Skip to content

    Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

    Tattoo Problems - Prevention

    Preventing tattoo problems

    You can prevent problems from developing at your tattoo site. Review the following guidelines and information before making your decision to tattoo a part of your body.

    • Do not get a tattoo while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
    • Get a tetanus shot before your tattooing if you have not had one in the past 10 years.
    • Choose an experienced person who uses sterile gloves and sterilized equipment to do the tattoo. Ask the person doing the tattoo how he or she cleans the equipment and what safety standards he or she follows. Sterile gloves and sterilized equipment should be used. A fresh pair of gloves should be used for each procedure. Make sure that the operator washes his or her hands before putting on the gloves. Ask the operator to change his or her gloves if he or she answers the telephone or does anything else during your procedure.
    • Check the studio and see whether it looks clean. Ask the operator about sterilizing techniques and safety standards.
    • If you think you may want to have your tattoo removed at a later date-dark blue, black, and red are the easiest colors to remove with lasers. Bright colors-blue, green, and yellow-are hard, if not impossible, to remove.
    • If you have had an allergic reaction to tattoo dye in the past, do not get any more tattoos. Be sure your health professionals know about these allergies.
      • Wear medical alert jewelry such as a MedicAlert tag if you have had an allergic reaction after a tattoo.
      • If you have had an allergic reaction to the henna used in a temporary tattoo, you have a higher chance of developing a skin reaction to hair dye. Mix up a small amount of the dye solution and paint it on a small patch of skin, such as the inside of your wrist, to see if you are going to have a reaction to it. Do not use the hair dye if your skin turns red or itches.
    • Check with your city or county health department to find out whether there have been any complaints about the studio you are thinking of using.
    1

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    chafing
    Pictures and symptoms of the red, scaly rash.
    woman with dyed dark hair
    What it says about your health.
     
    woman with cleaning products
    Top causes of the itch that rashes.
    atopic dermatitus
    Identify and treat common skin problems.
     
    itchy skin
    Article
    shingles rash on skin
    Article
     
    woman with skin tag
    Quiz
    Woman washing face
    Video
     
    woman washing her hair in sink
    Video
    close up of womans bare neck
    Tools
     
    Feet
    Slideshow
    woman with face cream
    Quiz