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Help!! My new tattoo has formed a rash!!! I assume that it...

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Question by twh
Submitted on 8/6/2003
Related FAQ: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 9/9--Bibliography
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Help!!  My new tattoo has formed a rash!!!  I assume that it is from the lotion that i used on it or the antibiotic ointment from the first four days.  When it started itching (about a week after getting it) i just figured it was because it was scabbing.  (it's on my back, so i can't see it very well) MY husband later informed me that there was a rash on and around it.  What can i use to get rid of the rash and not hurt the tattoo?  The itching is killing me, and it's SO hard not to scratch!!!!

Answer by ravenfrost
Submitted on 8/6/2003
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My new tattoo on my back has developed hives around it that itch horribly, So I am making sure it stays clean and am being careful to only put lotion on the tattoo itself. I am also trying some antihistamines to reduce swelling. I also think it was probably caused by the ointment or lotion I used. I think that is the best course of action I have come up with. If anyone has better ideas, please tell me... It is so hard to not scratch the whole area! it does feel better for a while after i wash it with natural facial cleanser. (no soap, no dyes or perfume)


Answer by illustratedman114
Submitted on 9/1/2003
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The best lotion to use on any new tattoo is "currel" brand. Buy at any market. Make sure it's the non-fregrance type. After 22 years of collecting ink, I started using this brand 4 years ago. It beat all the previous oitments and lotions.


Submitted on 2/28/2004
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Answer by Aaron
Submitted on 2/29/2004
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I had a new tattoo that started rashing... cruell works good but eucherin worked better... my rash actually spread from my arm to my back... neosporin around the tattoo works best to get rid of it.. never put any thing besides un sented lotion on it


Answer by Shants
Submitted on 3/13/2004
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I just got my tattoo 19 hours ago, and I use A+D Ointment, which seems to make my tat sensitive.  Is this normal, because my skins still tender?  What type of lotion should i use after the first few days.


Answer by Jules
Submitted on 3/17/2004
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My seventh tattoo started rashing and itching and swelling like you wouldn't believe. I think it was the green dye that did me in. Some Currell Lotion  on it and neosporin around it-AROUND it ONLY!! Take some antihistimines+painrelievers for the swelling. A cold compress won't hurt either.


Answer by Jules
Submitted on 3/21/2004
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I hve the CURE!!  I rash unbelievably!! Your skin will rash because the petrolium based ointment blocks the pores in your skin.  To fik this just use a water based ointment like Aquaphor- sparingly. This will clear up your hives in a few days.


Answer by megan
Submitted on 4/4/2004
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i have an all black tattoo and have been using neosporin  for the 1st day but have read that its bad... some black ink has been coming out of my tattoo is that because of the neosporin  or does that always happen? the tattoo dosnt looked faded but i dont like how inks coming out what should i use sence neosporin isnt the best idea


Answer by Bec
Submitted on 4/7/2004
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I had a rash appear three days after getting my tattoo.Dr. said it was a prickly heat rash from the onintment i was useing said I was suffocating the skin. stop use of the onintment keep area wash with cool water only apply unscented lotion on tattoo in thin layer


Answer by F L E S H  E A T E R
Submitted on 4/13/2004
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As a Tattooist myself I will share what has worked on me and for me with clients from first hand experience...This should generally answer everything i'veread above:#1.Make sure the tattoo artist uses Green Soap for wiping during the tattoo process.#2.Make sure if vaseline or any other petroleum substance is being used on your skin to prevent bleeding during the tattoo process that it is perfume free and used sparingly on the area applied.#3.If recieving a tattoo with dyed pigments research the ingredients and your allergic reation if any to them before exposing the pigment to your skin.#4Make absolutely sure that the finished tattoo is cleaned off properly i.e: wash with green soap and apply mild force to cleanse away any blood,ink,soap...dry afterwards then apply (I use Bacitracin ointment, seems to work very well from my experience)healing ointment and wrap.#5.use preferred ointment until beggining signs of flaking occur, then switch to your preff. lotion which will be perfume & alcohol free..steer away from lotions that state an increased healing process( I also reccommend curell which has worked quite nice for me)...I take no responsibility for any statements made by myself in the response above, this information has been posted as a general guideline for proper care of skin during and after a tattoo..I do not reccomend following my response verbatim but instead use it as a comparison guide when recieving your next tattoo..Thanks...Mr.C


Answer by Brianna
Submitted on 4/22/2004
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I came into this site because I just got my second tattoo on my back, 3 days ago. Mine has just started to get a small rash around it. I was using a sort of Vaseline, and yesterday switched to neosporin. Just in one day the rash has already begun to shrink in size. And no longer itches unbearably.


Answer by newtat06
Submitted on 5/20/2004
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i just got a tattoo about 2 weeks ago and it looks faded people have told me its because its on my the top of my foot and other people say its because the ink wasn't inserted deep enough what do i do?


Answer by HELP ME!!!!
Submitted on 5/20/2004
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I just got my second tattoo and its on my foot when i got home and took the bandage off, i put on some lotion and i realized the next day it wasn't fragrance free lotion so i went out and bought some fragrance free curel lotion and still my foot has swelled up even more and my tattoo seems to be leaking color what do i do!!?!?!?!?!!?!


Answer by caely
Submitted on 6/3/2004
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I got a tattoo about 3 months ago. I have developed an allergic reaction to it, and now have a rash all over my body. I have no clue how to get rid of it. The doctors cant even figure it out!!!


Answer by Alyssa Baker
Submitted on 6/14/2004
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I got a tattoo yesterday and developed a rash this morning when I woke up, it was all over my back, my shoulders my stomach and chest... any ideas on reducing it or getting rid of it?



Answer by snail
Submitted on 6/19/2004
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if the artist skeeves you out or you are scared to go back you probably shouldn't have gone to them in the first place.
Do not go through your medicine cabinet and provide the new tattoo with your own version of wound care. Many things you would use to heal a wound, neosporin, bacitracin, hydrogen peroxide..etc...ruin tattoos.


Answer by itchy
Submitted on 7/12/2004
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i'vehad a small tattoo for over 5 years now and every now and then it gets itchy, and even a little bumpy in some areas.  is this normal?????????


Answer by Leilani
Submitted on 7/18/2004
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I recently received my first tattoo last week in Samoa (formerly known as Western Samoa).  It's a Samoan tribal band that goes around my ankle.  It probably wasn't the smartest idea since the conditions weren't too sanitary (ask if you want details).  I decided to get it anyways.  The man that did it said just use soap and water for after care instructions (he only spoke Samoan, which I sort of understand).  I really didn't have too much of an idea on how to care for my tattoo, so I just took one of my cousin's advice of using vaseline all the time.  That's exactly what I did, and I unknowingly put too much on for a couple of days.  My tattoo was constantly leaking ink.  I was told this is normal.  5 days after I got it, I had to fly back home to Florida (a 15 hour plane ride).  Halfway during the ride, my tattoo seemed to become very irritated, since it was red and swollen and I still kept the vaseline on it.  My aunt (whose entire thighs are tattooed) told me to wrap it up in wet, cold cloth to soothe the redness and swelling.  I did that for the rest of the trip.  I think this combination turned out for the worse for my tattoo.  Now, a week later, it looks like part of my tattoo has had an infection.  It looks pretty bad and it sucks.  But now I just put Lubriderm on it, and it's starting to heal now.  Hopefully my story tells people what not to do, but tattooists here tell you the right way to take care of your tats.  So good luck to me and yall.


Answer by parker
Submitted on 7/21/2004
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i have had my tattoo for over a year now but all of a sudden ive got a rash on part of the tattoo thats on my forearm.
its bumped up and is leaking a brownish water. ive had it for 3 days now a im considering cosolting my GP.
ive been cleaning it with cold water and applying an antiseptic cream (germolene)everyday. the rash goes down in the afternoon but jumps back the next morning.
im worried it going to spread onto the rest of my tattoo and arm.
could someone please help ?


Answer by ashley
Submitted on 8/17/2004
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have a week old tattoo--and just recently started 'rashing' or some thing like it, it looks more like zits, but they're in a pattern like a rash- coincidentally my friend who got one with me, has the same thing. I was told the artist uses different ink then the others at the store- this may be the effect, but if its allergies- it would be very odd we BOTH have it. I'm curious if this will continue or stop...? Could it be that he went to deep, and my skin got irritated..because its not on the tattoo, its in the general vicinity...
this is long-sorry, if anyone knows about this please contact me



Answer by des
Submitted on 9/11/2004
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i had just got a tat on my back a week ago and 3 days later i fund that i had a rash on and a round my whole tatto its on my back so i cant tell you how it look i have been using A-D on my tat and iT must broke me out so i been clean it with baby soap and useing HYDROCORTISON AND STILL DONT SEEM TO HELP AT ALL SOME ONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT TO DO !!!!!


Answer by Veronika
Submitted on 9/23/2004
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five days ago I got my first tattoo here in my country Honduras. My tattoo is located in my lower back. My tattoo artist recomended a put on a lot of vaseline on, about every hour. Then one of my friends told me to stop putting on vaseline and to start putting on an ointment called Kamilosan and the same day i started to put it on it created an awfull rash with several white spots, it itches HORRIBLY. PLEASE MAKE IT GO AWAY... HELP!


Answer by Kiki
Submitted on 11/16/2004
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I got a new tattoo about two weeks ago, and it has since developed painful, red, swollen, pimple like bruises around it. I have been using a+d ointment after showers or baths and before I go to bed every night. What could be causing this irritation, and what can I do to help it?


Answer by leah
Submitted on 2/16/2005
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i recently got a new tattoo about a week ago. and i have a few questions about it. first, i had a horrible allergic reaction to something, i am not sure if it was the vasaline he used or the green soap becuase the tattoo actually isnt finished yet becuase it is so big, but the rash only appeared in spots on my arm where the green soap was applied. i was wondering if there are any sugegestions as what to use for soap when i get the tat finished.

second, since the tat isnt finished yet is it better to wait for the rest of it (the outline and shading) to heal before i get it finished?

please help me someone!



Answer by dolly
Submitted on 2/22/2005
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Listen to us all! We all sound like we're covered in oozing sores and itching lumps!
Dont EVER use a petroleum based salve - like vaseline for AFTERCARE - use a natural oil based salve for the first few days like Black Cat tattoo or tattoogoo, and then on the fourth day switch to a perfume free cream like E45 or savlon for the next two weeks. Wash in green soap only, If you develop a rash - go to the doctor. Yes, even if youve had a tattoo for years, sometimes they can get raised and bumpy - ink is still a foreign body under the skin. Again, put some cream on to soothe it, dont scratch it and leave it alone. Any nasty looking rash around a recent tattoo is probably an allergy or youve suffocated your skin over applying your cream. Go to a doctor.


Answer by CIAO
Submitted on 3/30/2005
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Answer by CIAO
Submitted on 3/30/2005
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Answer by Nitocris
Submitted on 4/13/2005
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hey people, just a thought, but have any of you tried Tattoo goo?
this range of products works wonders on your new tattoo!!
(a little of info from the site)
Aftercare for your new tattoo has been a subject of debate in the tattoo community for many years. Tattoo artists have had to recommend a variety of products available from your local drug store. These products were intended to prevent cuts, burns, scrapes and abrasions from becoming infected and not for the healing of new tattoos. The majority of these products contain petroleum or lanolin which, when applied to a new tattoo, can clog skin pores and actually retard your body's healing process. There is also the possibility of allergic reactions to these products, and, application to a new tattoo can cause skin reactions leading to loss of ink and permanent damage to your tattoo....
hope this helps a few of you,
its worth looking at!


Answer by laura
Submitted on 4/22/2005
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PEOPLE!!!! use AQUAPHOR!!!! Its the best there is! works to heal your rash and Is the #1 recomended for tattoos today! Just got over A tattoo rash myself. This stuff works! Trust me! just some advice- NEVER EVER EVER USE A&D ointment or Vasaline!


Answer by IEatInk
Submitted on 5/6/2005
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I got a skin rash from yellow ink in a new tat, this is my 15th... Neosporin and Curell seem to be working. My doctor friend suggested any anti-histamine and antibiotic cream, but so far the neosporin is doing the trick... When they say THIN layer of neosporin, they mean it...


Answer by CARLOs
Submitted on 5/29/2005
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Answer by nikiah10039
Submitted on 7/9/2005
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i got an tattoo a week ago and i got a rash on it and around it i dont know what to put on it please help nikiah2@hotmail.com thankyou


Answer by kmizono
Submitted on 7/11/2005
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help! my tatoo does not look good. some of the ink on the writing has bled through my skin. is this a bad tatoo or will this go away???


Answer by Alexis
Submitted on 9/13/2005
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I got a small all black tattoo on the front of my hip 3 days ago, it looks like it starting to scab up, but its still red around the tattoo.  Could this be just redness caused by having clothes rub up against it, or is it a problem?  Its still a bit sore too.


Answer by Roto (unclezillion@hotmail.com)
Submitted on 10/25/2005
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for all of you out there
1. vaseline is generally fine for all tattoos, however, many people use products such as tattoo goo, bpanthen or some pile creams etc. talk and listen to your tattooist.
2. wash your new tattoo at least two or three times a day with a good quality anti bacterial soap.
3. only use a studio that is certificated
4. research who you want to do your tattoo: there are many terrible tattooists out there and there are also many great ones. take your time and go by quality of work not the cheapest price. tattoos are there for life so take your time and save up for a good quality work.(if you need to)
5. never let some idiot with a home made machine and crap inks tattoo you under any circumstances as the almost all have no idea what they are doing and wil only make a mess of your body


Answer by seth
Submitted on 10/31/2005
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I have prickly red rashes around and on new tattoos whenever there is a petroleum product used.  My artist used to use A & D while tattooing and for wrap-up.  We finally figured out that that was what was causing my terrible rash (itchy as hell but my tats all healed perfectly anyways).  Since then he stopped using it and the rash went away.  Use Tattoo Goo since it is petroleum free for healing and never caused me a problem.  Stay away from pretty much any ointment (neosporin etc.) and never use Ink Fixx brand healing ointment since it's petroleum based and gave me a bad reaction also.  We're still looking for a good alternative to the A & D since he needs to occasionally block my bleeding in areas that he's working on.  We've tried water based lubricant but it's not as effective and it dries up too fast.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  We stopped using the petroleum products and since I've had no rash.  I heal also with Vasaline Advanced Healing lotion and love it.  
later gators


Answer by princess
Submitted on 11/7/2005
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i got a tatto done last monday so its been a week now and on saturday spots started to appear round my tattoo....and i think they have multiplied they itch like crazy....what do i do??? help please????  
sarah from the UK  xxx


Answer by stevie
Submitted on 11/13/2005
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i have many tattoos but found i only got a rash wen i had the insides of my forearms done i talked to my tattooist and many other people and what i found it is that the petroleum jelly or whatever form used on our skin to stop bleeding during the tattoos suffocates the skin causing irritation that gives you the rash you will find that the rash will form most of the shape around your tattoo rather than on it


Answer by dannyboy1012
Submitted on 11/16/2005
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ok well i have three tats (back left shoulder, back right shoulder, and a tribal arm band [originally drawn fyi]) and on all three, ive been told after about 4-6 hours wash with soap and warm water, and pat dry, then apply a paper thin layer of normal original non scented lotion for like 7-10 days, seems to work for me, no loss of color, and no irritation of the skin, but then again, thats just me, hope that helped


Answer by dudeinthehut
Submitted on 12/21/2005
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Every reacts differently to tattoos and to the after care used to take care of it. No single answer exists. As an artist, I like green soap prep, heavy A&D ointment under bandage for two hours and then a VERY thin A&D coat or Vaseline Intensive Care lotion continuing care. The bumps happen because you are using too much ointment. The rashes happen for the same reason or because you skin dislikes the lotion you are using. Contrary to belief, the tattoo NEEDS nothings to heal. Your body will heal itself. Just keep it clean and let it get some air. We use lotion or ointment to keep it moist. This prevents relieves itching and cracking which can both lead to damage to the art. A thin application is key. Just use enough to moisten the skin, but not so much that it prevents air from getting to it. Also, when all that flaking occurs, and all that COLOR falls off, that's just the outer layer of skin throwing in the towel due to damage from the needle--much like a sunburn reacts as it heals. The tattoo is fine, regardless of how big and black the flakes are. Just DON'T PICK THE SCABS!


Answer by DPDP
Submitted on 1/13/2006
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i just got a tattoo about a week ago and i have a rash around it as well.  I think it might be because when i take a shower i just let the water and the shampoo/conditioner from my hair run down my back. I know that you are not supposed to used anything that is scented so maybe that is why.


Answer by Marleybones
Submitted on 1/24/2006
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Im here in Iraq, and got a full arm, chest and back covering tattoo. Everything was going well for the first half of the inking process. Thats a lot of inking and time put in to cover that mass area, so we decided to wait for a few days to start the other half. The tattoo was covered with A&D ointment, and the next morning I had the normal oozing and ink loss. That night I was beginning to feel the skin scab over. But by morning little red bumps were appearing, and the skin was swelling up. By the 3rd day I had a full blown rash sweeping across my back and chest, over my neck which had not been tattooed yet. I was distressed as it itches like a million mosquito bites. Im not adding any ointments or lotions, neosporin to the rashed area. Cold water alone, and clean clothing will get the rash to mellow out after time. Its just one of those things you can expect to happen after you are jammed with tiny needles all over your body. The rash and tattoo come together hand in hand, time soothes all problems. Just wait it out.


Answer by ttt
Submitted on 1/25/2006
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i got my tattoo 3 weeks ago on my back and like everyone else a rash formed and was unbearably itchy. It went down in 2 weeks but i still have them.  I never scratched it but it seems to look a little scarred.  What should i use to make the scars go away?


Answer by ilagwen
Submitted on 2/14/2006
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i got a new tattoo on my hip a few days ago, seems to be healing well, all normal really, apart from the strange red spots i have around it. i have a feeling it might be the E45 i use on it but can anyone help? x


Answer by jamie
Submitted on 2/23/2006
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I'm am only 15 and im getting my tattoo in 2 days i am sh1tin can you get something so it wont hurt as much


Answer by sarahzzz
Submitted on 2/24/2006
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Tattoos are for squares. Don't get one.


Answer by 0jGenGfNoa
Submitted on 2/25/2006
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ubcdfimDMuif C9Ujfo4faza NSd7UNuPli


Answer by Manny
Submitted on 3/6/2006
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Vaseline intensive care is very good i just got my tattoo recently i decided not to go with the ointment creams and was the best decision ive made u might wanna try that plus is very common to find since theres million types of ointments


Answer by LunChBoxX
Submitted on 3/27/2006
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I say i got a tattoo about a month and a half ago and haven't had any problems...all you have to do is follow simple directions and if you don't know anything about tattoos or how to take care of them then obviously you shouldn't have one !! you simply have to have common sense...have a wonderful day and i hope your rashes go away...hahaha...


Answer by Harold
Submitted on 4/24/2006
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I recently got a tattoo 3 weeks ago. The lettering is solid red on the bottom half of the letters. The top half is orange, yellow, gold, and green. Those areas have healed fine but the red is still swollen like (puffy feeling). I've talked to friends who have gotten red in tattoos and they too had this issue and just told me that it took longer for the red areas to heal. I recommend the Curel Ultra Healing lotion (non-fragrance) as well. Great stuff. I see some red spots and I also see some redness around the red part of the lettering. Gonna give it a few more weeks and if it's not better head back to the artist as he's good as knowing what's wrong and also fixes anything that needs touching up at no cost. I do know that the red areas still are really sensitive if I bump into a table or chair (it's on the outside of my right leg). And it's sensitive to the touch on the red areas but the other areas of the letters are not. Any advice is welcomed. I'll check here or you can email me at hmartin @ gmail DOT com (remove the spaces and replace DOT with well a .)


Answer by Kaite
Submitted on 5/31/2006
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I got my first tattoo a week ago on my side. Nothing was wrong for the first 3 days and then I started getting a rash that looked like a bunch of pimples around the tattoo. It has just been getting worse and worse over the past few days and its only around my tattoo not on it. Any idea?


Answer by lesia
Submitted on 6/2/2006
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I got a tattoo around my ankle a month and 2 weeks ago and now it has little red bumps that itch like crazy around it have i used to much lotion someone please help me my email is oshottiems@yahoo.com thanks


Answer by jt07
Submitted on 6/3/2006
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i have had my tattoo for about over a year now, and once in awhile at least 3 times a month it starts to itch very badly... can anyone help with what it might be????


Answer by Lor
Submitted on 6/14/2006
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I got a tatt a few days ago, I also have a rash that is killing me with itch, Im actually getting scared as this is my first tatt. I used Lubriderm unscented, but have stopped using it, but find the rash is getting worse anyway..

Please send me advice



Answer by mandy
Submitted on 6/23/2006
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When I got my tat about 4 or 5 years ago. they put stuff on it there and wrapped it.They told me to put vaseline on it. That didn't sound right to me. My father and mother both have tats and called them. I ended up now i did this myself weither it will work for you who knows but have have had nooo problems since i got mine. Didn't even get red. I got antibacterial hand soap. Dial. When i got home i put some on a wash cloth and washed it. then  that night i put neosporin on it. the next day no redness or anything didn't even know i had it. For the next couple of days maybe every other put vaseline on it. Put third day it just peeled of looking like a temporary tat. no scabbing or anything. It did burn when using the dial but just a few seconds then wiped off. Hope this helps anyone. My husband also knows a girl that is allergic to her tat and had to have hers taken off.


Answer by ABH
Submitted on 6/27/2006
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I have 14-15 tattoos right now, totalling about 100 combined hours of tattooing.  The best advice I can give is this.  I NEVER used anything petroleum based on my ink until this last tattoo! BAD IDEA.  So many people have allergies to petroleum, it's not even funny.  And what is the fuel we put in our car made out of? PETROLEUM.  WE ARE PUTTING THIS CRAP ON OUR OPEN WOUNDS PEOPLE.  My doctor told me a long time ago, never use anything with petroleum on your skin.  I listened to a new artist,who recomended A & D, and here I am, with a nasty little rash on my belly.  So there ya go.  Lubriderm, unscented body butters work well for me, but NEVER VASOLINE OR A & D!


Answer by amandie
Submitted on 6/29/2006
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Hi, I just got a tattoo on my chest on the right side over a month ago. It was fine up until about 1 week half to 2 weeks ago- the area is bumpy, some red and its under/on the tattoo. It itches a lot... I'm not allergic to anything that I know of. I went camping 3 weekends ago and thought maybe poison ivy but wouldn't it be affected all over my body, not just the tattoo you know?... Any answers would be GREATLY appreciated... amandie@gmail.com thankssss


Answer by Answer by Holly
Submitted on 7/6/2006
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I just got a tattoo and it had developed a rash as most of you had mentioned (red bumps and itchy).  I read that I should put NOTHING on it in order for it to go away.  From what I have read and that makes the most sense to me is that the rash is created either by a reaction to the ink and or clogged pores from all the lotion/ointment you may be applying to protect your tattoo.  I recommend putting nothing on it and let it heal on its own  That is what I did and it worked; it took my rash about 4 days to disappear.  Your skin needs to breath and putting all that cream on it is suffocating it.  Don't worry, your tattoo is not going to suffer and fade.


Answer by pantysniffer
Submitted on 7/30/2006
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i just got my out line done and it itches


Answer by butterflyhale
Submitted on 8/17/2006
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I just got a new tattoo a week ago.  About 4 days after I got the tattoo, I got a rash around it.  The next day it began itching.  It only itches when I get hot and sweat.  I have 3 other tattoos and never had this problem.  What could this be, and what can help it go away?


Answer by johnnyfive
Submitted on 8/22/2006
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hey i got a tattoo 8 days ago and i am also getting a rash it jus looks like a bunch of goosebumps all over my tattoo, after rreading i think i am gonna go out and get curell lotion. is this the right idea? and ne 1 who experienced this..did you have to go back and get your tattoo touched up after the rash?!!?..this one hurt alot i dont want to go back.


Answer by miss.fashion.
Submitted on 8/28/2006
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i recently got a tattoo and started using A & D, first off DO NOT USE THIS. I began to see a rash right away. The a & d clogs the pores and it made my skin itch even more. Try things that are lighter and do not clog pores!
I am using "Tattoo Goo" (this is supposed to enhance the color of your tattoo as well as take care of your tattoo) and Curel. They both work rather well.


Answer by H.n.
Submitted on 8/28/2006
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This seems to be an old thread but if it's any help at all, you should be posting the specific colours that are giving you problems - ie. where does the rash develop? On what section? Which ink colour (if there is colour)?

It's extremely disturbing when after all is said and done, a client has to face an infection or allergic reaction. Even though many of the tattoo studios claim that this is rare, I hear of many instances where RED ink, while popular, is also an infamous culprit.

Most inks manufactured today have no ingredients listed on their bottles plainly because the manufacturers are not required to put them there. Inks can contain toxic amounts of metals such as nickels, coppers and cobalt. Some compounds are more stable than others, others are plain horrific. It is only in the past year (2005) that chemists and scientists are starting to place studies on ink ingredients.

STAY AWAY from cinnabar and cadmium when dealing with RED pigments. These two are only two examples of the plethora of metals that have been identified in ink.

BLACK inks are reportedly the "safest" and most stable. They are usually derived organicly from logwood, and turned into indian ink. Indian ink is used as a medium for other art forms as well.

While *most* tattoo studios claim that manufactured inks "today" are "safe", do your best by asking around. Test them to see if the artists are aware of what is in their ink. There are vegan inks but arguments that those do not work as well.

Rash breakouts are common with some pigments. Other pigments are photo-sensitive (reacts with sunlight). Do not expose unprotected inks to the sun! When it is healing, sun exposure is not even negotiable. Do not try it. It takes less than one hour to destroy a healing tattoo. Always use as much as an SPF 45, if you can help it, and AT LEAST an SPF 30. Daily.

Always remember that a new tattoo is an open wound. We are only recently studying other effects of tattooing - from sweat gland disruption, cancer and allergic reactions. Know your body and understand what you're putting in it.

If you're very concerned, ask for a tiny patch test by your artist before moving on to a massive piece of work. It's not suggested by any studio but do what you have to do for your own piece of mind.


Answer by Melissa
Submitted on 9/3/2006
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I need help i got a tattoo 3 days ago and i have a pimple looking rash all over it and my other tattoo...What should I do?  I have only put mild baby lotion on it and it is horrible i got it last time and my doctor said i was allergic to neosporin so i didnt use it this time....What do i do


Answer by browncigar
Submitted on 9/9/2006
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I think it comes down to the person's skin, and the experience the tattoo artist has. I went to a shop and had a tat done, he said he was doing it for three years, well, he screwed up my tat and the ink pretty much didn't stay in...as far as the lotions go, i tried the a&d stuff, killed my tat...now i am trying neosporin, it has done the job this time around, now i need to buy curel for the finishing touches...stay away from that a&d stuff..its a killer


Answer by cnene
Submitted on 9/19/2006
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i got my tattoo like 2 months ago and everything was fine but like a weeke ago star to get itchy and a little bumpy but only in the outline of the tattoo please can you help me


Answer by Killswitch
Submitted on 10/31/2006
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I just gave myself another tat on my the left side of my stomache, heading into my side.   I have never gotten a rash before from a tattoo, nor have any of my friends, but one appeared over my fresh ink a few days ago.

Being amateur, I thought nothing of it.  It itches like hell, its bumpy and when I rub it, it feels like leather almost.  Its kinda nasty.

I've always used regular A & D for my tats, but I only used it the first day with this tat and not since for experiment purposes.  Im thinking the rash could be from the areas sensitivity or the lack of proper care for it (A & D, etc).


Answer by sweetcheeks4205
Submitted on 11/20/2006
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I have a tat thats like a yr old and it now after this long its covered in itchy bumps... why is it breaking out after so long? Help a sista out here!! any info-- sweetcheeks41203@hotmail.com


Answer by lovingtats
Submitted on 11/23/2006
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I have had my new tat for 1 week and I started to develop a pimple like rash. So, I went in to the artist who did it and apparently it is pretty common to get this. Ink is a foreign object in your body and the pimples is your body's way of trying to reject it. All you need to do is to apply a very, and I mean very thin layer of polysporin to your tat and the rash about 3 times a day until it is completely healed. Make sure you use very little. You don't need a ton and as long as you are careful your tat should stay beautiful.


Answer by stephanie
Submitted on 11/24/2006
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i just got my tattoo about a week ago. and it seems to formed a rash around it. the ointment i was told to use was a + d ointment. my mom told me that if i use the ointment it would help but it seems to not. what should i do?


Answer by kerry
Submitted on 12/14/2006
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erm hi iv had my new tattoo for bout 5 days and iv just woke up this mornin and iv got a rash of red spot things all round it and further away from it too. i havent been putting any fragranced lotion on it or anything. This is my 4th tattoo and all the others were fine. could someone please tell me what it is?


Answer by Fish
Submitted on 1/7/2007
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i put vaseline on my tattoo...only for a few days though and i think the ink did leak..and i dont know its my first one and im scared i messed it up, i now got tattoo goo which will help hopefully..but would the vaseline ruin the tattoo?


Answer by John
Submitted on 1/18/2007
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I just got my new tattoo on Saturday to day is now thursday and it itchy really bad what should i do to make the irritation go away?


Answer by Jai
Submitted on 2/4/2007
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Well... i got a tattoo about a month ago and it's startes a rash almost everywhere and I'm using Vitamin E oil and I dont know what to do?


Answer by Mark
Submitted on 2/15/2007
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I've just had a tattoo sleeve/cover up started & have developed a weird rash all over my torso,neck & arms. It looks like ring worm but its not as i had that when i was a kid. The rash is slightly sore & itchy all at once with a ring-like apperance,i have it mainly on my back up my neck & some on my arms. The majority is around the new tattoo...anyone got any ideas??

Thank you
Mark, Ireland.


Answer by mm
Submitted on 2/17/2007
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I recently got a tattoo. I was using A and D ointment, then I developed a rash and called my artist about it. He told me to use lotion. I've been doing that for 3 days now, but the rash seems to be spreading. Is this normal?


Answer by Nick
Submitted on 2/21/2007
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I have something that looks like heat rash..Is this possible to get from a tattoo? or do I just have hives...Also, is there anyway to prevent getting the breakout because my tattoo is on ongoing piece...


Answer by mangos
Submitted on 3/4/2007
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well i have a 5 tattoos and on all of them i have used vitamin e .it come in little capsules just break them open and apply on your tattoo.it works really good.


Answer by redhead
Submitted on 3/8/2007
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These are the instructions I recieved from my tattoo artist and have seen come from many other shops as well:

For the first 48 hours or so use the ointment given to you by the shop, or if you aren't given anything then use A&D ointment, "tattoo goo" (which is a specific brand), or a similar product. Apply a couple times a day. And just A LITTLE. Using too much will soak up the ink, removing it from the tattoo. Use about a pea size for a 6-inch by 3-inch tattoo, and spread evenly.

After 48 hours switch to a WATER-BASED lotion (very important). Make sure the first ingredient in the lotion is WATER. Apply a couple times a day in the same way as the ointment--very sparingly, just enough to cover it slightly so that it doesn't dry and crack.

Expect your tattoo to itch starting the 4th or 5th day. This is normal! Continue to apply your lotion, but DO NOT SCRATCH or pick at the peeling tattoo. This can permanently damage your tattoo, as you will scratch the ink out. If the itching in unbearable try slapping the tattoo--the sting should take the itch away temporarily.

For the first 2 weeks to a month, keep your tattoo away from: direct sunlight, pools, hot tubs, baths, or warm heavy steam. Showers are okay, but try to keep them to 10-15 minutes and DO NOT soap or scrub the tattoo. Pat the tattoo dry, don't rub.

The healing process, on average, is 2 weeks. Larger, more detailed, or color-heavy tattoos may take longer. Foot and hand tattoos also take about twice as long to heal and are twice as sensitive during the healing process--so don't over moisturize, DO NOT wear socks or shoes for the first couple weeks if you can avoid it, and try to take very quick showers.

Hopefully this information helps. It is normal for your tattoo to itch. I would not recommend Neosporin ON the tattoo itself based on the information I've recieved from artists and shops.

If you can see that you have a rash, or if you think your tattoo has been itching for too long, go see your tattoo artist, as they will be the ones who give you the best advice.


Answer by christina
Submitted on 4/8/2007
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to a lot of the people who said they developed rashes AROUND their tattoo...you could just be having a reaction to the medical tape used to hold the bandage on...it happens to me every time. if this is probably the case for you, just use some rubbing alcohol around NOT ON the tattoo where the irritation is.


Answer by shondie
Submitted on 4/13/2007
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this is my 1st color tat. and i got it on tuesday and today is friday and i think i accidently scratched it while i was sleeping. but when i looked at it. it seemed as if its peeling or something like i did it in more than one place but dont remember seeing it b4 (3 scratches) so being worried i went to the place and she said " it looks good and keep doing what your doing and yea i see the scratches it might just blend in and if you need touch ups come right back" but im still freaking out because its only been 4 days in which i had it....is there anything good besides bacitracin ointment i can use?? and i hope its fine

email me since i dont use this site PLEASE




Answer by lexi
Submitted on 5/13/2007
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I've had my tattoo about a month and a half now, it's on my back so I can't see it well but a friend of mine when looking at it the other day pointed out that I have a large patch of bumpy skin inbetween the wings that extends up one side. it doesn't itch at all and I can't really see, just feel it. reading about all these infections it doesn't seem to be the case but I'm wondering if the lotion I put on could be clogging my pores, or maybe exposure to the sun? I've been using lubriderm unscented advanced therapy lotion.


Answer by curious
Submitted on 6/26/2007
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i got my tattoo about 7 days ago and it's not my first one. i got it on the top of my foot and going up onto my calf. yesterday my foot started to swell beyond belief and now it looks like i have a club foot. the area around my ankle is red and the whole thing is really tender? what is wrong...


Answer by eyeGore
Submitted on 7/2/2007
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I'm not a professional artist, but I have been getting inked for years.  I personally found that fragrance-free Lubriderm works very well for keeping the skin well-moisturized (twice a day for as long as needed) and does not cause any side-effects (it does not cause damage, fading, or leaking to my tattoos)  But like I said, this might depend from person to person.


Answer by louise
Submitted on 7/10/2007
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Hiya I am 17 years old and i got a tatto a week ago i have purple,pink and blue on it i am not sure if i am ellergic o the colour or if im useing the rong ointment i started of useing vasaline for the first 2 days then i started useing a baby rash cream ,e45 nw i have started putting camerlineloshen on  my tato is on my lower back and is very itchy and red it is very sotty 2 has eny 1 got eny advise for me thanks


Answer by Peaches
Submitted on 7/12/2007
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Thank you Snail!  I agree, if you are having a problem you should be able to address your concerns with the tattoo artist.  This being said you should do your research prior to getting the tattoo and make sure you are comfortable with the artist and that the shop is sanitary.  I must admit I cringed when I read some of these responses.  For swelling you can elevate or use ice.  For cleaning and after care I have always used plain Dial soap and A&D ointment.  IT'S NOT ADVISED TO USE antibiotic ointments on your tattoo.  You are to treat that tattoo as if it is part of you not like a wound you want to get rid of!!!!!  This is very important in your after care.  I have 5 tattoos, one on my arm, one on both shoulder blades, one on my lower back and one on my ankle/foot.  I have used these methods and have had no problems.  Also everyone's skin is different and there could be many reason's as to why you are having a reaction.  Again it would help to be able to talk to the artist who should be knowledgeable to give you some answers.  Hope this helps!


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