After getting a tattoo it is necessary to take good aftercare of it and monitor whether there is any sign of infection or not! and if there is any kind of redness, inflammation, fever, swelling, or bumpy skin with a rash that has been noted after following a proper aftercare procedure, chances are high that the tattoo is infected.
It is recommended to seek medical attention immediately after the infection occurrence, as the infection can turn into a severe case and spread to other organs.
Why Tattoo Infection Occurs?
The general cause of tattoo infection is its process! as getting a tattoo involves repeatedly puncturing the layer of skin for quite a great time and injecting an outside substance into the body. And, because of that, sometimes the bacteria enter the skin while leaving severe complications.
So, the skin is not used to the procedure of having a tattoo. However, slight redness or swelling around the tattoo is normal for days (almost 1 week). But if it stays more than one week, it is wise to consult a medical health expert or a tattoo artist. Now, the question is,
Whether There are Any Tattoo Infection Treatments at Home or DIY Remedies for Tattoo Infections or Not?
Before answering it, note that DIY remedies or home treatments are not sufficient enough to heal the irritation or infection for good. These remedies that have been listed below are only intended to provide temporary relief from mild irritation. To cure a true bacterial infection, it is wise to be treated by a healthcare professional, as trying to treat severe conditions at home without consult can worsen the condition.
Also keep in mind that, individuals with compromised immune systems, allergies, or pre-existing skin conditions may be more vulnerable to tattoo infections.
The first and foremost rule of all is, maintaining hygiene. Although, it does not fall into any DIY remedies, but it plays the most important role in the case of healing!
- Always wash your hand with mild soap or use hand sanitizer before touching the infected area.
- Avoid Scrubbing or rubbing
- After washing the tattoo clean with a dry and soft towel
- Avoid harsh products including hydrogen peroxide or alcohol or any other active!
- Keep your bedsheets and clothing neat and clean
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera contains Vitamin C, E, and other antibacterial properties- which help to fight against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli that is responsible for infection incident. Not only it would fight the bacteria but also will leave your skin with an anti-inflammation effect! Aloe vera will help to reduce the redness, swelling, and inflammation and leave a soothing sensation! And the best part is you can use it alone or mix it with other natural remedies!
Apply a thin layer of Aloe vera gel onto your washed tattoo and let it become dry. Depending on the how severe condition of your tattoo is, you can re-apply it multiple times on your tattoo. But avoid covering the tattoo unless it is advised by the healthcare professional!
Tea Tree Oil
Talking about natural ingredients and not mentioning the benefits of using tea tree oil for healing would be an inappropriate thing to do so. Just like aloe vera gel, tea tree is also famous for reducing inflammation and is a great compound with antibacterial properties. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with other oils like coconut oil or almond oil or olive oil and leave it on your tattoo.
But, it is highly recommended to perform a patch test before applying directly on your tattoo to check whether you have any allergic reaction or irritation!
Raw honey is known as a fantastic topical antibiotic- that is even scientifically proven! The antiseptic properties of honey can help your tattoo in both cleaning and healing. It is also known greatly for its moisturizing and hydration, which help to promote tissue repair.
You can apply the honey directly on your tattoo ( although cleaning the tattoo with mild soap and lukewarm water is a must before going for any of these DIY remedies) or can combine it with tea tree oil or olive oil or with the Aloe Vera gel.
Then, after keeping the remedy for 15-20min wash it gently! But it is highly suggested to discuss with your healthcare professional, before using it, as not all types of honey might not be suitable for you.
Coconut oil is well-known as a natural moisturizer that can help with minor skin issues. It would enhance the skin barrier and promote scab healing. This natural ingredient is less likely to cause any irritation, unlike any chemical lotion or cream.
However, please note the fact that it is wise to not apply any kind of products on your newly done tattoo for a minimum of 2-3 days! wait for the initial healing and then do a patch test before going to any conclusion!
It is one of the most simplest and effective methods to follow at home. Just take a clean soft cloth or towel and soak it in the warm water and apply on the affected area for 10-20 minutes. This method is great for promoting blood circulation and relaxing muscles. Also helps to provide temporary pain relief while encouraging drainage.
However, make sure to keep the water temperature comfortable and wring out excess water to prevent dripping. Also, If you are unsure about the method, make sure to consult beforehand.
There is an antimicrobial component named ‘curcumin’ and anti-inflammatory ingredients in turmeric, that help to heal skin wounds. Mix a small amount (1 tablespoon) of turmeric powder with water or yogurt or Aloe vera gel. Then, after making the paste, apply it for 15-20 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water. But keep it in mind that, it is important to note that, this cannot be as a primary treatment.
Witch hazel is used for itching, swelling, and skin inflammation. It is a natural astringent with mild antiseptic properties that helps to soothe the skin. As usual, clean your hand while using it and if you find the liquid too strong for the skin, then you can dilute it with water.
Although dilution is optional. Using a cotton ball apply the hazel on the affected area and let it get dry on the skin. Like the Aloe vera gel, you can re-apply the process multiple times.
But, if any redness or inflammation occurs after applying the witch hazel, wash the area quickly and discontinue the process. Also, Do not forget to do a patch test first!
Like, all the other natural remedies, neem oil is also been used traditionally for various skin conditions. The neem tree or Azardirachta indica is popular worldwide, especially in South Asia for its anti-bacterial components. It has vitamin E which keeps the skin moisturized and nourished. And as it has the ability to stimulate collagen production, it helps to heal the wound. This is why, neem oil can be the perfect natural ingredient to heal your tattoo infection.
Also, it should be used with caution and patch test should be run to avoid the risk of Allergic reactions.
Avoid using excessive pressure on the skin, apply a small amount of oil on the affected area, and keep the tattoo uncovered.
The safest solution would be to apply thin slices of cucumber/tomato to the affected area for 15-20 minutes. This process would provide a soothing and cooling effect.
- Before going for any of the mentioned methods, make sure you consult with a healthcare professional first. As some individuals might face skin irritation or allergic reactions due to their sensitivity toward turmeric.
- Discontinue using any of the methods, if any kind of skin burn or irritation occurs.
- Also avoid wearing skin-tight clothes, going swimming, or sun exposure- to not further worsen your wound.
- Do not underestimate following proper aftercare, as it is always crucial to prevent infections.
- And the most important of all is, any of the above methods can not be taken as primary treatment,
There is a proverb, that says, “No pain, No gain”. Having a tattoo is nonetheless more than the proverb itself. Just like the popularity of body ink which is a form of self-expression and art, brings pain when the needle goes under the skin and things can become even worse if the tattoo is done under an unlicensed or inexperienced artist. Because infections not only occur due to poor aftercare practices but also from the unsterile tattoo equipment.
So, it is wise to have your own research done by a trusted tattoo artist. Another important thing is to recognize the symptoms of tattoo infection, as it’s natural to have redness and skin swelling after getting a new tattoo.
But, if it is excessive and warm to touch the area or any pus or fluid oozing from the area- can be a symptom of a tattoo infection. In some cases, the presence of Fever or chills might be found.
- What ointment is good for infected tattoos?
Before using any kind of ointment it is necessary to consult with a healthcare professional.
- How do you prevent tattoo infection?
To avoid the tattoo infection choose a reputable tattoo artist, follow the proper aftercare instructions, avoid touching with dirty hands or using not cleaned clothe and avoid swimming or hot tubs. Also, protect your tattoo from direct sunlight.
- What are the most prevalent symptoms of tattoo infection?
The common signs of tattoo infections include excessive redness, swelling, excessive pain, visible fluids or pus oozing from the area, warmth sensation, or in severe cases experiencing fever or chills.
- What is the recommended treatment for a severe case of tattoo infection?
Minor infections: Use antibacterial soap to bathe the diseased area twice a day.
Superficial infections: local wound care along with external antibiotics are recommended. ( under a healthcare professional)
Severe case: A prescription-strength antibiotic.
- How long can a tattoo infection last?
The lasting time depends on how severe the infection is. But, with proper medical attention, it should not be taken longer than one or two weeks. The exact time depends on the severity and early diagnosis.
- How do tattoo infections happen?
It can occur for various reasons, but the maximum reason behind the infection is poor aftercare practices, an unhygienic environment, or using contaminated tattoo equipment. Sometimes, the Immune system is also can be liable for such conditions.
- Can I donate blood if I have a tattoo infection?
Unless you have received clearance from your healthcare provider, it is best to avoid blood donation.
- Is getting a tattoo safe if I have specific medical conditions?
It is better to discuss this with your healthcare provider before attempting to have one. Especially if you have a compromised immune system or diabetes.
I am an expert in writing content as well including body art, piercing, beauty, and more.