Common Tattoo Problems & What to Do About Them

Tattoo Problems

Tattoos are a great way to express oneself and showcase personality. However, like any form of body art, they require proper care and attention. Tattooing can be a traumatic experience for the skin, as it involves puncturing the epidermal barrier and can even lead to cell necrosis. 

Due to this trauma, a small percentage of people who get tattoos, ranging from 1% to 5%, may experience tattoo-related skin infections. These infections can occur if the tattoo is not properly cared for or if the tattoo artist does not follow proper hygiene practices. 

You should be aware of the potential risks associated with getting a tattoo and take proper precautions to minimize the risk of infection. In this article, we’ll discuss some common tattoo problems and suggestions on how to deal with them.

Blowout: What Is It, and How to Deal with It?

One of the most common tattoo problems is a blowout, which is when the ink spreads out beneath the skin and creates a blurry or smudged effect. This can happen when the tattoo needle is pushed too far into the skin or when the artist works too quickly. Blowouts are more likely to occur on delicate areas of the skin, such as the fingers or the back of the neck.

A tattoo blowout can be caused by different factors, such as the use of excessive power in the tattoo machine, lack of experience or skill of the tattoo artist, and certain designs that have fine details or sharp edges, according to an article on Naama Studio’s blog. 

The use of too much power by the tattoo machine causes the ink to spread out and blur the design, which can result in an unsatisfactory appearance. New tattoo artists who lack control may also contribute to blowouts. To minimize the occurrence of blowouts and other tattoo problems, it is essential to select an experienced and skilled tattoo artist.

To deal with a tattoo blowout, it is advisable to wait for the tattoo to heal, as it may look worse during the healing process. A professional tattoo artist can evaluate the tattoo and recommend the best course of action, such as touching up the affected area. 

In severe cases, laser treatment can remove excess ink and create a cleaner, more defined tattoo. Additionally, sun exposure should be avoided until the affected area has fully healed, as it can cause the ink to fade and make the blowout more noticeable. 

Although a tattoo blowout can be disappointing, taking the appropriate steps can improve the tattoo’s appearance and ensure that you can enjoy it for years to come.

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Infection: How to Prevent It, and What to Do if It Happens?

Infections can occur if proper aftercare isn’t followed or if the tattoo artist doesn’t take proper precautions during the tattooing process. Symptoms of an infection include redness with occasional swelling and oozing of pus.

Proper aftercare is essential to prevent tattoo infections, which can result from a lack of post-tattoo care. It is important to follow the wound-care instructions given by your tattoo artist during the first few days after getting a tattoo. 

Treating the new tattoo as an open wound, it should be washed twice a day with mild soap and sometimes only water to maintain cleanliness. After washing, dry the area and apply a layer (preferably thin) of petrolatum ointment before covering it with a bandage to ensure proper healing. 

It is recommended to strictly follow the artist’s aftercare instructions to reduce the possibility of infection and promote healing. If you suspect an infection in your tattoo, seek medical attention immediately. Antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor to treat the infection.

Allergic Reaction: What to Look For, and How to Treat It?

Tattoo ink allergies are common and can result in symptoms like redness, itching, and swelling. Some ink colors, like red and yellow, are more likely to cause allergic reactions. It is important to seek medical attention from a doctor if you experience any allergic reactions to your tattoo, as they may prescribe steroids to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms.

It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and avoid scratching or picking at the affected area. In severe cases, the only way to eliminate the reaction may be to have the tattoo removed, but this is typically a last resort. With proper care and attention, most people can enjoy their tattoos without experiencing any allergic reactions or other problems.

Fading: How to Keep Your Tattoo Looking Fresh

After your tattoo has fully healed, it’s important to take steps to maintain its appearance and prevent the ink from degrading over time. While you don’t have to follow a strict aftercare routine anymore, there are a few things you can do to keep your tattoo looking its best. 

First, make sure to keep the tattooed area clean by washing it daily with a gentle, fragrance-free soap. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can also help keep your skin moisturized and prevent the ink from fading. 

When it comes to clothing, be mindful of what you wear, and consider wearing SPF clothing to protect your tattoo from the sun’s harmful rays. Avoid wearing scratchy fabrics like wool that can damage the tattoo. 

Lastly, try to avoid excess weight gain or loss, as fluctuations in weight can stretch out or distort the tattoo over time. By following these maintenance tips, you can help ensure that your tattoo looks great for years to come.

If your tattoo has already faded, you may need to get it touched up by a skilled tattoo artist. They can add new ink to the design to make it look vibrant and new again.


In conclusion, getting a tattoo is a personal choice, but it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with it. By selecting an experienced and skilled tattoo artist, following proper aftercare instructions, and taking steps to maintain the appearance of the tattoo, you can minimize the risk of common tattoo problems such as blowouts, infections, allergic reactions, and fading. 

If you do experience any issues with your tattoo, it’s important to seek medical attention or consult with a skilled tattoo artist for advice on how to best address the problem. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy your tattoo for years to come.

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