How to know if a tattoo is infected

Written by kendra dahlstrom
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to know if a tattoo is infected
Infections can be extremely dangerous if they are not properly treated. (Tattoo man with headache image by MAXFX from

An infected tattoo is bad news. This can be caused by dirty inking practices or improper tattoo care. Infections can be extremely dangerous if they are not properly treated. Not only do they cause a lot of pain, but they also can be fatal if left untreated. Never let your infection get out of hand. If you ever question whether your tattoo is infected, consult a doctor.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Mirror

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Assess your pain level. You won't have to touch your tattoo to know if you have serious pain. The pain will be present if you have an infection even when you do not touch the wound.

  2. 2

    Determine if the area around your tattoo is swollen.

  3. 3

    Check for any redness on the tattoo site. Some redness is normal right after you get the tattoo, but severe redness, accompanied by warmth to the touch, could indicate infection.

  4. 4

    Check for discharge. Puss is whitish or yellowish in colour and seeps from infection sites. It can stick to clothing. Puss is a clear sign of infection.

  5. 5

    Smell your tattoo. Infections tend to emit foul odours. Many times, the odour comes from the puss. You may smell the infection before you see it.

Tips and warnings

  • Unsanitary tattoo parlours can only cause infections and transmit diseases. The most dangerous of these diseases are HIV and hepatitis.
  • If you determine that your tattoo is infected, seek professional medical help immediately.
  • Never go back to the same tattoo parlour that gave you your infected tattoo.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.