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Signs of Improper Tattoo Healing

What Goes into Proper Tattoo Care?

Caring for your new tattoo is extremely important for maintaining both the quality of the art and your own health. Though there are many things to watch out for, caring for a fresh tattoo is something you’ll need to fully commit to ensure that nothing happens to it. Directly after getting a new tattoo, you’ll need to give it time to heal. Don’t remove the bandages until the proper amount of time has passed as advised by your tattoo artist. You should also avoid sunlight, this can ruin the quality of the art. You must also keep your new tattoo area clean. Avoid going to places like gyms, and pools. You should even wash your own bedsheets to ensure that no infection occurs on your skin. If you take the proper tattoo aftercare steps, your tattoo should be healing properly, but there are signs to look out for to ensure that this is truly happening.

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How Do I Know My Tattoo is Healing Properly?

If your tattoo is healing properly, you should notice certain things happening with it. Listed below are some things you’ll notice if your tattoo is healing as it should.

  • First, your tattoo will have some irritation around it. After you remove your bandaging after the allotted amount of time recommended by your artist has passed, your skin around the tattoo may be red. It may also be secreting a fluid, or ink may be dripping off of it. This is all normal for the healing process.

  • Next, your tattoo wound may itch for a while. All wounds itch as they are healing. As long as the itchy sensation isn’t unbearable it should be fine. Try to avoid itching it as much as possible as this may slow down the healing process.

  • Then, the area around your tattoo will begin to peel. Your tattoo itself shouldn’t peel off, but the skin it's inked over, or the skin around it may peel off as the natural end of the healing process.

Signs of Improper Tattoo Healing

Though the things above are signs of a proper tattoo healing process, there are some things to look out for that would indicate that something has gone wrong in the healing process. The more prominent signs are below.


Something that can occur to someone who just received a tattoo is an allergic reaction. Some people may not know that they are allergic to certain inks. Once they receive a tattoo their skin will react negatively. Some of the signs of an allergic reaction are below.

Swollen Skin

The skin around your tattoo may begin to swell during the normal healing process. However, if the swelling remains for a long period of time, then this may be an allergic reaction. Another sign that you may be having an allergic reaction is inflammation around the tattoo.


If you start breaking out into hives after getting a tattoo, then this is also a clear cut sign of an allergic reaction taking place. The thing about hives is they can begin happening long after a tattoo is first received. If you begin breaking out into hives it is recommended to seek medical assistance.


Another clear sign that a tattoo may not be healing properly is if the oozing around the tattoo continues after a week has passed. A tattoo healing normally also will ooze near the beginning of the healing process, but this should only take place within the first few days.

Fever Chills

If you find yourself developing a fever soon after getting a tattoo, then a couple of things could be happening. Either you are having an allergic reaction to the ink, or your tattoo got infected, and your body is trying to fight off the infection. In this scenario, you should go see a doctor as soon as you can.

How To Tell If This is a Medical Emergency

Though any of the signs above are serious enough to seek medical assistance, some things should be dead giveaways that something is very wrong. The times when you should immediately go see a doctor are below.

Flu-Like Symptoms

As we saw above, flu-like symptoms can develop if your tattoo gets infected. You can tell that your tattoo is infected if it is oozing odd-colored liquids that are green or yellow, and if you are feeling under the weather. An infection can ultimately be very dangerous to someone no matter how they get it, and if any of these things occur then you should go to a doctor right away.

Allergic Reactions

Earlier, we covered some of the more common allergic reactions that can occur to someone who might’ve not known that they were allergic to tattoo ink. As was mentioned, hives, extreme itchiness, and extreme irritation are all pretty clear signs that something dangerous may be going on. If you develop any of these extreme symptoms, go see a doctor before anything gets worse.

Talk To the Experts at First Class Tattoos in NYC

A lot can go wrong when you get a tattoo, especially if your tattoo artist is inexperienced. We at First Class Tattoos are professional tattoo artists that take extreme pride and caution when it comes to tattooing our clients. If you’re looking for tattoo artists that have safety and cleanliness in mind at all times, and you reside in the New York City area, then choose First Class Tattoos. To make an appointment with us, use our website If you have any questions you can email us at Contact us now, and we’ll get you a tattoo that you can cherish for life. We look forward to your appointment!

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