7 Signs Your Tattoo May Be Leading To Inflammation


Tattoos don't just sit under your skin, they actually continue to interact with your body's chemistry throughout the course of your life. So if you're having any problems with your tattoo, the chances are pretty high that it's due to inflammation. The risks of tattoos vary from person to person, but can be quite serious if your body reacts aversely to what it interprets as a foreign material.

The immune system is the secret to tattoos permanence. Basically, your body realizes that the ink of a tattoo isn't something it produces itself, and is engaging in a constant immune reaction. This, when even slightly awry, can cause acute inflammation.

"When tattoo pigment is injected into the skin it is recognized as something foreign," dermatologist Susan Bard, MD, tells Bustle. "Specific immune cells called macrophages ingest the foreign pigment in an attempt to contain and destroy it [... walling it off, and allowing] it to be tolerated by the rest of the immune system. But that's not always the case, and often times people do have a reaction to the tattoo trauma or ink." If you have a compromised immune system, an allergic reaction, or a specific medical issue, then the chances of your body struggling to properly handle the ink increase. When this happens, you may experience signs of inflammation.

Here are seven signs your tattoo may be leading to inflammation, according to experts.