Signs of a Skin Infection After a Tattoo or Body Piercing
A skin infection may be present if any of the following symptoms are
present after having a tattoo or body piercing:
Increased pain, swelling, redness, heat, or
tenderness around the tattoo or piercing site
Red streaks extending
from the area
Pus coming from the wound
Infection may start at the tattoo or piercing site on the surface of
the skin. The normal clear or clear-yellow fluid that drains from a body
piercing site may change to creamy yellow, brown, or red or look or smell like
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Infection may also occur deep inside the wound, with few noticeable
signs at the site. Pain and swelling may develop. The skin over a tattoo or
around a body piercing may heal while an infection is present in the wound,
causing a more serious infection, such as an
cellulitis. Infection can also spread to involve the
bones (osteomyelitis), the joints (septic arthritis), or the whole body (sepsis).
Certain diseases may increase your risk for a serious infection.
peripheral arterial disease, or an impaired
immune system may require medical treatment at the
first signs of infection.
You can decrease the risk of infection if you follow the home
treatment steps for cleaning and caring for a wound. Prompt treatment of an
infection can prevent more serious problems.
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
August 12, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
August 12, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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