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Possible infection or allergic reaction to 6 day old tattoo?


Marie
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I got a cover up on my forearm. The artist went really heavy and packed in a crap ton of ink within the blue rose. It was insanely sore for the first couple days, and the pain is starting to go away. The rest of the tattoo is fine. It’s just the blue portion and maybe a few of the green leaves that look dug out like he carved my skin out. At first it was super dry because I thought maybe I was putting too much moisturizer on so I let it dry out a little and it had these thick scabs and I took a warm shower last night and a lot of those thick scabs washed off. But it left what looks like a little bit of a gooey mess. It dries up within 30 minutes and it no longer looks like that. I freaked out because I never had anything like this happen with my other tats, but this is my color tat. I went to the ER and they prescribed me seven days worth of oral antibiotics as well as topical antibiotic ointment. They told me to wash it two times a day and put a really thin layer of the ointment on. I reached out to my hardest, and I showed him all these pics and he just thinks I’m healing really bad. I honestly think that they’re might’ve been an infection and he just doesn’t want to say. There isn’t any redness really and it’s not hot, but it is tender in those specific areas. Just wanted to reach out and see other people starts that have had color tattoos packed in with a lot of color and how it healed for them. I’m internally freaking out thinking I have some sort of flesh eating virus by the way it looks. So any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. 

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Is it normal for artists to go crazy on a cover up?? I don’t think I am getting another color tattoo after this haha, it’s been so painful and a nightmare. Right now I have burning sensations in those few spots and I’m trying to decipher if it’s because my skin is so tight and it’s stretching because it’s on my arm and every time I turn my arm or move it it stretches. There’s no heat coming from it and from what I can tell there’s no redness. What worries me is the spot where it looks gooey with a little bit of fluid underneath. It’s not leaking anything though. I’m going to take pictures everyday for the next week so I can monitor. I hope these antibiotics work. I’m also wondering if maybe I’m having a little bit of a allergic reaction to the ink which is why it’s burning. I just took a current pic as of now…It looks so gross 🤮. I’m definitely going to need a touch up. But regardless, I’ll keep y’all updated and also provide pics of this daily process while it’s healing that way others can see that are going through the same thing. 

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If its not red and it's not hot and it's not oozing and it doesn't smell bad, it's probably not infected, so no need to freak out about that. It's going to be gooey until you let it dry out. I'm not a doctor, so I can't tell you what YOU should do, but I wouldn't put anything else on it until it heals.

And don't blame color because your artist worked the sh!t out of your skin. I wouldn't ever go back there. That's practically malpractice. There is NO reason to work your skin like that.

 

As @SStu said, let it sit for 6-8 weeks and see where you're at.

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Yes, I agree with you about the artist, having a heavy hand, tearing the crap out of my arm. I literally said today that I’ll never go back to him again. I sent him pictures of my arm and let him know how concerned I was and he said a few things back to me, but he has yet to respond to my other messages. It’s like he just ghosted me. So I’m super upset. This feels like it’s gonna take a long time to heal and it’s ruining every day for me since it’s painful and it feels like it’s throbbing and burning in a few spots. I’m not sure if that’s due to it being really tight or what. But I will have to say I completely regret this tattoo and I know I’m gonna need it touched up and I’m definitely not going back to him ever again. Thanks for the info I appreciate it.!

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@HogriderI really want to do a dry heal, but it has proven to be a little difficult since the color portion is so thick and heavy and it’s cracking and will bleed if I don’t put any moisturizer on. Any recommendations? This is what it looks like today after two days of antibiotics and washing twice a day. I haven’t been putting anything on it at night so it can kind of dry those gooey parts, but I can’t do that for long since they crack and hurt. 

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Oh lord, okay. I’m gonna be miserable for the next month haha. From my previous picture above, have you ever seen anything worse than that when it comes to overworking and heavy handing a tattoo?? Also, is seeping in a few of those nasty areas a common thing with conditions like this? I asked all this when I was at ER and all they said was that they couldn’t diagnose it, but just treat it and they basically kicked me out the door. So I really didn’t get any of my questions answered. And thank you for all of your advice. I really appreciate it!

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Well there were tiny amounts of blood due to the cracking. As far as seeping, there are areas that looked gooey white and some light yellow within the blue portion. Rest of tattoo is fine, just that blue portion is a wreck. I’m on antibiotics, so I’m wondering if it really was an infection and it’s pushing out the nasty gunk of the infection. They put me on a heavy dose of oral antibiotics (CLINDAMYCIN) 4x a day for 7 days. In those bad blue areas it was crusting with light yellow stuff. I have been able to wash all of it off. But thought maybe it’s the antibiotic pushing out the infection. It’s not hot anymore or throbbing or intense pain. Just very very tender and sore in those areas. It’s not getting worse, but definitely going at a snails pace of trying to heal.

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I’m wondering if I’m having an allergic reaction to the ink and the previous ink that was there. But yea, it’s not hot out oozing a bunch of super painful. Just really tender and it bleeds a little in a few places, but I think that’s because the skin is getting hard and it’s so tight and cracking. I have gone to this person before and haven’t really had any other issues. There was one tattoo that he did and in one tiny spot, he went a little deep and it scabbed pretty bad and got nasty, and it fell out The ink did. I didn’t go get it fixed just because it blends well with the tattoo surprisingly. He did my original one on my arm, so I figured I would go back to him for the cover up. This is my first cover up so I don’t know what to expect and I also didn’t even didn’t think about a possible reaction to the previous that tattoo. I do know the previous tattoo and some parts it would become a little raised and itch a litttle, and it was a nine year old tattoo. 

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1 hour ago, Marie said:

I’m wondering if I’m having an allergic reaction to the ink and the previous ink that was there. But yea, it’s not hot out oozing a bunch of super painful. Just really tender and it bleeds a little in a few places, but I think that’s because the skin is getting hard and it’s so tight and cracking. I have gone to this person before and haven’t really had any other issues. There was one tattoo that he did and in one tiny spot, he went a little deep and it scabbed pretty bad and got nasty, and it fell out The ink did. I didn’t go get it fixed just because it blends well with the tattoo surprisingly. He did my original one on my arm, so I figured I would go back to him for the cover up. This is my first cover up so I don’t know what to expect and I also didn’t even didn’t think about a possible reaction to the previous that tattoo. I do know the previous tattoo and some parts it would become a little raised and itch a litttle, and it was a nine year old tattoo. 

You are SERIOUSLY overthinking this. The problem is that the tattooer did an apocalyptically bad job. It's extremely unlikely that there is any kind of reaction going on here, let alone a reaction to the previous tattoo or ink allergy. If you look in the medical literature, tattoo allergies are extremely rare. Yes, some people don't react to some colors, but that's not an actual allergy. As I've previously said, someone's tattoo itches as it heals and they tell everyone it's an ink allergy.

Have an adult beverage, an unprescribed pharmaceutical, or do some yoga. Relax and let it heal. I've seen people so upset about something like this that they can't wait and go out and make it worse looking for a quick solution, Your body needs to heal ... period.

Edited by Hogrider
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Haha yeah you’re probably right I’m really over thinking it. Only reason why I say that is because I just talked to my artist and he thinks that I’m having some sort of chemical reaction. I’m just gonna continue taking the antibiotics just in case and keeping it clean and just letting it he’ll let my body do its thing. I will assess it in a couple weeks. I appreciate all the information and calming my psychopath nerves throughout this lmao! 

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Haha I have to agree with you. He was actually pretty submissive and would take days to get back to me. I will never go back. He also never even had me sign a waiver…which now that I think about it is really stupid on his part. It’s feeling better as each day goes by. It’s starting to really harden up…If course there are still some meaty areas that a pretty deep that look like little chunks were taken out. This will be my own little battle scar 💪🏼haha. Thanks for all info. I’ll update the thread in a few weeks with what it looks like…I’m super curious how this shit show is going to turn out.

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I actually had a bad reaction to a particular color, but it didn't look like that.  I had to take some antibiotics because it bubbled up and all the color fell out. My artist (who I've gone to for years and still do) threw that color away and has never used it again. He didn't try to blame me, and he was actually massively concerned.

That was tattooed with a heavy, heavy hand, and that person doesn't have a clue how to do coverups. Glad you aren't going back. Definitely keep us updated!

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Yes, each hand indeed. The doctor still couldn’t tell me if it was an allergic reaction or infection. So he just gave me antibiotics just in case and some topical steroid cream. I’m just going to take care of it for the next few weeks and hope for the best. Here is a recent picture from this morning. It’s healing very very slowly. Still really tender in the nasty parts. But the rest of the tattoo is healing perfectly fine. 

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Hey!  I'm new here, but I have one that is only 5 days old, and mines is doing the same thing.  I have 6 other tattoos and have never had one do this?  Here's mine.  Since I have the same thing going on as you, heaving scabbing, I don't know how it's going to turn out when it heals.  I'm afraid mine is ruined, honestly.

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1 minute ago, NoCo1234 said:

Hey!  I'm new here, but I have one that is only 5 days old, and mines is doing the same thing.  I have 6 other tattoos and have never had one do this?  Here's mine.  Since I have the same thing going on as you, heaving scabbing, I don't know how it's going to turn out when it heals.  I'm afraid mine is ruined, honestly.

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I still haven’t been able to get a diagnosis of if it was infected or allergic reaction. I honestly believe the tattooist was damn heavy handed. Yours doesn’t look as bad as mine. Only time will tell if yours or mine will be a complete shit show. You never know, it could turn out well. Regardless, it’s always something that can be touched up. In your pic, it honestly looks like normal scabbing, but that’s what I can tell from the picture if you’re referencing the blue areas. If you’re worried, just head to the doctors and they will prescribe you antibiotics and topical steroid cream. It’s definitely helping mine heal…But I’ll definitely need a touch up. Only time will tell when they are healed. It’s gonna take a few weeks

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Yea your definitely looks worse.  Mine is doing this in other places as well, its just worst in the sunset portion of mine.  I've even noticed on mine a few little sections of missing ink, and it's missing some thin lines that were there on day 1.  My artist is supposed to be unbelievably good, but like yours, mine is a cover up as well.  I just don't know what happened here OR if I did something wrongin my initial aftercare.  I don't know I could've, as I do have other tattoos LOL

 

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7 minutes ago, NoCo1234 said:

Yea your definitely looks worse.  Mine is doing this in other places as well, its just worst in the sunset portion of mine.  I've even noticed on mine a few little sections of missing ink, and it's missing some thin lines that were there on day 1.  My artist is supposed to be unbelievably good, but like yours, mine is a cover up as well.  I just don't know what happened here OR if I did something wrongin my initial aftercare.  I don't know I could've, as I do have other tattoos LOL

 

Yeah, I saw Another post somewhere of someone that got a cover-up and theirs kind of did the same thing. So I’m wondering if there’s a lot of tattoo people out there that just really don’t know how to gauge how deep they have to go in terms of a cover-up. Or maybe it has something to do with the old ink mixing with the new ink and it’s causing a reaction I mean who knows 🤷🏻‍♀️. I’m probably gonna have to wait at least three weeks to see probably how the tattoo might turn out just because there’s some really deep pitted areas on mine, and that tissue needs to heal. Like I said, only time will tell and we can just hope for the best. Good news is that you could always get it touched up. Bad news is we really don’t know if it truly was an allergic reaction and if so, then we need to make sure not to put the same ink on it or maybe even get an allergy test before you get your touch up to see possibly what you’re allergic to if it was allergy related. I’m just glad I’m taking these antibiotics to combat any infection while it’s raw and healing. I’ve seen some gnarly tattoo healing before on other people, and also other people that have got some nasty ass infections, and I was absolutely amazed how the tattoos turned out after seeing how fucked up some of them were during the healing stage. So fingers crossed and all we can do is hope for the best. Keep me updated on how it’s going. I’d say if you gets any worse and you’re getting concerned, then just head to the doctor and I’ll hook you up. 

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55 minutes ago, Marie said:

Yeah, I saw Another post somewhere of someone that got a cover-up and theirs kind of did the same thing. So I’m wondering if there’s a lot of tattoo people out there that just really don’t know how to gauge how deep they have to go in terms of a cover-up. Or maybe it has something to do with the old ink mixing with the new ink and it’s causing a reaction I mean who knows 🤷🏻‍♀️. I’m probably gonna have to wait at least three weeks to see probably how the tattoo might turn out just because there’s some really deep pitted areas on mine, and that tissue needs to heal. Like I said, only time will tell and we can just hope for the best. Good news is that you could always get it touched up. Bad news is we really don’t know if it truly was an allergic reaction and if so, then we need to make sure not to put the same ink on it or maybe even get an allergy test before you get your touch up to see possibly what you’re allergic to if it was allergy related. I’m just glad I’m taking these antibiotics to combat any infection while it’s raw and healing. I’ve seen some gnarly tattoo healing before on other people, and also other people that have got some nasty ass infections, and I was absolutely amazed how the tattoos turned out after seeing how fucked up some of them were during the healing stage. So fingers crossed and all we can do is hope for the best. Keep me updated on how it’s going. I’d say if you gets any worse and you’re getting concerned, then just head to the doctor and I’ll hook you up. 

Where are you getting this "old ink mixing with new ink" thing from? Ink put under the skin doesn't "mix." If you put white ink in the same place as you have red ink, it doesn't turn pink. That's not how tattooing works. The simple explanation is most likely the correct one. It's not likely allergies, it's not after care, it's not ink mixing, it's just a heavy hand.  Allergies don't just go away. If you were really allergic to the ink, it wouldn't just heal. That's not how allergies work.

I understand you're looking for answers, but you already have the answer and now there's nothing to do but wait and see how it heals.

Edited by Hogrider
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15 minutes ago, Hogrider said:

Where are you getting this "old ink mixing with new ink" thing from? Ink put under the skin doesn't "mix." If you put white ink in the same place as you have red ink, it doesn't turn pink. That's not how tattooing works. The simple explanation is most likely the correct one. It's not likely allergies, it's not after care, it's not ink mixing, it's just a heavy hand.  Allergies don't just go away. If you were really allergic to the ink, it wouldn't just heal. That's not how allergies work.

I understand you're looking for answers, but you already have the answer and now there's nothing to do but wait and see how it heals.

The old ink and new ink that I was talking about was more about an allergic reaction. My dermatologist stated that has happened quite a few times but can be difficult to identity depending on what tests you take. I’m not saying it “mixes” to produce a different color lol. My dermatologist gave me several scenarios of what could happen if there’s an allergic reaction or infection etc. Of course if it was a full blown “ink allergy” He said surgical removal of the tattoo site would be needed since there is no cure for that. I was just responding to the other dude and shooting the shit. At this point I really don’t care what it is and I’m done looking for answers,  I just am trying to patiently wait on it to heal and see how crazy it looks in a few weeks. 

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15 hours ago, Marie said:

The old ink and new ink that I was talking about was more about an allergic reaction. My dermatologist stated that has happened quite a few times but can be difficult to identity depending on what tests you take. I’m not saying it “mixes” to produce a different color lol. My dermatologist gave me several scenarios of what could happen if there’s an allergic reaction or infection etc. Of course if it was a full blown “ink allergy” He said surgical removal of the tattoo site would be needed since there is no cure for that. I was just responding to the other dude and shooting the shit. At this point I really don’t care what it is and I’m done looking for answers,  I just am trying to patiently wait on it to heal and see how crazy it looks in a few weeks. 

You. Are. Not. Allergic. To. The. Ink. It was a heavy-handed tattoo artist. That's it. The end. Just let the thing heal.

As for you not caring, that's not true—we've told you multiple times what went on with your tattoo, but you keep talking about an allergy.

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