While tattoo allergies are quite rare, there is a possibility of serious health consequences. The reaction can be seen immediately in some cases, but often does not present until 48 hours or even a few weeks after getting the tattoo.

Allergic reactions can sometimes be misinterpreted for normal tattoo healing as individuals will often experience the same symptoms. Skin reactions to tattoo ink can present in a few different ways such as localized swelling and redness, red bumps, rash, small blisters or pustules with oozing, itchiness, and irritation.

Tattoo Ink Colors that Cause Allergic Reactions

It is especially important to keep allergic reactions in mind when getting a tattoo with red ink, as this color is associated with ink allergies more than any other color. Many red tattoo inks have iodine in them, which causes sensitivity in many individuals.

While red tattoos are the most commonly associated with adverse reactions, every color ink has the possibility of causing allergic reactions.

If you are concerned about the possibility of an adverse reaction from tattoo ink, consult with your tattoo artist to get a list of ingredients in the ink. Then contact your dermatologist to determine if any of the ingredients are high-risk factors for allergies.

Some tattoo artists will even offer to do a test spot behind the ear to see if you have a reaction. If you are doing patch testing beforehand, it is best to wait a week since allergic reactions may not appear immediately.

What to Do If You Think You’re Having an Allergic Reaction to Tattoo Ink

If you suspect an allergic reaction to your tattoo has occurred, see a dermatologist immediately to get a diagnosis. In some cases, tattoos may need to be completely removed to treat the allergic reaction.

Laser tattoo removal is the best option for removing the tattoo and resolving an allergic reaction from tattoo ink. If you intend to remove a tattoo with irritating inks, precautions should be taken (ranging from taking an antihistamine before treatment to having an EpiPen available), depending on your medical history.

Our technicians at Removery are here to answer any questions you may have. Schedule your first no-commitment appointment and decide if removal is right for you.