Have you seen some people having some huge pin-up on their shoulder, at the back of their hands and other parts of their bodies enclosed with their clothing and asked yourself what they are up to? Well, the reasons may not be clear to you due to the fact that tattoos have their own misunderstandings.
Tattoos have been banned in many workplaces and even in some parts of the world due to socio-ethical issues of some communities. But besides all these, the history and the purpose having it is still based on the wearer. Now take your time to look at some of the reasons that my drive somebody to be tattooed.
- In many cases, it is for a personal identifier. A good example is the military forces in some countries. You find many soldiers had their own tattoo symbol to identify themselves and their department.
- Some people will also have them to honor their loved ones. Such people will have ones with the first letter of their lovers or they may have a similar symbol for both of them.
- Other people get them for business reasons although this is not the major reason for getting tattooed in most cases. A good example is an online casino. These online casinos will pay a lot of money when they tattoo their casino logo on your forehead but this may lead to some severe side effects.
There are other many reasons that will make one be tattooed but as we have said earlier, the purpose always lies with the wearer. Again it is also very important to understand that, having it always have some challenges or effects from mild to severe especially when they get infected.
Ideas and tattoo infections
In many societies today, the number of people getting tattoos has grown up. This has led to many tattoo-linked disorders affecting the wearers. It is due to the fact that entry of foreign substances into your skin may cause unpleasant effects. The range of these effects may include immunologic response to the tattoo pigments, the transfer of infectious diseases, and even of skin disease. Some pigments and probable contamination of tattoo ink may trigger some reactions to people having already existing improper medical conditions.
Sometimes the condition may be even worse when the artist uses contaminated needles. This will lead to infection of body fluid, transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C (a fatal liver disease). Again tattooing skin conditions such as cellulitis, impetigo, herpes simplex, staph, fungal infections, syphilis and even viral warts may occur.
Signs and symptoms
How do you know that your tattoo has infections? As newer body modifications are cropping up, complications brought about by diseases has been one big challenge. Luckily, there is a way out to get you out of danger by being aware of symptoms and common signs.
It is considered normal when you experience some little pain after having a tattoo especially when it is still healing. But the moment you develop a persistent painful and stinging pain which worsens gradually, please note that this is a signal that something abnormal is befalling it. Basically, this is a signal that your tattoo is infected.
When you get a tattoo, actually the whole area will be red, a bit swollen, and slightly tender and very sensitive. That is normal and you should not worry about it. “A light amount of swelling isn’t unusual after getting a new tattoo,” [medlicker.com] implying that infections may begin right after the process. But when the swelling continues to spread and causes you a lot of discomfort by making you to feel pain and even sometimes the pain spread beyond the tattoo area, then this is a sign of infection. You should, therefore, seek immediate medical help.
When it is still fresh, it will secrete some materials as your skin begins to heal. So when it produces some clear liquid that usually dries up to cover the wound, then that will be a good sign for your tattoo. But you should also note that the discharge also will have a time limit. If it does not stop after three or so days but instead start to secrete yellowish pus, then definitely it is infected. Get your doctor’s service as soon as possible, please.
Notably, if the skin on or round turns in color know that there is something going wrong. A “pink to red coloration around the tattoo site indicates inflammation.” [tattoos.lovetoknow.com] Moreover, when the temperature around the area rises than in other parts of your body then you should take that damn serious.
It is always not normal for your fresh tattoo to have inflammations spreading for some couple of days. This might reveal that your skin may be contaminated. You are therefore advised to seek the attention of your doctor once you figure out this condition.
Itching is one of the signs of germs infection. It is a result of your body fighting against the germs or disease-causing bacteria like Staphylococcus sp and fungi. These germs may cause undesirable look on your tattoo. More so if they multiply. This condition will make the healing process to take a long time.
6. Foul Odor
Some bacteria especially anaerobic bacteria will cause foul smell due to their anaerobic activities. So once it begins to smell bad, you should visit a dermatologist to help treat your infections.
To someone who is undergoing some infection symptoms, fever is always a warning sign. If this continues after 48 hours then one should see his/her doctor for possible medication.
8. Swelling of lymph nodes
When the nodes near the tattoo start to swell, you need to be very careful and seek medical attention as this might be a sign of staph infection. You should also understand that whenever your lymph nodes swell, this is an implication of your immune system fighting an infection in your body.
Immediately after getting it, there is always certain redness, this is normal. But when the redness continues to be more intensive after two days from the time you were tattooed, then this is a sign of infection. Actually when redness is accompanied by inflammation and warmth, then that will be a solid evidence that it is infected.
Causes of tattoo infections
As far as having one, it may be beneficial to an individual in one way or another, we must bear in mind that if the tattooing processes and aftercare are not properly managed, then the possible result may not be very desirable to us as a result of tattoo infections. So now, have a look at the possible several causes of infections.
- In many cases, you will find that many individuals after getting tattooed, they don’t follow the instructions regarding the hygiene and maintenance and this will definitely lead to infections.
- Some of the tattoo artists also are not well trained and even sometimes not certified. So they might end up carelessly carrying out the processes.
- If you happen to get yours in a tattoo parlor with a dirty environment, then you may expose it to some bacteria which will cause infections.
- When the equipment used are not properly sterilized and even the needles used are not clean, this may lead to infections. Again when the artist doesn’t wear gloves, this may lead to infections too.
- If your tattoo doesn’t get enough amount and supply of fresh air, then this again may lead to infections because metabolic activities may be interfered with hence affecting the healing process.
- Sometimes, you will find some people wearing clothing items that might be irritating their tattoo. This will prevent it from healing normally. Some of these clothes could also be rubbing against it and this will, all the same, disturb the healing process.
- During tattooing process, your skin is being pricked and bruised, there might be some bacteria present in the air which will find their way into your tattoo and cause various infections.
- Entry of infections can also be aided by being closer to infected people or people with health problems. In such a circumstance, one can easily acquire some transmitted skin diseases that might lead to problems especially when your tattoo is still in the healing process.
- It will be also dangerous to swim with your fresh tattoo in ponds and lakes. Due to the fact that there will be some bacteria present in those waters, the bacteria may find their way into it and cause infections.
- You can also be vulnerable to infections when sleeping in unsanitary sheets and using dirty towels.
- When you apply or use strong chemical lotions creams or some makeup products, this could also be another reason for your infections.
- You can also get your tattoo infected when your work is based on a dirty environment for instance when you wash latrines, collecting garbage and working in any other places where there are vast bacteria cultures.
- Again it can also be infected when you touch it with your own dirty fingers.
If you still wonder what infections can do a tattoo, look closely at these images captured from patients.
Inflamed and tattoo treatment and care
It should be noted that, if good care is bestowed on them having tattoos are not always accompanied by infections. But if you don’t practice proper care after having it, then you can be a victim infection. Now, immediately it comes to your attention that it is infected actually after noticing some of the symptoms we have mentioned above, then you should move with speed to seek and acquire proper treatment.
So here are some of the treatments that will help you heal your tattoo after infections.
1. Use of topical anti-inflammatory creams
These anti-inflammatory creams are used to reduce the inflammation and hasten the relief from pain. Warm water can be used to clean the tattoo area before the application of the topical creams. Upon the application of the topical cream, one can apply the sterile gauze over the tattoo area. The sterile gauze should also be removed from time to time to enhance breathing of the skin and hence quicker healing.
2. Anti-bacterial Treatment
The use of antibiotic treatment will help to fight infections caused by bacteria. You should also know that the antibiotic can be administered topically or orally. One will have to take the antibiotics in accordance with his/her doctor`s prescription. The infection will not heal properly if the prescribed dose is not completed. Again, in this case, the bacteria may develop resistance to the treatment.
It is also very important to know that, some infections may be very severe to an extent that the use of this first method may be less appropriate. So the doctor can, therefore, opt for intravenous antibiotics.
3. Use of Antihistamine drugs
To treat hives and relieving itching. One can use antihistamine drugs such as Benadryl or Chlor-Trimenton. Do not use strong detergents, soaps and some chemical that may worsen the itching.
4. Application of ice pack
To relieve bruising, swelling and itching, the ice pack can be applied. But note that the ice pack should not be applied directly, you should put fabric layer between your skin and ice pack.
5. Keeping the area dry
After one has cleaned his/her tattoo, he/she should make sure that is dried up properly but this should be done carefully otherwise excessive wiping may result in bleeding.
Soaking of an infected tattoo will prolong the healing period. Antibacterial soap can be used to wash it gently.
6. Avoidance of exposing it to direct sun
You should not expose it to direct sunlight when you are sure that it is infected. Exposing infected tattoo to sunlight will make the infectious micro-organism to be more aggressive and this may prolong the period to which it will take to heal.
Generally, to heal a tattoo properly and clear up the infection symptoms, one must maintain excellent hygiene. This can be enhanced by staying away from activities that will involve excessive moisture that would soak it. Swimming in lakes and ponds should be by all means avoided. Actually, the way out to help heal an infected tattoo is only to maintain standard hygiene level throughout.
How can I prevent these Infections?
Some people have avoided getting tattooed because of the fear of infections. Such individuals should understand that, A good number of people who get them never develop or experience any infections. But we also have to admit that people who get tattooed also bear a high risk of infections depending on various factors. So here are some steps and precautions one can follow to reduce the risks of infections.
- You should only be tattooed by certified and well-trained artists.
- Do not by any means try to tattoo yourself because some of the methods you will use are dubious unless you are trained and have a good experience.
- Please after getting it make sure that the clothes you put on will not irritate and keep it out of sunlight. This will help your avoid bleeding ink.
- You should also enhance your tattoo healing by allowing it to receive enough amount of air. This should especially be done when it is still fresh.
- If you make an appointment with certain tattoo artists and by the time you get to his/her place you suspect the hygienic conditions there, please cancel the appointment and seek service from other better artists.
- After having your tattoo, please try by all means to keep the area as clean as possible. This should be aided by the instruction your artist will give to you as aftercare. You should take any precaution very serious to avoid the risk of infections.
- Again during the whole processes, one should make sure that his or her tattoo artist uses a properly sterilized needle. The artist should always use a new needle for every customer to prevent transmission of some infectious diseases from one customer to the other.
- If you have decided to have a tattoo, please don’t hurry up things. Take enough of your time to find out good parlors and artist. Make sure that the artist you will choose have a license and the parlor has proved the hygienic standards.
- You should not use Vaseline for your new tattoo.
There are also another prevention measure that if your artist is qualified, he/she will tell you to adopt but, above all, maintaining a good hygienic condition will be the proper tattoo aftercare.
Allergic reactions to tattoos
It should be understood that there is a very big difference between tattoo allergy and infection. Infections will last for a long time while allergy will and is expected to resettle itself quickly. Again infections, the external factors, and unhygienic conditions will play a big role but in allergy, the sensitivity of the patient to tattoo inks is the key. The treatment of these two phenomena may also vary.
Now let us look at some of the types of allergic reactions.
It should be noted that exposing it to sunlight may trigger some allergic reaction especially those that contain yellow tattoo ink. Cadmium present in yellow and red tattoo dyes will also lead to allergic reactions when exposed to the sun.
Allergic contact dermatitis may be sometimes caused by getting it. This will be due to the fact that red tattoo pigments have mercury sulfide which may lead to this kind of allergic reaction
3. Acute inflammatory allergic reaction
For many people, after getting tattooed, their skin will be red, irritated and a bit swollen at the tattoo area, this is due to an allergic inflammatory reaction. This will be caused by irritation of ink and needles used. It should be understood that this is always not a serious condition but, when it persists, please immediately seek the attention of your doctor.
After your skin being has been tattooed, you may develop some tiny bumps around the site. This is an allergic condition caused by red ink but sometimes, purple, green, or blue tattoo ink may also be behind these bumps.
5. Lichenoid allergic reaction
This type of allergic reaction is related to red tattoo ink. It is characterized by small bumps that will appear around the site.
There is also some other allergic reaction that we could not have discussed here but basically, it is important to note that many allergic reactions are due to tattoo inks and some of the irritation effect of the needles being used. Again it is very important to understand that these allergic reactions have comparative effects that will vary from mild to severe levels. When their impacts get intense, then one should seek the service of his/her doctor.
What are the signs of allergic reactions?
In matters concerning tattoos with allergic reactions, it is good to know that, the signs of allergic reactions will vary depending on the type of allergic reaction and the component that will be present in the pigment that will cause it. See the common signs of an allergic reaction to tattoos:
- Rash and bumps
- A skin has a scaly appearance
- Purple or red nodules around the site
Some of the allergic reactions to tattoos are always mild and therefore can be treated by simple means, for instance, aloe vera or other special ointment made for the tattoo can help reduce the discomfort caused by these mild allergic reactions.
Apart from having mild reactions, the opposite of this also occurs in some circumstances. So in case of severe allergic reactions, Benadryl can be used as well as medication prescribed by a doctor. In some more serious cases, there may need to completely remove it to prevent certain allergic reactions, so in this case, only a medical professional is allowed to carry out the tattoo removal usually by using skin laser.
Especially, for the case of pregnant women, tattooing may not be the right idea because the cases of tattoo infections may be aggravated taken into account that during pregnancy, the body must adapt to some changes due to the growing baby and this may reduce the ability of the body to fight against allergic reactions.
Generally, before one gets his/her tattoo, there must be a well-established reason for doing so. Again one should do research to identify a well-qualified artist to attend to you. After being convinced that your tattoo is infected, then you should see your doctor as soon as you can to prevent the infections from developing to their severity.