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Tattoo Rash: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments & Prevention

In recent years, getting a tattoo is becoming increasingly popular. The trend of getting inked on various body parts is more and more growing among celebrities and their fans.

There are various types of tattoo designs varying from neon-colored tattoos to linkwork ink designs. As it’s a general understanding that getting a tattoo is a painful experience, but in cases, the pain after getting inked is even more.

Side effects and reactions can occur right after a person gets a tattoo, and sometimes it happens later. Therefore paying attention to skin and identifying the symptoms of allergic reactions and infections becomes highly important.

What Is Tattoo Rash?

Getting a new tattoo is an extremely exciting time, but there are concerns linked to it also, which must not be overlooked in any regards to avoiding major conditions.

One of the most common problems experienced after getting inked is tattoo rash. It is generally red, jerky or itchy and has some similarity to skin burnt by sun poisoning.

Usually, rashes make the tattoo to look spotted with an impression of redness that varies and feels arid and dry. In some cases, white spots also appear on the skin whenever a rash occurs.

Difference between redness and a rash

Generally, most tattoos don’t cause any kind of rash as they heal, but some can turn very red for around one week after getting them.

The redness may remain for long if the tattoo is comparatively large. This redness can sometimes be confused as a rash, although this redness typically occurs as the tattoo heals and is not linked with rashes.

In some cases, it disappears on its own, while in some cases it leads to rashes which need medical treatment.

Symptoms Of Tattoo Rash

One of the significant symptoms of tattoo rash is fever. It begins with experiencing relatively high temperature with no other external cause of illness.

Hence it becomes a clear indication of tattoo rash. Apart from fever, there are few other symptoms which are most familiar to determine the tattoo rash. Here is a list of them:

  • Red slams, dryness, and irritation on the skin which urges severe itching
  • It creates pus out of the skin or liquid secretion from the bumps
  • Soreness around the affected area and occurrence of red bruises
  • In cases, extensive pus may bleed out of the skin which indicates the severity of tattoo rash and intense sensitive skin.

Causes Of Tattoo Rash

Tattoo Rash

Skin irritation

The skin is naturally very fragile, and it is vital to handle it delicately. As the skin gets the tattoo, it becomes sensitive towards the ink that leads to the irritation.

There are number of reasons for getting irritation. In some cases, it is the ink that agitates the skin cell and sometimes times the tattoo itself, which causes itch and flame to the skin.

In case, the irritation is caused by the ink, it will disappear on itself within a few days. While, if it is caused due to the sensitivity of the skin, then it requires proper care routine.

This will minimize the severity of the pain and intensity of irritation on the skin. The best approach is to treat the problem immediately to get better results.

Bacterial & viral infections

This is another major cause of tattoo rash as some bacterial infections transmit by infected equipment, ink or access of bacteria into the wound site.

Staphylococcal bacteria are a major reason for skin infection related to tattoo rash. Viral infection can also cause tattoo rash as transmitted by the contagious source when the skin is infected.

The primary source of viral infection is needles and equipment which are not thoroughly cleaned and thousands of germs as invisible buggers are present on them.

Underlying skin condition

Getting a tattoo can intensity underlying skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, this may not sign any earlier symptoms.

Tattoos agitate immune reaction as the body heals and defend against substances in the tattoo ink. Various skin conditions are caused by immune reactions which induce thumps or itchy rashes as the body resists with the external matters.

The chances of getting infected become high because of unhygienic conditions. If the immune system of a person getting a tattoo is sickly, then the body efforts to resist and tends to get more tattoo rash.

Reaction to sunlight

In some cases, after getting a tattoo, people suffer from sun allergy on the inked skin. It occurs whenever they go out in the sun and tattoo is exposed to sunlight.

It may happen immediately or may occur hours later of sunlight exposure. The skin swells, and redness starts appearing around the tattoo. There are ink ingredients which cause adverse effects on sunlight. For example, ink consisting of cadmium sulfide reacts strongly to sunlight.

Similarly, blue and black inks are also susceptible to sunlight as it cracks skin cells. Other than tattoo rash, reaction to sunlight also causes skin flaking, redness, and irritation.

Treatment For Tattoo Rash

By medication

As the causes of tattoo rash are different, hence any medicine can’t be used for all. The best recommendation for a person who suspects an inflammation and tattoo rash is to see a doctor immediately.

Doctor will diagnose the cause of the rash and would recommend medication or antibiotic, which would heal the rash. Such as in case of bacterial infection, various types of staph infection bacteria that may cause tattoo rash can be cured with elementary antibiotics.

In some cases, doctors prescribe the patient to apply antibacterial creams and lotions. These ointments should have zero fragments and be chemical-free. It must be taken care of before applying the cream that the affected area is adequately cleaned and sanitized.

By home remedies

There are various home remedies which are also useful in treating signs and symptoms of tattoo rash.

Use cold water compress as it helps relieve swelling and inflammation. Take a pack of ice in a soft clean towel and press it on the affected area for around half an hour till the discomfort is relieved.

Petroleum jelly or similar moisturizers are effective means of preventing the affected area from getting dry and itchy.  It will provide moisture to the tattoo rash and will keep the dry patches hydrated. This will support in keeping the skin pores working properly.

Prevention Tips

As is severe cases, tattoo cause infections and rash, therefore preventive measure must be taken to avoid such situations.

Keeping the skin clean is the primary prevention, therefore; the person getting tattoo must clean the affected area properly with a chemical-free antiseptic lotion. If there is any form of fragment or chemical present in lotion, it will cause more infection and rash to the skin.

The primary source of viral infection is needles and equipment which are not correctly cleaned and rinsed.

Therefore Getting a tattoo by approved and authorized artist and salon is advised as it usually only causes redness, pain, and slight itching.

Once tattoo heals, it becomes dry and relatively less creepy. If essential care and sanitation are taken care of, then it totally heals in around 10 to 15 days.

Author Bio:

Liza Brooke

Liza Brooke is a content writer at CrowdWriter. She holds a Master’s degree in Health Sciences, in addition to Aesthetics and Skin Care Certificate. Liza also writes a weekly article in a renowned newspaper about skin-related issues. She loves sports and likes to play tennis in her spare time.

This article is for informational/educational purposes only. Healthtian does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, read more.

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