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Can Tattoos Cause Infection?

About Tattoos

For centuries Tattoos have been a part of the human race for various reasons. Humans make permanent markings on their body with pigments and ink deliberately. In the ancient ages, it was done as a mark of social status of an individual or a group. It was a sign of being a member of a particular tribe or group. In some ancient kingdoms tattoos were a sign of the right to passage. In some ancient communities tattoos were made as a mean to ward of evil spirits.

In the modern world, tattoos are made more as a fashion statement. Some tattoos are made to portray the character of an individual. Making of tattoos is done by people of all age groups all across the globe be it men or women. It is also a style statement for many youngsters, more the tattoos in the body the more powerful statement you make amongst your peers.

A tatoo is made through ink and pigments that are inserted through the skin surfaces by needles in the upper layer of the skin. Usually, a hand held machine is used to make a tattoo which functions like a sewing machine when making a particular design by piercing the skin.

Since tatoo making involves piercing the upper layer of the skin, this means that there are chances of an individual getting infected, either by the dye that is being inserted or by the needle. This article gives a brief overview of what are the risks of infection from tattoos and what can be done to prevent Infections from making tattoos.

Can Tattoos Cause Infection?

Can Tattoos Cause Infection?

Coming to the question as to whether tattoos cause infection, then as stated above the answer is that the chances of contracting an infection is quite high if proper hygiene techniques are not used, as during making of a tatoo there is a slight amount of blood that comes out when the needle pricks the outer surface of the skin.

Some of the probable infections that can be contracted from tattoos are:

Allergic Reactions:

The dyes used for making tattoos which are usually red, green, and blue may cause allergic reaction when they come in contact with the skin. It may cause the skin to itch and may make the area tender. This is possible even after several years of having the tatoo made.

Skin Infections

Due to the piercing and pigmentation of the skin that takes place when making a tattoo, skin infections are likely possibility. In some cases, there may be development of granulomas or skin bumps around the tatoo site. There may also be formation of keloids around the tatoo site due to the piercing of the skin.

Bloodborne Diseases

Since some amount of blood comes out when piercing the skin when making a tatoo, if the equipment used for making a tatoo is not washed thoroughly or is contaminated then you may be at risk for contracting certain bloodborne diseases like tetanus, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C which may be quite serious.

In case of an Infection from Tatoo you may need to undergo medical treatment to treat the infection.

Precautions to be Taken before Getting a Tattoo

The first thing that you should do is to make sure whether you need to have a tattoo or not. Never go for a tatoo unintentionally. Do not follow your peers and go for a tatoo just for the sake of having it. Never go for a tatoo under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Important thing to consider is the location where you want to get the tatoo. Usually people go for the arms, shoulder, neck, and back as the place where they want tattoos. While going for a tatoo in or around the stomach then do keep in mind that weight gain or pregnancy may distort the tatoo and make it look ugly.

Make sure to get a tatoo made from reputable tatoo studios who have specially trained people to make tattoos.

You need to ensure that the tatoo artist wears gloves after washing the hands thoroughly before he or she starts making the tatoo.

You need to also be certain that the tatoo artist uses sterilized and proper equipment to make the tatoo. The needles used for making the tatoo should be absolutely new and not a used one. The pigments, trays, and containers should also be new and not a used one.

If the above mentioned tips are followed then you can prevent yourself from Infection from tattoos.


  1. “History of Tattooing” – Smithsonian Magazine https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/tattoos-144038580/

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 29, 2023

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