The best ways to treat tattoo infections
When you get a tattoo, the last thing on your mind is tattoo infections. You are more concerned about the design and how it will look on you. However, tattoos are done just under the skin. A foreign substance (tattoo ink) is inserted under your skin.
As your skin is ‘broken’, there is always a risk of infections. After all, there are many bacteria and viruses all around us. And there is always a likelihood of allergic reactions, even if you have had tattoos before.
What can you expect after a fresh tattoo?
After you get a tattoo, the skin takes time to heal. If this is the first time you got a tattoo, you may not know how long it will take and whether you have an infection or it is just the natural healing process.
Some signs after normal and clean tattooing that you may experience:
Within a few days, all these issues should resolve. It is important that you take care of the freshly tattooed skin. Wash with anti-microbial soap once the bandage or topical petroleum jelly cover is off. Use some antiseptic cream or ointment on the skin several times a day. Use sunscreen on the tattoo and avoid exposing it to the elements until fully healed.
If you get some crusting on the tattoo, don’t pick out the crust or scratch as the tattoo can get infected. Avoid touching the tattoo, except with clean and washed hands.
How do you know you have a tattoo infection?
When the tattoo does not heal naturally after you follow all the instructions or the symptoms worsen, you may well have a tattoo infection. Some symptoms include:
- Psoriasis that becomes worse
- Allergic dermatitis
- Rash, bumps, and redness that gets worse
- More swelling
- Pus oozing out of the site
- Skin around the tattoo has hardened
- Smelly tattoo
- Increased itchiness
If you have one or more symptoms, it is best to visit a skin doctor or dermatologist. You will need medical attention and the doctor will be able to diagnose the problem and give you the right treatment.
Viral, bacterial, fungal, and other skin infections may require specialized treatment and care. It is important that you scrupulously follow medical advice.
What else can you do?
Prevention is always better than cure. Firstly, select your tattoo artist with care. Make sure that the place is sterile and they follow best hygiene practices.
Your tattoo artist should use sterile, one-time use needles for the tattoo and good quality inks. Sometimes, you can develop an allergic reaction to the inks or the pigment used in the inks.
Ensure that the artist gives you the right after-care instructions and follow them. After the tattooing, the skin should be wrapped in gauze and you should be told to keep out of the sun.
After a few hours or even a day, you should remove the bandage and clean the tattoo with hypoallergenic or antiseptic soap, pat skin dry and keep it moisturized. Use an antiseptic cream if advised. Cover with gauze.
If you have some pain, which is normal, you can take over-the-counter pain killers. For itching or a possible allergic reaction, you may take an oral antihistamine.
Whatever happens, if your issues are not resolved in a week, then you should see a doctor. If you have any unusual symptoms, you should see a doctor earlier.
Take care of your freshly tattooed skin, and hopefully, you won’t need to go to a doctor.