Are you a tattoo fan? People get tattoos to personalize their identity. The idea is to have that cool permanent piece of art on your body.

So what? Visit a tattoo parlor, get the unique piece of art, and heal. What they never tell you is that tattoos can cause severe symptoms or infections for more than days or weeks.

Do you know 0.5 to 6% of people who get the permanent ink end up with infected tattoos?   

Infections are one of the nightmares for a tattoo fan. 

Let’s take a look at some symptoms of an infected tattoo.

1. Increasing or Spreading Redness

I know what you’re probably thinking. Redness is normal after getting a tattoo. However, if the redness is increasing, that could be a problem.

So what are the flag signs you should be watching? Red lines from the tattoo and spreading redness after 2 to 3 days are a sign of infected tattoo. If these symptoms persist, go for medical attention.

2. Increased Swelling

Swelling is a common short-term side effect after a tattoo. However, it’s an indication of infection.

Uneven swelling in the tattoo area can be a severe sign of an infected tattoo.

3. High Temperatures

After a tattoo, some heat from the area is normal. If the temperatures are persistently high and you have a fever, please don’t ignore.

It’s essential to continually take your temperature to make sure it is not too high.

High temperatures from the tattoo area indicate your tattoo is infected.

4. Discharge from Infected Tattoo

Should your tattoo have any discharge? Oozing of small blood amount is not an unusual thing for the first 24 hours. In a few days, it may release, clear, blood-tinged or yellow discharge.

So how do you tell your tattoo is infected?

Off white, brown, or greenish yellow discharge from the tattoo are signs of severely infected tattoos. The infection is even serious; if the discharge has a foul smell.

5. Increasing Pain

Pain is part of the tattooing process. With the needles breaking through the skin, the process must involve some pain and itchiness.

The pain should decrease with time and not increase. If pain persists or increases, see a doctor for infection treatment or consider tattoo removal.

6. Swollen Lymph Nodes

Tattoos do not cause swollen lymph nodes. Unless the swollen lymph nodes are caused by other illness, it is a call for action.  

Seek treatment immediately if you realize the swollen lymph nodes signs.

7. Pustules, Boils, or Blisters

If you notice pustules, boils, or blisters around the tattoo area it’s a possible sign of infection.


If you recently got a tattoo, you must be scared of getting an infection. Don’t be scared. Our intention is to inform you and protect your welfare. Not all tattoos lead to infections.

You should, however, be on the lookout to avoid possible complications and infected tattoos. Increasing redness, pain, swelling, and temperatures are symptoms that call for medical attention.

Infected tattoos are a liability and cause serious health complications. Visit our blog for tips on how to prevent and treat infected tattoos.

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