red after being traumatized. However, if it sustains for a longer period, then it is a sign that your tattoo is infected. You may also feel excessive itchiness around the area, or that area will be warmer than the rest of your body. These are all signs of inflammation, and you need to act immediately to prevent your tattoo from infection.


Swollen Lymph Nodes: Swelling of the lymph nodes also indicates some kind of tattoo infection. Usually, Lymph nodes become swollen in response to infection, illness, or stress. Swollen lymph nodes are the sign that your lymphatic system is working to rid your body of the intruders, like bacteria. If you have got a tattoo, and you are getting swollen lymph nodes, then check for other signs of infection as well.

Nauseating Odor: Your tattoo should not have any smell, other than the smell of the ink used in the process. If your tattoo has a foul odor, then it is a sign of an infected tattoo. Usually, because of harmful bacteria or anaerobic, a tattoo may emit a foul smell. In such a case, you should check for the signs of infection and get it treated without fail.

Oozing Tattoo: A clear serum with dashes of blood from a new ink is typical. However, if you have an oozing tattoo, discharging excessive blood or a yellowish-green puss, then it’s a sign of an infected tattoo. And you immediately need to see the doctor.

So, these are some common tattoo infection that you should be aware of before getting a tattoo. Now, we shall be discussing how to prevent tattoo infection. It is imperative to take very good care of your tattoo during the healing stage. If not taken care of properly, you will end up having an infected tattoo. Here is how to heal an infected tattoo…….

How to heal an infected tattoo

If your tattoo displays any signs of an infection, you should immediately consult your tattoo artist. Your tattoo artist will be in a position to identify an infection and recommend the right cure. If your tattoo artist confirms that your tattoo is infected, then do the following:

STEP 1: Apply topical ointment

There are many topical ointments that can be used when your tattoo is confirmed infected. These ointments work well in the treatment of tattoo infection. You can consider using Bacitracin and Neosporin, these are very effective topical ointments used for tattoo infection.

STEP 2: Cover with a clean bandage

After applying the topical ointment, take a clean bandage, and cover the tattoo. Doing so will keep germs and other bacteria away from the infected tattoo. Make sure that the dressing you use is clean and is changed on a daily basis. Also, do not redress your tattoo with dirty hands, wash your hands thoroughly before redressing your tattoo.

STEP 3: Apply a cold pack

Applying a cold pack on your infected tattoo can help you with reduced itching and swelling. However, make sure you do not place the ice directly on your skin. Applying ice directly on the tattooed area can probably harm your skin or can cause tissue damage. So, it is better to wrap the ice in a thin towel and then place it on the infected tattoo. Hold the ice pack on the tattoo for at least 15 minutes. Repeat the procedure couple of times in a day until the swelling goes down completely.

STEP 4: Let your tattoo breathe

Let your tattoo breathe in open air. Instead of keeping your infected tattoo bandaged, expose it to the open air. It will accelerate the healing procedure and keep the infected part dry.

STEP 5: Take medication

If you have unbearable pain or swelling, then you can consider taking some medicine. It can help you have relief from pain and bring down the swelling. The most common drugs taken for infected tattoos include Aspirin and Ibuprofen. You can choose any of these. These medications help you get rid of excessive pain and swelling on the tattoo.

Also read: How to Deal with Pain After Getting a Tattoo

This is how to treat an infected tattoo. You can follow these steps and get rid of an infected tattoo. However, if you still don’t feel any relief from your infection, then it is recommended to see your doctor. Sometimes an infection can be more significant than it actually appears. For more severe medical conditions, it is vital to see a doctor. A medical practitioner can help you keep your infection at bay. Delaying it can lead to severe problems.

Summing it up…….

If you are also wondering how to prevent tattoo infection, then follow these steps. By following these steps, you would be able to have a tattoo free of infection in no time. Besides, do not miss to follow aftercare instructions given by your tattoo artists. More often than not, infections occur due to the mishandling of the tattoo at the initial stage. But if a new tattoo is taken care of properly, you will always have a healthy tattoo to flaunt to the world.

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