How to treat an infected tattoo

Tattoos are very popular and it will look good when inked on your body. Everybody likes tattoo to be inked. But no one will like tattoo infections. Infected tattoo are common and you never want to think about the infections that will occur on tattoos. Infections on tattoos are one of the things that you never want it to happen. You need to be very careful when getting inked with any tattoo. Whether it is your first tattoo or whatever, every time you will be having a different experience. Infections on tattoos are frightening especially if it is your first tattoo as you don’t know whether the symptoms are normal or infectious. So for that, first of all you should know the symptoms of infections on tattoos.

Symptoms of Infection on tattoos:

Here are some tattoo infection symptoms:

symptoms of infected tattoos
Symptoms of Infection on tattoos
  1. Swelling: Swelling after getting inked with tattoo is normal as the skin where the tattoo is made distressed during tattooing. But, sometimes after making tattoos it can have an excessive swelling around it, this could be a sign of infections.
  1. Inflammation: When any area of the body get infected, inflammation is usually the first symptoms you will notice. After making tattoo, inflammation will be there for some time. But if you see a red colour bubbly area around your tattoo, then this will be a sign of tattoo infection.
  1. Excessive Pain: Pain is normal during tattooing and after tattooing, but if pain will become excessive and not getting decreased after few hours, then you should go to doctor immediately.
  1. Fever: Fever is one of the common sign of infections on tattoo. Fever can vary from meek to severe. Always check your temperature, if it is exceeding then check it with your doctor.
  1. Foul Odour: Normally, smell of ink or cream used on your tattoo will come from your tattoo. But, a foul or bad smell from tattoo is a sign of tattoo infection.
  1. Discharge from the tattoo: A newly made tattoo usually discharge a serum with little blood. But if more blood with a yellowish puss is a sign of infection on tattoo.
  1. Red streaks or sores: If you got infection on your tattoo, a red streaks line will form which will travel from your tattoo to your veins.
symptoms of infected tattoos
symptoms of infected tattoos

If you will notice the above symptoms after getting inked with a tattoo, then it is clear that your tattoo is infected. Don’t be afraid or worry if you have these symptoms, they are treatable. You should take proper precautions to prevent any infections.

How to Treat an Infected Tattoo

If you have the symptoms of infections on your tattoo, first go and consult with your tattoo artist. When your tattoo artist is confirming that your tattoo is infected, you will need to go and consult doctor.

Step 1: Use Relevant Ointment

How to treat an infected tattoo

If you are confirmed that you have infected tattoo, you should use a relevant ointment for treating the infection. Tattoo artist have vast experience and they can easily identify the tattoo infection. They itself will recommend the appropriate ointment or cream to apply on the infection. During a tattoo infection you should use only ointment, or else it will get clog and the lead to an increase in infection.

Step 2: Apply Clean Bandage

How to treat an infected tattoo

Once you applied the ointment, you should cover you infected area with a clean bandage. A clean bandage will keep germs and bacteria away. You should always change your bandage daily and put a clean bandage. Wash your hands thoroughly after changing bandage.

Step 3: Apply a Cold Pack

How to treat an infected tattoo

Applying a cold pack on your infected tattoo will decrease the swelling and itching on that area. Applying ice directly on that area is not recommended as it may harm skin and may damage your tissue. It is recommended if you will apply it by wrapping ice in a thin cloth for 15 minutes. Repeat this daily, your swelling will go down easily.

Step 4: Expose Wound To Air

How to treat an infected tattoo

Exposing your wound to the air will make it heal soon. Air will help it to cure faster and also it will help to keep the infected part dry.

Step 5: Take Some Medication

How to treat an infected tattoo

By following the above steps you can get rid of the infected tattoo, but you should take some medication to reduce the swelling and pain. Many counter medications are taken for this purpose for example Ibuprofen and Aspirin.


You should avoid getting the infected part wet by protecting it properly. Your biggest enemy during any infection will be water. Swimming, making the infected area wet while bathing or taking shower should be avoided. Creams and lotions are also should be avoided on the infectious area as the chemicals present in those products will harm the infection and make it worse. If you want to use sunscreen while going out, then you should use sunscreen made with natural ingredients. Infections on tattoos may take many days or week to get heal depending on its size, and the precautions you are taking.


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