Common Skin Allergic Reaction to Tattooing

I frequently see tattoos everywhere. Some of my friends, clients and even close relatives have them. Many popular celebrities and public personalities have them. The person selling hotdogs in the sidewalk have them. Nowadays, tattooing has become a common thing to many people from all walks of life, regardless of gender.

Personally, I have nothing for and against the practice of inking your skin. It is a personal choice of the person. One important thing though is that deciding to have a tattoo or not is a very important decision that needs much thinking. Having a tattoo or two can have a big impact on the person’s life, particularly in job prospects, relationships and most importantly health.

I know of some people who have suffered from skin problems such as having a skin tear or tattoo scabbing after getting a tattoo. And based on one of the articles I read online, there are a number of skin allergic reactions to tattooing because of the needle or ink used. This list is worth considering if you are still deciding whether to get a tattoo or not:

  • Acute inflammatory reaction. This type of allergic reaction is pretty common. It is when the tattooed area becomes red, irritated and swollen. It may cause pain and discomfort but will normally subside in two or three weeks.
  • Contact Dermatitis. This allergic reaction is a skin inflammation characterized by having red and itchy rashes on the skin. It is not contagious but can cause discomfort. More often, this tattoo allergic reaction is caused by the mercury sulfide present in red tattoo ink.
  • Lichenoid reaction. Although it is a rare allergic reaction, it may still occur on anyone who just got a tattoo, especially one that uses red ink. If your skin develops this kind of reaction, you will notice some small bumps in your skin.
  • Photosensitivity. The tattooed skin may also become sensitive to the sun and develop allergic reaction when exposed. This is especially true for tattoos that use red or yellow pigments.
  • Pseudolymphomatous reaction. It is a type of skin inflammation that does not normally occur after getting a tattoo but months or years after. Red, blue and green tattoo inks are more often the culprit of this condition.
  • Granulomas. They are small bumps that can appear around the tattooed area. In most cases, they are caused by the blue, purple and green inks.

These are just some of the skin allergic reactions that you may get from tattooing. I have not listed here HIV and hepatitis which are also common health risks when getting a tattoo, as they are more than just allergic reactions but a more serious health condition.

If you see any signs of allergic reaction around the tattoo site, see a dermatologist immediately. Don’t try to take care of the problem yourself as it may worsen the symptoms. If there are signs of infection, your doctor may recommend taking antibiotic. In some cases, you may need to have your tattoo removed to treat the problem.