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Red itchy rash around new tattoo?
By lorna_doonemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1532, member since Tue Sep 12, 2006
On Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:24 AM

I had my first color sitting of a half sleeve 2 Sundays ago. The artist has tattooed me several times before.

A few days ago I started noticing red, raised, super itchy dots surrounding the tattoo. The dots are not part of the tattoo in the flowers, but only surrounding it.

I do tend to have skin on the sensitive side so I always use unscented and hypoallergenic lotions, soaps, etc. Because this isn't my first tattoo, I've come quite used to how my body heals tattoos and what works best for aftercare for me.

I've been using dr bronners soap unscented to wash it several times a day and use aveeno unscented lotion to moisturize.

Has anyone ever seen this happen before? I've contacted the artist to see if he has any ideas and will wait to hear from him before going to the dermatologist.

I'm a little worried these might scar because I noticed some of the dots have started draining a clear fluid (gross I know).

Any ideas?

9 Replies to Red itchy rash around new tattoo?

re: Red itchy rash around new tattoo?
By Sumayah Comments: 6875, member since Wed Nov 12, 2008
On Tue Feb 24, 2015 01:10 PM
I have no idea, but since it's the skin around the tattoo, could it a reaction to the type of gloves he was wearing?
re: Red itchy rash around new tattoo?
By Tishwah Comments: 586, member since Sun May 17, 2009
On Tue Feb 24, 2015 06:53 PM
I had a Staph infection once that looked a lot like that, I would suggest getting to a doctor ASAP.
re: Red itchy rash around new tattoo?
By boleyngrrl Comments: 2550, member since Sat Apr 15, 2006
On Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:03 PM
I second the "Get to a doctor pronto" opinion. I've never had a staph infection, but I've seen a few cases and that's the nearest thing it looks and sounds like. I have read they are contractible at tattoo parlors and I remember one near me had a major issue with it a few years back.

So, long story short: Doctor. Pronto.

Feel better soon!
re: Red itchy rash around new tattoo?
By Gavrilushka Comments: 872, member since Wed Jul 11, 2012
On Wed Feb 25, 2015 01:10 AM
It's still kinda odd that it's only around the tattoo. Did you get that kind of cover thing placed over your tat? Because then maybe you contracted it after you got inked and that protective thing covered it (I never got a tattoo so excuse my poor terminology, but I've been with people who were getting their's done. I'm thinking about that clear stuff they put on to protect it).

That doesn't look like an allergic reaction and this is coming from someone who breaks out in hives every 3 months and has dermatitis that never goes away. This looks like a mean rash. >:@ Possibly bacterial or viral. Could be scabies. Obviously go to a doctor, but to ease the itching, put some calamine lotion on. It helps burning itches go away and dries powdery.
re: Red itchy rash around new tattoo?
By LoriCook Comments: 1762, member since Mon Aug 17, 2009
On Wed Feb 25, 2015 05:22 PM
Scabies hangs out in skin folds of the hands and in the waistline, armpits, groin etc. I don't believe this is scabies.. I wouldn't assume this is an allergy. Yes, it is connected with a tattoo but I would think it would show up in the areas where ink was placed, not around it. A doctor needs to look at this. Allergic rashes usually look lighter and denser. I've not seen draining sores in a allergic rash.
I don't think they will scar unless you pick at them.
re: Red itchy rash around new tattoo?
By lorna_doonemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1532, member since Tue Sep 12, 2006
On Thu Feb 26, 2015 08:46 AM
Thanks everyone. I went to the dr today and yes, it is a staph infection! Since I posted, the rash has travelled up my arm :/
I'm on Bactrine (orally) and she told me to keep neosporon on it and cover it when I teach dance since I'm around kids and my arm is usually uncovered.
re: Red itchy rash around new tattoo?
By Tishwah Comments: 586, member since Sun May 17, 2009
On Thu Feb 26, 2015 02:41 PM
Mine was a lot worse than yours, I was on really strong antibiotics and a steroid creme, and at one point they were talking about admitting me to hospital for a couple of days of IV antibiotics. Bonus is, no scaring at all, a couple of years later and I get a slight redness where it was when I have been to the sauna (or somewhere very hot and steamy).
re: Red itchy rash around new tattoo?
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Fri Mar 06, 2015 06:33 PM
Have you called the tattoo parlor to let them know? If they're giving people staph infections, that's a massive issue for them. Health department would probably also be really interested in knowing about it.
re: Red itchy rash around new tattoo?
By lorna_doonemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1532, member since Tue Sep 12, 2006
On Fri Mar 06, 2015 08:06 PM
No I haven't because the dr said the timeline didn't match up and that chances were, I didn't contract it at the tattoo studio. She thinks I picked up the bacteria somewhere else an because a new tattoo is an open wound, it jumped right into that area. I did tell my tattoo artist about the rash before I knew it was staph and he hadn't ever had a client complain about a rash ever before. Like I said I know him well and have been a customer of his for many years. I know he does everything humanly possible to keep his studio as clean as possible!

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