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Tattoo Infections: What You Need To Know

Tattoo infections are rare. In fact, as few as 6% of people who get a tattoo experience any type of infection. While the numbers may be small, the complications from a tattoo infection can be very serious. There’s no doubt that getting a tattoo hurts, but if discomfort continues for more than 48 hours, it could be a sign that you have an infection that needs medical care. 

What Causes a Tattoo Infection?

Infections can happen even when every sanitary precaution is taken. Tattoos are essentially made of hundreds of tiny wounds. If a virus, bacteria, or another type of pathogen gets into those wounds, an infection may occur. 

Pathogens can make their way into a fresh tattoo if the ink or needles are contaminated or if the tattoo isn’t cleaned properly. Contaminated tattoo ink is one of the major causes of infection

The FDA does not regulate tattoo ink, so even if a container of ink is marked “sterile,” it may still contain bacteria. Contamination can also happen after the ink leaves the manufacturer’s control. 

Symptoms of a Tattoo Infection

Infections often become apparent within hours of receiving a tattoo, but in some cases, it may take months until the symptoms become noticeable. 

The warning signs of infection include:

  • Small bumps on the skin that may contain pus
  • Larger bumps known as nodules below or on the surface of the skin
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Warmth in the area
  • Chills
  • Inflammation
  • Itchiness
  • Fever
  • Pain that worsens instead of improving
  • Sweating

See your healthcare provider if you experience any of these symptoms. If left untreated, even mild infections can cause severe problems. 

Some viral infections can also be spread through tattooing, including:

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Rubella
  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV)
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Molluscrum contagiosum
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

Viral infections can be life-threatening and may result in the need for lifelong medical care

A diagnosis may be confirmed by the symptoms alone. In some cases, lab tests may be needed to confirm the infection and determine which type of bacteria is the cause. 

Take Tattoo Infections Seriously

Being “tough” is part of the tattoo mystique, but you can’t tough out an infection. An infection of any kind can be a serious threat to your health. 

Complications of a tattoo infection include:

  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Inflammation of the heart’s chambers and inner valves
  • Infection in the blood
  • Abdominal compartment syndrome (pressure in the abdomen)
  • Pus collecting in muscles and joints
  • Lung tissue death
  • Septic shock

Treatment is typically a combination of oral or intravenous antibiotics. In the most serious cases, hydrophilic antibiotics may be necessary. Medical bills related to a tattoo infection can quickly add up. Finding legal representation may be the best way to ensure you receive the medical care you need.

Lower Your Risk of Tattoo Infection

There are precautions you can take to lower the risk of getting an infection. First, only consider getting inked by licensed tattoo artists with good reviews. Visit the shop once or twice to observe hygiene habits. 

Proper aftercare will also reduce the chances of an infection. Follow all directions given by your tattoo artist. Don’t let others touch the tattoo until it is completely healed. 

Has Your Health Been Compromised By a Tattoo Infection? Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm For Help Today

If you or someone you know has suffered from a tattoo infection despite taking all recommended precautions, you may deserve compensation. A personal injury lawyer will fight for your rights and make sure you receive the financial settlement you deserve.

For more information, please contact The King Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.

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3317 Fayetteville Rd, Griffin, GA 30223
(404) 567-4546

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1603 US Hwy 41, Tifton, GA 31794
(229) 386-1376

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886 Mulberry St, Macon, GA 31201
(478) 292-7272

Or if you would prefer to reach out to us online, please visit our contact us page.

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