Tattoos have become overwhelmingly common today, especially among young people. The trend has gained a rapid popularity in the recent past. This trend cuts across all continents. However, it is more in western than Eastern and African countries.
Due to its increasing popularity, tattooing is gaining recognition and acceptance in the formal sector. Therefore, it is possible to see people in the formal working sectors having tattoos. It is, therefore, possible for this trend to have full acceptance in future, instead of being associated with goons and bad boys and girls.
However, don’t, think that getting a tattoo is a walk in the park. Those who have them will tell you that having one can be a health risk in some instances. Just imagine how it would feel to have it gets infected.
The major question, moreover, is not how to handle an infected tattoo, but how to tell if your is infected. Therefore, we are going to highlight signs and symptoms that will help you know if it is infected or not. Understanding the signs is essential in deciding on how to treat the infection.
Infected tattoo signs and symptoms
Healthline.com notes that you can easily identify an infected tattoo. You can tell when all is not well by just looking at it. The skin color and texture are the primary signs that all might not be right.
Many people having infections commonly note some redness and rashes on the tattoo. Moreover, the skin around that area gets bumpy. These are the early signs you might have. The itchy bumps on tattoo are clear indications of infections.
In most cases, developing some symptoms such as swelling, some redness, and the skin peeling is normal. This is a normal part of tattoo healing process. However, symptoms should disappear within a few days.
These facts are supported by, Medicalnewstoday.com that note that symptoms such as swelling, pain, and redness are normal. If this does not happen, then it is likely to be infected, and prompt medical attention is inevitable.
Generally, the signs and symptoms are as follows:
- You develop bumps on it
- The bumps may become excessively itchy
- You may also develop some rash around or on it
- It may get inflamed
- You may see a red skin around the tattoo
- Abnormal shivering
- One feels unusual thirst even after taking a lot of water
- General body weakness and muscle pain
- You may regularly witness some waves of heat and cold
- In severe cases, it may produce some pus
- General swelling of the skin around it
Any of the above signs might indicate that the tattoo is infected. However, some signs, as earlier indicated, are normal. They may then disappear within days, and never show up once it has completely healed.
Why would your tattoo get infected?
According to thesun.co.uk, there are many causes infection. You all know that having a one involves numerous piercings on the skin. It is estimated that one tattoo may have thousands of piercings.
These piercings imply that your skin is broken. The primary function of the skin is to prevent bacteria and germs from penetrating into the skin. However, the numerous piercings compromise this function. This, consequently, paves way for germs and bacteria.
Moreover, the process involves the use of needles, ink, and chemicals. Don’t you think these are foreign materials being introduced to your skin? It is, therefore, normal for the skin to have an allergic reaction to these substances and objects.
Generally, infections are caused by the following:
Once the skin is broken by piercing, then it’s hard to keep off viruses from attacking it. In some cases, these viruses are introduced into your skin by the equipment used during the process. These are mainly needles.
An infection on your tattoo can be attributed to the following viral infections:
- Viral warts
- Herpes simplex virus
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
Any of the above viral infections may make your tattoo get infected. As a result, it may have some pus, redness, rash and bumps. However, observing caution and hygiene during the tattooing process can prevent these viruses.
Once you have got it, just leave it alone. The temptation to pick on it is quite high, especially when it becomes itchy. Moreover, some people are tempted to pick on it where it starts to dry to remove the scabs.
Picking off the scabs is very risky. Firstly, your hands may contain germs and bacteria that may cause an infection. Moreover, the scabs form a cover on it. This cover is essential in keeping off bacteria and germs from attacking the tattoo. Picking, in this case, leaves it defenseless.
According to Authoritytattoo.com, poor aftercare practices are the most common causes infections. After getting one, your artist should give you detailed instructions on how you should take care of the tattoo. However, many artists do not do this.
This means that many people are unaware of how to handle the new tattoo. Some people, therefore, adopt crafty practices that affect the healing process and introduce germs. Some people think that it will heal without any aftercare. They, therefore, neglect it.
Just like viral attacks, bacterial infections are also spread during the tattooing process. This involves use of unsterilized needles and other equipment. The ink used can also transmit some bacterial infections.
Have you ever heard of staphylococcus aureus bacteria? This, alongside methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, is the main bacteria that affect fresh tattoos. These two bacteria are involved in many skin infections, especially when one has a wound. Normally, piercing during the process opens the gate for these bacteria to attack your skin.
An infection by these bacterial comes along with other signs such as:
- Green or yellow discharge
- Itchy bumps
- General body weakness
In severe cases, these bacterial infections may lead to death. In other cases, some people have been reported to get into a coma following them. Some body organs may also fail due to their attack.
Where did you go to get our tattoo? Note that process itself is the leading cause infections. Some tattoo shops are dirty and contaminated. The equipment used during the process is also poorly kept. The one doing the tattooing does not observe hygiene during the process too.
There are instances when tattoo artists use unsterilized equipment. This means only one thing; it will get infected. Most bacteria and germs are picked during the actual process. In this case, unsanitary tattooing should be avoided at all costs.
Tattoo ink poisoning and allergic reaction
You all know that some skin types are very sensitive to foreign bodies. The involves two things; a needle and ink. There are instances when the ink adversely reacts with your antibodies. In response to this strange ink, the body produces antibodies to fight it. In the process, your skin gets inflamed.
In other instances, your skin may develop an allergic reaction to equipment being used during the process. Any allergic reaction comes along with inflammation. As a result, it gets infected.
How do you deal with an infected tattoo?
Is our tattoo infected? You can tell if it is by check the signs we noted above. You don’t need to worry much. You can manage any infection on the tattoo through the following measures:
- You can use some antibacterial medication if you are sure the cause is bacteria. These are mainly in the form of antibiotics both oral and topical. Some may need a prescription.
- You can also buy anti-inflammatory drugs and ointments. These help in reducing any irritation and inflammations.
- Observe the right aftercare procedures. These involve regular cleaning and following the care tips you were given. The cleaning, however, should be done gently.
- As usual, visit a reputable tattooing agent. This helps in preventing complications resulting from incompetence and poor hygiene.
- In extreme cases, visit a doctor. As we earlier observed, some serious bacterial and viral infections may lead to death.
- Healthline.com Tattoo Infection: Tips for Identification and Treatment
- Thesun.co.uk The signs that mean your tattoo is infected