Getting an infected tattoo is actually pretty common. Sometimes this happens because of a mistake you make in taking care of your tattoo, but it can also happen because your tattoo artist didn’t follow the right sanitary procedures. Sometimes it can happen just because of bad luck even if everybody does everything right.
When you get a tattoo, the needle is going into your body, and anytime something punctures your skin, there is a chance for infection. Bacteria are tiny little things and even with the most careful sanitation, it’s almost impossible to be 100 percent certain that you’ve protected yourself from an infected tattoo.
If you get an infected tattoo, the area will probably become irritated and red. It may even swell some and the skin might feel like it’s slightly elevated. These symptoms are normal even without an infection for the first few days after you get your tattoo, but you should probably start to worry about an infected tattoo if they linger for any length of time.
Dealing with an infected tattoo is usually a simple process of applying antibiotic ointment to the area. Many very effective products are available over the counter, and your tattoo artist might even suggest that you apply one of these as a precaution for about a week after you get your tattoo, just to ward off any possible infection. If you do get an infection, your doctor may prescribe a more powerful prescription antibiotic cream, or maybe even oral antibiotics.
To avoid getting an infected tattoo, you need to make sure you get a good professional tattoo artist who follows all the recommended sanitary guidelines. That means using brand new needles for every customer, and heat sterilization for all the equipment that gets reused. You also need to clean your tattoo properly and take good care of it while the area is healing. Your tattoo artist will provide some guidelines for how to do this, and it might vary a bit depending on the size of your tattoo, the location, and other things.