The biggest worry a person usually has when they’re getting a tattoo is how it will look. But sometimes, getting inked can lead to something worse than bad body art including an infected tattoo or pre-existing skin conditions worsening, an expert warns.
If you experience skin problems after getting a tattoo, see a dermatologist and alert the tattoo artist, Dr. Marie Leger, a dermatologist in New York City suggests.
Skin conditions enhanced by tattooing
About 10 percent of people have a complication after a tattoo. Common ones include infections, allergic reactions and worsening of an existing skin condition, such as psoriasis or eczema, according to Leger.
Another potential complication is sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disease that can affect the skin and other organs. The first sign may be bumps at the tattoo site.
Infections are most common within the first few days or weeks of tattooing. They can cause redness and pain around the site of the tattoo (not just on the actual ink), as well as drainage, crusting and pus, Leger says.
What to do if you experience symptoms
“If you experience these symptoms after getting a tattoo, see a doctor right away, because infections can be quite serious,” she says in an American Academy of Dermatology news release.
Infections can be caused by contaminated ink, unsterile application or improper aftercare, Leger explains.
Allergies and sarcoidosis may occur months to years later. Signs include: