Tatoo's and infection?

I got my first tatoo on my lower leg. after using neosporin on it , it became infected and divitted out in places ( where blue ink was used) closer to the shin. doctors said I had cellulitis it looked like someone had scraped out between the lines. I had holes. It took two rounds of different antibiotics and silvadene cream and keeping it bandaged for a month. It has now scabbed over with some of the lines gone. Is this because of the placement of the tatoo, allergic to the blue ink , or the lines were so close together that it was basically destroyed tissue? Any advice ? I also want to get another one but not sure where to get it. Is there a science to getting a tatoo and being diabetic?

Are you sure those lines are gone (you say it was scabbed over)? I ask because I had a tattoo where the skin got a bit irritated and some of the lines seemed to disappear while it was healing. A week later or so some of the dead skin peeled off and there were the lines underneath, perfectly intact. I’m not sure how common this is, though, or if mine was just a weird experience.

From what I’ve heard, people are only ever allergic to red pigment, but here is a link with more information:

Hope this helps!

I have a tattoo and I got the tattoo while in the midst of a bad kidney infection and I had no problems what so ever with it. All I had to do was make sure I kept it clean. It has been over a year since I had it. I am going to be getting another one as well.

I’ve got 2 tattoos, and one of them actually is a medical alert symbol with “diabetic” under it on my forearm… (keep in mind this pic was immediately after the tat was done, and it was a camera phone picture too lol)

but the main thing you've gotta worry about is keeping your BS levels under control, which helps your body to fight infection and heal more quickly, and keeping the tattoo clean and not overly dry/wet... It sounds to me like you were allergic to the ink, if it only did it with that one color.

Good luck with any others you get!

i agree… it sounds like you were allergic to the ink, since only the blue affected your skin. did you go back to the tattoo shop and ask your artist about it? they know a lot about tattooing… it is their job after all!

I was lucky enough not to be allergic to the red pigment. I’m allergic to so many other things. All of my tattoos healed perfectly though they are all on my back too. I plan on one on each arm and one on my side. They are addicting.

Are people in general just allergic to the red pigment or is it a certain brand of ink?

Of the few tatt’s I have, I’ve only ever experienced problems with one of them. The one on the outside of my lower lelf calf. It swelled, oozed, etc.
With my doc’s help and some SSD cream… it healed well and I am a happy customer.

Keeping your BS under control is key to keeping it looking good (along with you feeling good).


I got my first tattoo in November 2007 and didn’t have any problems at all (type 1-38 yrs). It’s on the outside of my shin just up from the ankle. I wonder if your problems had less to do with being diabetic than how the tattoo artist did the tattoo. I really investigated the shop I went to and took a recommendation from someone who had had one done there and was very happy with the service. There are many websites where you can read about what to look for in a good tattoo shop. Being sterile is the very MOST important issue. Being in good BG control as others have mentioned here is also very important for healing well. The artist who did mine was very upfront about what he could do with the design I brought in to have tattooed. He told me that it would have to be larger than I thought I wanted to make sure the lines and colors (blue and green) wouldn’t bleed together and look bad. He was very honest about what could be done and left me to make the decision about whether I wanted to go through with it or not. I’ve been very happy with it!

I wanted to add that a good shop will do touchups for free. I had to have two small areas re-done because of scabbing/lifting. The shop made me agree to come back 6 wks after the tattoo for a check-up and to see if any additional work needed to be done.

not sure I got a tatt b4 I knew I had type 2 and have had NO problems I do want to get more my Doc frowns on it but says I can’t tell u what to do but he says if it was me I wouldn’t do it.just my side of what I know…

I have 5 tattoos (1 was covered) and have never had a problem with any of them…the one on my ankle took a little longer to heal. just make sure you dont’ peel it. AND i was told NOT to use neosporin. You dont’ want it to close up as it heals…bacitracin works best…it heals it properly. but it too sounds like the blue ink is the culprit! Good luck with the next ones!

I was told never to use neosporin. A&D ointment is the best one to use. A&D ointment is vitamins A&D with vaseline. I was always taught to use this with washing 3-4 times a day until it starts to peel. Then after that a non scent white lotion until it stops peeling.

Good idea, Adam! I’ve been looking for a new MedicAlert bracelet; I may have just found my answer! :smiley:

I have three tattoos, all done by the same artist and was told the exact same advice (A&D then non-scented lotion) and never had any problems.

I didn’t have any problems when I got my tatoo’s. I have 4 of them. 1 on my ankle, 1 on my shoulder, 1 on my hip and 1 on my back. Just wash is 3 to 4 times a day. and I used neosporin.

I was allergic to the blue ink in a tattoo above my knee and broke out in an all over body rash that lasted for one year. They thought they would have to cut out the tattoo since nothing else seemed to help and then one day it just went away. If I ever got another tattoo, I would stick with just black ink like my previous 5.