I would like to start this post off by saying that I am not a tattoo artist, I am not a medical professional, and I have no qualifications in this field at all. I am just a guy who has now had 8 tattoo sessions and am prone to having infections on my tattoos after having them done and most of the time needing antibiotics, and that’s why I decided to write this post.
I wanted to write a post to help people stop their tattoos from getting infected. I’m not saying these are amazing and will work for everyone because that’s just not true. Also, some of this might be common sense to one person, but something another would have never thought about!
To start with, I want to do a little shameless plug. I’ve had my other tattoo post get a few hits, and I thought some people who suffer from mental health might find it useful. If you’re interested, take a look at my Getting Over Post Tattoo Blues And Taking Care Of Your Mental Health Post for more information. Tattoo depression is a real thing, and you shouldn’t suffer in silence.
Now let’s talk about how you can try to prevent tattoo infection and the various ways you can keep your tattoo from getting infected and help it heal. I know some people don’t have to worry about tattoo infections at all, and I’m super jealous of them! Make sure you follow some of the steps below for my best tips on tattoo infection treatment.
Keeping Your Tattoo Clean
Now this one might seem like common sense, but in fact, it’s not as easy as it sounds. I remember walking home from work once, and a bus decided to cover me in rainwater. I had my tattoo wrapped, although the water got into it through the cracks and a couple of days later it was burning and had gotten infected. I can’t say if that’s because of the rainwater or not but I’m sure it played its part.
The wrap you use is obviously super important but if you think you have something that isn’t clean and is going to make your tattoo worse inside the wrap, it’s probably better to take the wrap off, clean the tattoo and apply another wrap to keep it clean. All the tattooists I’ve had work on me have given me an extra wrap to take home in case this happens so be sure to ask yours if they don’t.
Taking Tattooist Advice
So if you don’t want an infected tattoo, the first thing I’d say is to ask your tattooist for advice on how to treat the tattoo area once it’s done. They have probably done hundreds of tattoos before yours and will know the best way to keep it clean and safe.
Sure they might try to upsell you and most tattooists will offer their own version of the aftercare cream but you can always say thank you but I can’t afford that right now and there’s nothing wrong with that. I normally use Savalon on my tattoo, it’s cheaper and it stops the itching more I find. I know people say not to use it but everyone has their own opinion.
Make Your Doctor Aware
If you get infected tattoos easily, it’s important to make sure your GP knows about it. I have been visiting the same GP for almost 6 years, I keep him informed about everything and when I’m having a tattoo I will let him know so that if I need antibiotics he’s able to process it faster so that I’m not waiting around for them.
Take The Medication
I’ve known people before to have gotten infected tattoos and they will take their antibiotics for a couple of days until it’s starting to clear up and then stop them. They then wonder why the infection has come back! It’s important to take the full course of your antibiotics otherwise you’ll end up back at the doctors and they might not be as nice the second time around.
What Happens If My Tattoo Is Infected?
If you’re wondering how to spot if your tattoo is infected, easy. Is it hot to the touch, swollen and red around the tattoo? They all sound like common tattoo infection symptoms. If you have tattoo infection symptoms, it’s probably an infection. The first thing to do is book an appointment with your GP, clean the area and wrap it again if you have any wrap, that would be my own personal advice.
I write this post, not because I think I’m a know it all, but because I have infections on my tattoos and I’ve suffered the consequences. What can happen if my tattoo is infected? Well, I’m glad you asked!
My tattoo got infected and it ended up with scars. The tattooist I have went over the scar tissue to make sure the tattoo was completed and didn’t have gaps and my god it hurt. It hurts more getting a scared area tattooed than any other tattoo I have ever had before, trust me you don’t want it to get to that.
What Are The Worst Tattoo Areas For Infections?
Again I’m not a medical professional so don’t take my word for it. I have however only had infected tattoos on my leg so, in my opinion, that’s the worst place to have a tattoo infection and the most commonplace. I’ve asked around in Facebook groups and done searches online and it seems a lot of other people have infections either on their legs or arm.
I’m thinking the leg or arm may be the worst place to get a tattoo infection mainly due to them being used so much, if you’ve had a tattoo infection somewhere different, let me know!
So if you think you have an infected tattoo, get help and treat it well. It does take a couple of days before you see any difference in the infection but trust me, it’s worth sorting out. The sooner the better! Let me know if you’ve had any tattoo horror stories when it comes to infections. It’s great to know you’re not alone out there!