MoonWraith

Getting another tattoo after bad experience - was this infection, allergic reaction, or what?

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Some of you may remember me from this gem of a thread over a year ago: 

Luckily all is well now, it ended up healing up totally fine (except for a crack down the center from where the scab split 😞

Now originally when I had this whole mess, no one could figure out what was going on: One doc gave me antibiotics for cellulitis, the other said it was an allergic reaction and gave me some cream. But honestly I haven't had a single sign of allergic reaction since . Zero itching, zero sensitivity to the sun, it behaves 100% like any other tattoo. 

Also keep in mind I have shittons of other red ink on my body: Huge red roses on my arm, a big red moon, hell there's even red in the same tattoo that behaved totally fine.

I don't have much confidence in either doc's analysis since both of them said opposite things. Honestly imo the antibiotics are what helped the most.

 But of course, I must be a raving lunatic, because I'm starting to get that itch again for more tattoos. 😛 This is the big question: Originally the "it's an allergy" doc said I shouldn't get any tattoos ever again!!!! And I was like ... wtf .... but okay. But she later took this back when i visited her again a few months later and she saw I had no lasting issue. She then said it would be fine to get blackwork, anything like blue or green that I haven't had issues with before, etc .. Just stay away from red ink

It kind of sketched me out when she said I shouldn't get any tattoos again then changed her mind?!  Her original rational was that allergies "build over time" and your body's reaction builds up slowly, so maybe although it was fine once it could eventually get more severe (she mentioned an extreme cases where someone had systemic shock). What the hell would you guys make of this? Does she just not know anything about tattoos? If she took back the original advice do you think it's fine to get another?

I'm tempted to get some blackwork in the not so distant future, MAYBE a bit of purple or blue . . . what do you guys think?

Edited by MoonWraith

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It wouldn't stop me. 

I'd suspect that not all red inks are manufactured the same way, either. If you want more red, have the artist use what he stocks to draw a simple hidden line on your skin somewhere a couple of weeks prior to the actual session and see what it does!

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24 minutes ago, SStu said:

It wouldn't stop me. 

I'd suspect that not all red inks are manufactured the same way, either. If you want more red, have the artist use what he stocks to draw a simple hidden line on your skin somewhere a couple of weeks prior to the actual session and see what it does!

Yeah, I have a hard time beleiving it was the red because I have shittons of red all over my body! 3 other huge tattoos with red as a main component. It was right over the shin bone - Really think it could have been an infection and the second doc was dead wrong, especailly since the antibiotics helped

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2 hours ago, Hogrider said:

I think I'd follow the doctor's advice. What's your plan if she turns out to be right?

Well the thing is she said one thing and then at the next appt turned around and said something else. First she said "No more tattoos, ever" then later on it was "Tattoos are fine, just no red ink". 

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I have worked for a plastic surgeon for almost 30 years and much of this issue could relate to the body site itself, possibly combined with the actual technique used to create the particular design (shading and color, with more vigorous application). Reds are notorious, though there is no agreement on which reds, and what people are sensitive to what pigments, etc. The lower anterior (aka pretibial) leg is the worst spot for healing due to the poor blood flow and the fact that the lower leg is under pressure as we walk and support our weight. 

So, if you're contemplating another tattoo I'd wager if it is not located in this area the odds are good that you won't have a similar experience. Considering your good result overall it would not stop me either.

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13 hours ago, LizBee said:

I have worked for a plastic surgeon for almost 30 years and much of this issue could relate to the body site itself, possibly combined with the actual technique used to create the particular design (shading and color, with more vigorous application). Reds are notorious, though there is no agreement on which reds, and what people are sensitive to what pigments, etc. The lower anterior (aka pretibial) leg is the worst spot for healing due to the poor blood flow and the fact that the lower leg is under pressure as we walk and support our weight. 

So, if you're contemplating another tattoo I'd wager if it is not located in this area the odds are good that you won't have a similar experience. Considering your good result overall it would not stop me either.

this happened to me, I had a reaction  to red on my right arm, but many many tattoos later and many with red I have not ever had a bad reaction to red again.

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On 2/14/2021 at 11:27 AM, LizBee said:

I have worked for a plastic surgeon for almost 30 years and much of this issue could relate to the body site itself, possibly combined with the actual technique used to create the particular design (shading and color, with more vigorous application). Reds are notorious, though there is no agreement on which reds, and what people are sensitive to what pigments, etc. The lower anterior (aka pretibial) leg is the worst spot for healing due to the poor blood flow and the fact that the lower leg is under pressure as we walk and support our weight. 

So, if you're contemplating another tattoo I'd wager if it is not located in this area the odds are good that you won't have a similar experience. Considering your good result overall it would not stop me either.

Thank you for the reply! Honestly this is about exactly what I always suspected: When I had the original piece done the artist was . . . Let's just say kind of heavyhanded in that area? She used a lot of numbing spray and she just kept going at it, going at it, layering the ink: So that seems to support your hypothesis of vigorous application, lol. This post makes me feel a lot better so thank you for that. I think if I get another one I'm going to stick to areas I haven't had a problem with in the past like arms, calf, etc. I have 3 large tattoos away from this area (one on calf, two on upper arm) and they all healed like a gem so I really do think you're probably right and it was the "cursed area" 😛

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On 2/15/2021 at 1:20 AM, Dan said:

this happened to me, I had a reaction  to red on my right arm, but many many tattoos later and many with red I have not ever had a bad reaction to red again.

It's so weird how stuff like that happens. Like you can see in the pics that red was totally fine on the upper part of my leg o_O And the artist commented on how weird it was because the red on my arms is also perfect and healed like a gem! So it seems unlikely it's some kind of full-body red ink allergy ... the human body is so weird, I almost seems like different areas can be "sensitive" or "allergic" or whatever you call it while the rest is fine

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Green and red always end up spotty on me. They always have to be touched up. Nothing to do with my artist because he's done 99% of my tattoos, and those are the only colors it happens on.

It's just weird how tattoos heal badly in some places and not others.

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On 2/16/2021 at 5:22 PM, oboogie said:

Green and red always end up spotty on me. They always have to be touched up. Nothing to do with my artist because he's done 99% of my tattoos, and those are the only colors it happens on.

It's just weird how tattoos heal badly in some places and not others.

Yeah the green got patchy on mine at the bottom too. Maybe we have the same thing going on? The artist offered to go over it again but I'm not sure I'm going to take her up on it just yet. I think I'm gonna just get some some more blackwork first instead and then see how I feel about reopening this can of worms, lol. It was just so bad the first time I'm afraid to get work done in that spot again.

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