Tattoos are permanent drawings on the skin. Tattoo artists inject ink into the skin with the help of a pointy object or needle. Tattoo techniques involve breaking through the skin’s barrier and the rupture of small skin vessels. In other words, the skin receives a foreign body (ink) that triggers an inflammatory reaction that heals normally within ten days. Although tattooing techniques and hygienic procedures have greatly evolved over the past 15 years, a tattoo can nevertheless cause complications, including infections, allergic reactions, flare-ups of existing skin issues, moles and scars.
What are the risks of tattoos on the skin?
Localized infections are oftentimes bacterial infections, such as bacterial folliculitis (infections on areas of the skin with hair) or furuncles (deep boils in the hair follicles) that develop as the tattoo heals. These infections normally dissipate after a few days by following a tattoo artist’s recommendations for disinfecting the area.
Viral infections are bacterial infections caused by run-of-the-mill (Staphylococcus) and atypical (mycobacteria) germs. These types of germs develop in the blood stream and can reside in the joints, bones, lungs, or heart. These infections are rare and usually develop if the tattoo artists works in a dirty and unhygienic tattoo parlor, or if the client did not follow the recommendations for post-tattoo care.
Allergic reactions to a tattoo’s ink is the most common complication arising from tattoos. The tattoo starts to tingle and swell. Sometimes, these symptoms are only experienced if the tattoo is exposed to the sun. These reactions can appear at any time, even 40 years after the tattoo was first done. Treating these types of allergic reactions can include corticosteroids applied locally or laser treatments to completely remove the tattoo.
Emu oil and tattoos
Emu oil that is 100% pure is an excellent moisturizer that can help the skin develop new cells and speed up the healing process. Emu oil is hypoallergenic and produces no negative side effects. It is a bacteriostatic (reduces the likelihood of bacteria forming) and anti-inflammatory (reduces the itching sensation during the healing process) solution. In addition, emu oil’s healing properties can help to bring out a new tattoo’s colors.
Be sure to follow your tattoo artist’s care protocol. Here is how you can integrate emu oil into your daily regimen to prevent infections, minimize itching, and help to heal the skin:
- Wash your hands with an anti-bacterial soap and warm water (be sure to clean between your fingers and under your fingernails). Gently remove the dressing from your tattoo (approximately 2 to 3 hours after having left the tattoo parlor).
- Wash the tattoo with your fingers, using an anti-bacterial soap and warm water.
- Let the tattoo dry by itself for 15 minutes and apply a few drops of emu oil
- Repeat 2 to 3 times a day for the next seven to ten days.
Sources, excluding the last paragraph:
, Pepps Tattoo