How To Know If A Tattoo Is Infected: The Answer You Must Know

Once your tattoo artist finishes the job of inserting contaminated ink into your skin, he gives you detailed tattoo aftercare instructions. He provides the aftercare guideline so that the tattooed area heals properly and doesn’t get infected. So, it’s a must to follow the aftercare tips.

If you don’t follow the tattoo aftercare instructions, there is a high risk of getting a tattoo healing and making the new tattoo infection.

Besides, your tattoo will face infection if the tattoo artist is inexperienced, has expired tattoo ink, and uses septic needles.

Maybe you know the reasons behind any skin tattoo infection. But do you know the symptoms of any tattoo infection? In simple words, how does it know about infection, and are tattoos safe?

Plasma coming out from the tattooed part, redness & warmth, and develops fever are some signs of a tattoo infection. Besides, there are also other symptoms of tattoo infections.

To learn about them, keep reading between the lines.


What Causes Tattoo Infections

Tattoo infections mean bacteria have invaded your tattoo. It can happen at the tattoo shop or parlor or after the artist drew the tattoo on your body.

Bacterial infection can occur if the artist doesn’t sterilize the tattoo accessories. Dirty needles are the main culprit behind tattoo infection. Therefore, the infection can spread around the tattooed area if the tattoo artist is inexperienced.

Apart from these, viruses invade your tattoo if the artist fails to wash his hands evenly, don’t put on sterilized gloves, and clean the treated skin properly.

Secondly, tattoos get attacked by viruses and bacteria if you fail to aftercare your tattoos properly. There is a high risk of tattoo infection if you don’t follow the tattoo aftercare instructions.

How Do I Know If My Tattoo Is Infected

If you observe the following issues with your tattoo, understand your tattoos are making infection.

Fluid Begins to Ooze Out

According to peer-reviewed studies, there are many symptoms of an infected tattoo, specially Fluid or plasma start coming out from the tattooed area is the earliest sign.

If it occurs for your new tattoo, go to your doctor or tattoo artist without any hesitations. Tell him whether you can take an oral antibiotic and treat the infected skin at home or not until the tattoo heals.

We recommend washing the tattooed skin evenly with liquid antibacterial soap of the Tattoo goo brand and using a paper towel to make the tattoo dry.

Also, don’t forget to apply ointment 3-4 times a day to the infected tattoo during the treatment period. Never hesitate to go to your doctor again if you suffer from a fever.

Redness & Warmth

The treated area gets red, warm, and might be swelling. Don’t be afraid if the tattooed area feels hot after placing it. It’s natural for tattooing and also part of tattoo removal procedures.

However, if you notice the color of your tattoo gets discolored in a large area and skin stays warm & hot for more than three days, we bet the tattoo gets infected. In this case, our advice is to visit your doctor’s chamber.

You have to skin disease control your new tattoos or body piercing from the beginning.

If this sounds like you, you are in luck! We have the tattoo machine brand for you in this article where we will cover everything you need to know.

Bacterial Infections

Here bacterial infections mean your tattoos invade by Pseudomonas, fungal, or

Vibrio Vulnificus type bacteria. Typically, tattoos on toes, feet, and ankles are infected by these bacteria and cause massive pain are required immediate medical care.

Your tattoos will suffer from Pseudomonas bacteria if you put on sweaty shoes or sneakers without socks. On the other hand, fungal will attack your toes or feet tattoos if you walk barefoot in the public showers or gym.

Notes dr lin of public health and Dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse recommends soaking the affected tattooed skin or body art with fungal water & diluted white vinegar. Also, apply prescribed antibiotics or ointment to the infected tattoos.

Other Symptoms

Apart from these, reach out to your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following or other signs :

  • Fire bumps infection on your skin
  • Swelling infection of the tattooed skin and intolerable pain
  • Hepatitis C
  • Tattoo pigment or m chelonae infection
  • Skin Cancer or any complication
  • Hepatitis B
  • Waves of heat and cold
  • The tattooed area gets hard or raised

What To Do If Tattoo Is Infected

If you notice the signs of an infected tattoo we mentioned above, do the following things to avoid potential danger or health issues.

Go To A Doctor First

First off, go to a medical expert or a doctor if you observe any of the signs of tattoo infection we mentioned above. Taking advice from a doctor or dermatologist will help you to avoid harmful variables like misdiagnosing the tattooed issue or allowing the affected area to get worse. Depending on your most infections, they will prescribe you ointment or antibiotics. So, maintain the advice your Board Certified Dermatologist or medical professional provides and apply the ointment to the tattooed skin.

What are the Common Signs of Infection?

To get rid of tattoo-associated skin reactions, faint rash, or any allergic reaction on it, you have to know the common signs as well. Infections typically occur for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a group of Gram-positive bacteria that come into sight red and are hot, swollen, and aroma.

Whenever you see an Atypical mycobacterial infection, skin infection of staph bacteria, soft tissue infections, or any life-threatening infection occurs, you need proper antibiotic treatment.

Take Care Of Your Infected Tattoo

The tattoo will get infected if you don’t follow the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist. So, taking care of the infected area will help to heal the tattoo. Wash your infected area with antibacterial soap and apply the ointment your doctor prescribed to the affected skin three-four times a day.

How To Prevent Tattoo Infection

How To Prevent Tattoo Infection

Prevention is better than cure. So, take the following precautions before inserting needles into your body.

Tattoo Ink :

Unhygienic practices and septic tattoo equipment like allergic tattoo ink ingredients, unprofessional tattoo artists are the culprits behind tattoo infections of an open wound.

If tattoo artists use authentic tattoo ink such as pure red ink, it’s possible to diminish the infection rate.

Don’t draw something on Infected Tattoos :

Avoid the areas of your body that are prone to getting infected and swelling. For example, don’t draw tattoos on the hands & fingers, underarms, lips, etc., and this area causes extreme pain.

Take Oral or Topical Antibiotics :

You can take oral antibiotics to cure staph infection or swelling during the treatment period of your fresh tattoo, and obviously, your immune system matters. However, in rare cases of treatment, perhaps you are needed surgery to cure any severe infection of multiple states until tattoos are fully healed.

Check The Tattoo Shop :

Before taking a tattoo appointment, select whether it is a certified, licensed tattoo shop or not for getting a tattoo. The health agency will check the hygienic condition of the tattooed shop regularly.

A reputable artist or licensed parlors usually maintain health precautions of skin and suggest a prescription topical antibiotic. They also recommend soaking the tattoo site with water and vinegar to cure most infections.

Moreover, inspect the tattoo shop and notice whether the artist sterilizes the needles and other tattoo equipment or not. You can also check as they are using single-use needles.

Medically Reviewed Tattoo Parlor :

Follow the tattoo aftercare instructions properly until the tattooed skin starts healing or healing completely and ensure it is medically reviewed.

A medically reviewed tattoo parlor will recommend a skin biopsy to take skin samples, check the immune system, wear gloves, measure body temperature, and follow other medical procedures before getting a tattoo. If necessary, they will take medical help and bring you emergency room for severe cases.

On the top, medically reviewed treatment of tattoo parlors will remain authentic to the aftercare instructions of the healing process. Never treat an allergic reaction of the new tattoo or the infected tattoo area at home without taking advice from a medical expert.


Getting tattoos from an inexperienced artist or an unreliable tattoo shop can cause tattoo infections. Therefore, not maintaining the tattoo aftercare tips properly can also carry the high risks of tattoo infections.

We mentioned a lot of symptoms of an infected tattoo above in this article. If you notice any of the signs of tattoo infections, go to your doctor immediately. He will help you by prescribing the right ointment to apply to heal the infected skin.

Try to follow the tips we mentioned above in the ‘how to prevent tattoo infection’ section to avoid tattoo infections.

Check out this article to learn about coil tattoo machines and where to get them without going into a tattoo parlor.