Tattoo complications are not common but sometimes require months of treatment.
Tattooing is the insertion of permanent or temporary dye into the skin. The word tattoo comes from the word tattau which means “to mark”.
During the tattooing process, patients rarely think about possible side effects and complications of this procedure.
Komplikacije mogu biti podeljene u rane (u prve dve nedelje od tetoviranja) i kasne (nakon mesec dana).
- Bacterial, viral and fungal infections spread easily in the treated area. During the tattooing process, the integrity of the skin as a barrier is disrupted and all infectious agents easily spread to both the skin and subcutaneous tissue. Sometimes the infection is caused by inadequate cleaning of the skin surface before applying the dye, and sometimes the dye is not stored or produced in sterile conditions. Bacterial infection can occur even if all precautionary measures have been taken, in case the client has a chronic bacterial infection in the nose or throat. Mycobacterial infections that occur after tattooing are difficult to detect and difficult to treat due to the very nature of the bacteria. The appearance of redness accompanied by pain, blisters, leakage of pus and lymph are the first signs of bacterial infection. If this happens, it is necessary to see a dermatologist as soon as possible. Viral infections can cause lifelong tattoo complications and are closely related to the sterility of the equipment used. Hepatitis C and B infections and HIV infection are transmitted by needle. They pose a real threat in salons where not enough attention is paid to sterilization. Molluscum contagiosum and HPV are easily spread by tattooing.
- Allergic reactions and reactions to a foreign body are common when dyes containing nickel, mercury, cobalt and cadmium are used. Reactions to a foreign body can be manifested within 24 hours and sometimes after several years, or they can be provoked by re-inserting the dye. Allergic reactions may have different appearance such as redness, flaking, itching, swelling, blisters, and later thickening and granuloma formation. Henna tattoos can cause a very strong immune reaction accompanied by swollen lymph glands and high fever. Hives can last for years after tattooing.
- Contact allergy to post-tattoo care products is also possible, especially if antibiotic ointment is included in the care. Antibiotics very often cause allergies on the skin whose surface is severely damaged.
- The connection between tattoos and the appearance of tumor on the skin is unclear, namely it is not clear whether it is a coincidence or the effect of carcinogenic substances that can be found in dye or the effect of UV radiation on the skin that is additionally dyed. In the diagnosis of melanoma, the aggravating circumstance is the existence of a dark tattoo in that area. Stained macrophages can be found in regional lymph nodes and only by colour analysis can they be distinguished from melanoma metastases.
- Unexpectedly strong autoimmune reactions that affect the subcutaneous tissue and even the muscles of that region can occur in people who have transplanted organs, suffer from insulin-dependent diabetes and autoimmune diseases.
- Keloid formationis quite common, especially in people who already have somewhat firmer scar tissue and previous keloid tissue. Scar tissue on a tattoo occurs if the tattoo artist is untrained or too aggressive and injects the needle too deep.
- Complications during magnetic resonance imaging can occur in people who have old tattoos or tattoos created with poor quality dyes. They contain a lot of heavy metals, so during the MRI examination, the whole area swells, pain and sometimes minor burns occur.
- Tattooing over a mole is very common. It prevents the mole from being adequately examined and causes the change in the mole pigment to be difficult to notice. There are smaller studies that confirm the occurrence of melanoma only in the tattoo area. However, more studies are needed in order to draw firm conclusions.
Most tattoos do not cause any medical complications. However, one should be aware of the fact that tattoo complications are possible and that some may require months of treatment.