Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does getting a tattoo expose one to skin rashes?"
I got my first tattoo a few weeks ago and I'm somewhat concerned about a rash on and aroudn it that won't seem to go away. Could this be an allergic reaction to the tattoo ink? At what point should I go see a doctor about this?
Immediately after getting a tattoo, there is usually a red, raised rash that resembles sunburn. This is just a physical reaction to getting the tattoo and it usually goes away in a few weeks. Any rash that develops several weeks out probably deserves medical evaluation. First it is important to make sure that the area is not infected. If you have fever, or if the area is painful, warm to the touch, or if their is spreading redness around the area of the tattoo, these are all concerning signs suggesting that you should be evaluated quickly. Allergic reactions to the dyes used in the tattoo are possible, and they can result in red, itchy, flaking rashes. They are especially common with red tattoo dyes. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concerns will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist as soon as possible is strongly recommended.
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