Not all the people getting a tattoo would develop an infection. Only a few percentage of them would develop some sort of skin problems and among them only few would get an infection. There are various factors involved in developing an infection on a tattoo. But before knowing about them you would like to know about the statistics on tattoo.
In the USA alone, about 14% of the total population has at least one tattoo on their body and about 36% of people of age group 18-25 years are included in it. And you may not believe it; around 1.6 billion dollars are spent each year for tattooing alone. It is reported that about 45 millions of Americans irrespective of age, have at least one tattoo in their body and there are about 21,000 tattoo studios in America which is increasing in number.
Since the process of tattooing breaches the skin it may lead to various skin infections.
- Allergic Reaction : Some people may develop allergic response after getting a tattoo. The risk is high for those choosing strong colored inks like red, yellow and blue dyes.
- Infection : Your skin may get infected with bacteria or viruses after getting a tattoo.
- Complications : Some people may develop keloids (blisters) or granulomas due to tattoo ink. These are nothing but raised growth over the surface of the skin. In rare cases if contaminated machines are used for creating tattoo it may cause blood related diseases like Hepatitis B or C and tetanus.
- Inflammation : This is one of the common problems faced by many people after tattooing since the skin gets torn during the process. There would be bit of swelling looking pinkish or red colored. But it would settle down within few days. In rare cases the area can become tender and warm needing medical attention.
- Pain and Discomfort : There can be mild pain during the process when the skin is being pierced with tiny needles. Pain can continue for 2-3 days for some people if their skin is very sensitive.
- Itchiness : This is quite common for many people after tattooing. Since the skin is pierced and torn with needles hundreds of times it can become dry causing itchy feeling. You can apply moisturizing lotion on it to retain moisture. Don’t get tempted to scratch the skin.
- Fluid Discharge : In most of the cases fresh tattoos would ooze out some fluid when the skin begins to heal. This fluid like discharge would automatically get dried up thus covering the open wound. In rare cases oozing fluid may not stop producing yellow or green colored pus. It is a clear sign of infection requiring medical help.
- Foul Smell : In case of bacterial infection on the area it would produce foul smell along with yellowish discharge. Tattoo may start stinking after few days if infection develops on it.
- Fever : For severe infection some people may develop mild fever. People who are already weak and stressed before getting a tattoo may develop fever. You can get medical help in case of fever or infection.
- Swollen Lymph Nodes : The lymph nodes in the area can become swollen indicating something is wrong with your immune system. You need to get medical help without any delay.
- Red lines : In very rare cases of blood poisoning (usage of contaminated needles) red streaks can appear from the site of tattoo and radiate outward. This is a symptom of blood poison which needs immediate medical attention.
Don’t hesitate to call your doctor if you find any of the above symptoms. Don’t assume that things would settle down automatically. This can put your life to danger. You need to take care of your body and skin after getting a tattoo. You can take safety precautions and follow the aftercare instructions given by your artist. Do not ignore the symptoms of infected tattoo since this can cause potential complications. You can always consult with your tattoo artist if you notice any of the above symptoms.