Symptoms Of An Infected Tattoo
Any time you have any type of surgery, or do anything that involves cutting or pricking the skin, you risk getting an infection. An infection can cause serious problems for you, ranging from destroying your new tattoo to even death, and is not something to be taken lightly. People with hepatitis or AIDS should not get tattoos because they are at an elevated risk of infection and are more likely to suffer the most serious side effects. You should see a doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:
- Extreme redness or irritation. Of course there is going to be some redness and irritation from getting your tattoo done, but it should decrease within hours to days. If the redness or irritation starts to increase suddenly, you may have an infection.
- Pain. The same thing holds true for pain. Your pain should decrease in increments after having your tattoo, and if it starts to get worse instead, you should check with your doctor.
- Fever. This is one of the surest signs of an infection; even if your temperature is just slightly elevated you should check with your doctor.
- Swelling. It is normal to have a little swelling immediately after your tattoo, but again, if it gets worse instead of better you should seek medical attention right away.
- An unusual odor can also be a sign of infection.
- Any type of discharge or pus coming from your tattoo is also a bad sign.
- Red streaks or sores that develop on or around your tattoo could indicate a simple infection, or something more serious like blood poisoning or a staph infection, and you should proceed to the emergency room ASAP.
Since an infected tattoo could potentially kill you, you should not take any symptoms you have lightly. Even if you just have a "funny feeling" about it, you should check with your doctor to be on the safe side. You also want to make sure you are taking the proper precautions to prevent an infection in the first place. Your tattoo may take days or weeks to heal depending on its size, the care you take, and any personal hereditary or health issues you may have. You need to keep the area clean and protected until it is properly healed. Using an antibiotic ointment can help keep bacteria out, but you don't want to wear it 24/7 because it won't let oxygen in either.