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My boyfriend got this tattoo in July 2021. Once or twice a month, it will swell and can become irritated. Does anyone know what could cause this to happen? Also, I’m not sure if this is the appropriate subreddit to post this on.

My boyfriend got this tattoo in July 2021. Once or twice a month, it will swell and can become irritated. Does anyone know what could cause this to happen? Also, I’m not sure if this is the appropriate subreddit to post this on.

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7 Comments

  1. Its probably a recurring infection, or the ink is too deep and the body keeps trying to reject it. Would recommend talking to a doctor. If it’s an infection, it’s going to keep getting worse and worse until it becomes necrotic. If it’s too deep, it’ll just keep flairing until the skin has expelled the irratant.

  2. Some areas of my tattoos do this (one is about 20 years and black ink, the other is about 5 years old and colour). Usually it happens when I’m too hot.

    I think if it was an infection there would be some sort of redness and itching. It may be that the artist went a little too deep and there’s some slight scar tissue?

    If ever worried about it, consult with a medical practitioner, but to be honest I don’t think it’s an infection.

  3. You can consult a doctor if you are worried.
    A very common reasons for this is heavy handed artists, who didn’t necessarily put ink too deep to cause a blowout but might had run the machine too high and caused scarification/ overpacked the ink, so it would become bumpy and raised in humid/hot days. It’s hard to see if it’s red / patchy / infected on the photo, if it’s just the tattoo that becomes « raisedΒ Β» vs other tattoos he has, it could be the application of it that causes this. The same happens to scars in humid / hot days.
    From my personal experience, I have a few tattoos from the same tattoo artist, who used the same type of ink throughout the years (all my tattoos are done with the same type of ink, so definitely not an allergy), but 4 years ago that artist was slightly more heavy handed, and I can see the difference in the newer lighter tattoos vs old thicker / overpacked ones (I monthly get raised and bumpy lines and some solid black areas in old ones).
    I think the algorithm of resolving it would be to exclude anything serious such as reoccurring infection/ allergic reaction and then if excluded just accept that artist overdid it on this one.

    Is the middle one healing or also an old one?

  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5805548/

    Non-sterile practices, extreme tissue damage, hypertrophic tissue formation, sensitivity to the pigment, over active immune system, PAH-related tissue damage and encapsulation- without a biopsy there is no real way to tell.

    But this link, plus the others listed (which you can search on Google), can give you an idea of what’s possibly wrong.