Infected tattoo - Symptoms and healing treatments | Pakhamhos

Infected tattoo - Symptoms and healing treatments

After getting a tattoo or a piercing they will give you an instruction manual for the rigorous care of the area. If you have been negligent with these instructions there is a 90% chance that your tattoo will get infected in the following days, just like if it is a homemade tattoo that has not followed the minimum standards of hygiene. If this is the case, you should see a doctor as soon as possible, not only for health reasons but also to maintain the integrity of the tattoo design. It is very easy for an infection to get out of control, so you will have to be very careful when it comes to curing a tattoo properly.

Once you have finished your tattoo, you should go home to rest a bit and take care of the tattooed area in the way that they have indicated. Further:

  • Pay close attention to your tattoo during the first week. If you notice inflammation, redness or itching, take your temperature and keep track of all symptoms.
  • If symptoms continue for the next 72 hours, consult a doctor.
  • If the infection is advanced and you are secreting fluids or with a lot of pain and constant fever, you should go immediately to the emergency room to be examined in the infected area because it is a clear indication that the tattoo is badly healed.
  • In some cases the inflammation can be caused by a case of ink allergy and lack of hygiene. Find out the symptoms of an infected tattoo is essential to be able to act quickly in case you present any of them.

Red coloration

It is normal that the tattoo area is a bit resentful the first 48 hours, it is logical in the tattoos just made. Red coloration, like itching, are common symptoms.

In a normal process, the scab takes about 2 to 5 days to appear, and will fall in about 2 weeks, so the tattoo will take about 2 to 3 weeks to heal, time when the area needs to be taken care of.

However, if this color and itching do not subside from the second day, but intensify, it may be a beginning of infection and may be accompanied by the appearance of pimples or blisters. Pay attention and control your tattoo every 12 hours to see how the recovery evolves, if it is inflamed and the symptoms do not remit you should seek medical assistance.


As mentioned earlier, although inflammation and itching may be quite normal after a tattoo, it is not after 48 hours. These can be signs of an incipient infection and you should proceed by cleaning the inflamed area with an antiseptic every two hours until the inflammation goes down.

In the same way, if the inflammation continues with a little pain and even deforming a bit the tattoo design this is a clear sign that something is not right. You should go to the doctor as soon as possible because probably the tattoos in these conditions are infected.

Red streaks

When a tattoo is infected, a series of red streaks appear, consisting of lines or reddish edges that are made around the tattoo. It is another of the signs that indicate the appearance of an infection and before which it is necessary to act to prevent it from getting worse.

These red streaks are small lines of blood that should not be there, and are looking for a way to drain. They could even be a sign that indicates blood poisoning. Go to the doctor as soon as you notice it.


The fever is a clear sign that there is an infection somewhere and that the body is trying to eliminate it by fighting with its defenses.

If it reaches high temperatures it would be best to go to a doctor to prescribe antibiotics and an antipyretic that helps you to remit the symptoms in order to help fight the infection. It will also tell you how to proceed with some local treatment in the tattoo area.

Intense pain

The tattooed area hurts a little, and you may even feel a bit of discomfort in the muscles the same day of the tattoo, as these are contracted to better assimilate the pain. However, severe pain is not part of the plan.

We also have to take into account the area, size and work of the tattoo as well as the pain tolerance of some people. However, the pain should decrease little by little after performing the tattoo and by 48 hours it should have disappeared. If, on the contrary, the pain increases, this is a symptom of an infection.


Once you have reached this point we are facing a clear symptom that the infection is advancing and it is necessary to cut it immediately. Once your wound is secreting viscous white, yellowish and even greenish liquids, the infection has already reached an advanced point.

In addition, this type of secretions have a bad smell because it means that a bacterium is taking over the skin infecting it and shedding pieces of it.

You should go to the emergency doctor to help you drain the retained fluid and to prescribe powerful antibiotics as soon as possible.

Try to get tattoos only in establishments that have the appropriate licenses. Remember that getting a tattoo, however common and simple it may seem, even if it is a temporary tattoo, is a compromise that interferes with your health. It is very important that you follow the necessary process and the recommendations and advice to properly heal the tattoo in any of the areas in which you have decided to capture it, with the appropriate creams and all the indications given by the professional.

If you need to go to the doctor, you will probably prescribe an antibiotic cream (one of the best known is Isdin Mupirocin) to treat infections that you will have to use until the abscess is removed and the tattoo is healed, beginning the healing period. Remember to wash and clean the area very well before applying it. It is necessary to avoid that the tattoo is covered, since that would worsen the infection and above all it is necessary to disinfect the area with care in order not to worsen the symptoms and to avoid worse consequences.

Did you know...

The oldest registered tattoo is from a Neolithic hunter from 5300 BC, found in 1991 on a glacier on the border between Austria and Italy. The engraving could not be simpler: points and stripes. Its meaning ?: unknown.
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