While tattoo infections are not very common when they do hit they can be deadly. It’s important for anyone, from those who are just considering getting a tattoo to others collecting their seventh, to know the signs of infection. A tattoo is an open wound so if you don’t take proper care of it, or sometimes just by chance, it can go horribly wrong.
Is it hot to the touch?
While a freshly done tattoo may feel warm, it shouldn’t be radiating heat like an infected tattoo will! Rest your hand on your tattoo if you can and if the skin is hot to the touch you’ll need to start being more careful with your aftercare.
Is it red and irritated?
Red and irritated? That’s what any new tattoo will look like!
It’s when your tattoo becomes inflamed and starts to swell unevenly or far away from the tattoo itself that you need to start getting really worried. These are sure signs of infection.
Is it taking longer to heal than you are used to?
Depending on the size and detail of your tattoo it may just heal differently than you are used to from experience with any other body modifications. But long healing times is still something to look out for because infections cause tattoos not to heal properly and may leave you with an irritated tattoo for months.
Are there boils or fluid filled swelling rising around it?
If there are boils or pustules popping up around or even on top of your tattoo this is a sign of tattoo infection. A healthy tattoo should not ooze. See a doctor as soon as possible!
Is it painful?
New tattoos typically aren’t too painful once you get away from the tattoo gun. If after a couple days you are starting to feel sharp pains in your tattoo, you should see your tattooist or doctor immediately.
Are you starting to feel ill?
Most of the symptoms on this list that are signs of infection are similar to the signs of a safely healing tattoo. It can be tricky to figure out what is normal when each of us heals so differently! But if you start to feel any illness including dizziness, vomiting and exhaustion, these are all no-nonsense signs that your tattoo may be infected.
Your best bet at this stage is to go immediately to your nearest hospital or doctor. Tattoo infection isn’t something you can simply wait out!
If you’re worried about your tattoo but aren’t a hundred percent sure whether your worry is worth a twelve hour trip to the hospital just yet, go see a tattooist as soon as possible. These guys know what they’re looking for in regard to a safely healing tattoo versus one with a tattoo infection!