This is everyones worst nightmare. You get a tattoo and not too long afterward your skin is an infectious mess. Today we’ll look at tattoo related infections and how to avoid them.
What Is An Infection?
To understand how to avoid an infection you must first understand what it is and how it works.
An infection is by definition, the detrimental colonization of a host organism by a foreign species. In an infection, the infecting organism seeks to utilize the host’s resources to multiply, usually at the expense of the host. The infecting organism, or pathogen, interferes with the normal functioning of the host and can lead to chronic wounds, gangrene, loss of an infected limb, and even death.
If that sounds like serious stuff, it’s because it is very serious. A small tattoo can lead to big problems if an infection develops.
How Does A Tattoo Get Infected?
Your skin provides a natural barrier from bacteria and viruses that live in our everyday environment. Once you break the surface of the skin you have created an easy way for a pathogen to enter the body. A fresh tattoo is an open wound. The infectious pathogen can either be introduced during or after the tattooing process.
Bacteria is everywhere around and any contact with a host surface could potentially cause an infection.
Is My Tattoo Infected?
An infection can produce many symptoms including increased pain, increasing redness, warmth greater than that of surrounding skin, red streaks coming from the tattoo site, pus or cloudy fluid coming from the tattoo area, a bad odor, swollen lymph nodes, and/or fever.
Minimize Your Risk Of Infection
One main cause of infection is the introduction of bacteria or virus during the tattoo process. This is often caused by improper sterilization of equipment or ignorance to general safe tattooing procedures.
Be sure you go to a reputable tattoo shop that not only uses hospital grade sterilization procedures and has a clean shop appearance. Chances are if the floor is dirty you don’t want to get your tattoo at that particular shop.
Another common cause of tattoo infection is the introduction of a pathogen after the tattooing process has been completed. You must follow all care instruction provided to you by your tattooist.
It is extremely important to keep your new tattoo from contact with any foreign surfaces which could potentially introduce infection. Also, be sure to clean your tattoo regularly with antibacterial soap and plain watter to minimize chances of infection.
I Think My Tattoo Is Infected
If you think your tattoo is infected run, don’t walk to your local physician. Infections are not something to play around with. Serious, potentially life threatening, complications can develop if you do not take care of an infected tattoo right away.