Tattoo health risks information

It is important to read the tattoo health risks information. We want to tattoo you and keep you healthy, so give us all the info we need.

The risks of getting tattooed

The application of tattoos involves risks, so please make sure you inform your tattoo artist if you take medication or if you have skin problems, allergies, epilepsy or hyper-sensitivity. Furthermore, see to make sure the studio where you want to get tattooed is licensed. Above all, this permit indicates that the studio operates in accordance with the hygiene guidelines of the National Centre for Hygiene and Safety. It is best to make sure you are well rested and have eaten.

Do not apply a tattoo:

– if you have undergone plastic surgery or radiation in the past year in the same area.

– on a scar that is less than a year old.

– in a area that has been tattooed less than six weeks ago.

– where you have been lasered less than three months ago or where the laser wound has not yet healed.

– on irritated skin such as bumps, dark moles or swelling.

– under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

– when pregnant or breastfeeding.

In addition,

it is not recommended to have a tattoo if you have one of the following conditions:

– diabetes

– haemophilia

– chronic skin disease

– allergy to tattoo materials or ink

– immune disorder

– cardiovascular abnormalities


If you have any of these conditions, please talk to your doctor first. Even more if you also use anticoagulants or antibiotics.

Making the tattoo:

A tattoo is basically a wound and therefore a potential risk for transmitting diseases via blood, such as hepatitis B and C. A tattoo artist needs to works hygienically to minimise these risks. A hygienic way of working is also important to prevent your new tattoo from getting infected. Make sure that:

-before tattooing the skin is cleaned, disinfected and optionally shaved with a new disposable razor blade;

-needles and ink are in sterilized pouches and are only used for you and that the needles are packed individually.

-clean tissues are used during tattooing to clean the skin.

-your tattoo artist is wearing  gloves and replaces them if he or she touches something other than the tattoo machine, a tissue or your skin;

-the finished tattoo is taken care of and covered.


Above all, a new tattoo is similar to an abrasion, so keep in mind that poor care and unhygienic treatment can cause wound infections and scar tissue. Consequently, infections can lead to a less beautiful tattoo. If you take care of the tattoo well, it takes two to six weeks until the tattoo is healed. The tattooer will give you written instructions about the aftercare. Read these carefully and follow them as closely as possible.


Please direct any questions you have to your tattooer or ask your doctor.

Read below for info on possible reactions.

Possible reactions

Tattooing is basically to put a foreign substance, ink, under your skin. Since everyones body and skin is different and reacts differently to being tattooed, you have to keep in mind that situations can occur, like bruising or infection for instance. On rare occasions the body can have reactions like blowouts, pooling or an allergy, these reactions can be mild or severe.

This is an important part of tattoo health risks information. In other words, you have to be aware that these things can happen and it is not always something that your artist can prevent. We can not be held accountable for anomalies, but we are certainly available for advise and to help you find a solution. If you worry about the healing of your tattoo the best thing to do is, firstly, to drop by Salon Serpent asap, the second best option is to write us an email or see a doctor.


People can get allergies to almost anything and an allergy can come and it can also go. If people have an allergy to tattoo ink it is most often the color red. The reaction of your body will be that it wants to get rid of this ink, consequently it can give you a variety of symptoms from itching to raising of the skin to the tattoo not healing.

On some people the ink will fade and the symptoms with it. In very rare cases it can cause problems for years. Taking antihistamines will often give (temporary) relief. Contact us at if you suspect an allergy and we will try to help you find a solution.

Blow out

A blow out is a burst of ink coming usually from a tattooed line and can be seen straight after the tattooing. This happens if the needle goes in just a little too deep. On some parts of the body where the skin is thin or bones/joints are very close to the surface this can happen easily.


It is possible find a rash on your fresh tattoo. Think small little bumps, like goosebumps and they could be slightly red in color. Specifically this will happen only in the first few days. Changes are high you have been healing it with plastic wrap and creme or an ointment.

Clearly you’ve done nothing wrong, but a rash usually means irritation of the skin and this can either come from the creme or the plastic wrap or can be a result of the combination of the two. In which case you most likely have a sensitive skin. The best thing you can do now is stop using creme and keep it dry and on top of that, no more plastic wrap.


For certain skin types bruising is common and happens often. People with these skin types usually are aware of this. It is good to know that some areas of the body bruise more easily. For instance around the collar bones is a notorious spot where bruising can sometimes even happen seconds after it being tattooed. Most noteworthy is that it happens often but it is nothing to worry about.


Pooling looks like a faded blue cloud behind and surrounding the tattoo. At first it might look like a bruise, but contrary to that it will not disappear after a few days like a bruise would.

This pooling happens rarely and if it does, mostly on women’s upper inner arms and upper inner thighs. There is not much muscle tissue there, mostly connective and fatty tissue. We do not know exactly why this happens. It seems like it is more likely to happen if the tattoo holds a lot of black ink.


You want to avoid getting an infection at all costs. It is never good, but if spotted early on it can be turned around. You can do this by washing the tattoo with disinfecting soap 3 times a day and refrain from using any creme or ointment. The goal is to keep it dry, as bacteria like warm, moist, greasy environments. Mild infections will show as a thin red line around your fresh tattoo and feel warmer then the surrounding tissue.

Serious infections will need a doctors attention. If the tattoo is throbbing, oozing white fluid, is swollen, red and/or whitish [like it has been soaked in water for too long] stop using creme and ointment and see a doctor. Something as simple as touching a healing tattoo with your hands without washing them first can give you an infection. Be overly clean and careful with your healing tattoo.

There is a tattooclinic at the UMC hospital who deals with complications of tattoos only. If you have a severe allergy the doctors there will have the most knowledge to help you.