tattoo bleeding ink. should you worry
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Tattoo bleeding ink: Should You Worry?

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Tattoo Bleeding Ink : Should You Worry?

One issue that can arise after getting a tattoo is bleeding ink. This can be alarming for those who are not familiar with the healing process of tattoos.

Bleeding ink can occur due to various reasons, including extra ink packing, rejection of foreign material by the immune system, or the accumulation of plasma or blood. In some cases, bleeding ink can lead to tattoo blowouts, which can cause the ink to spread beyond the intended design and blur the lines.

Understanding the reasons behind tattoo bleeding ink is important for anyone who is planning to get a tattoo or has recently got one. It is crucial to know what to expect during the healing process and how to take care of the tattoo to avoid any complications.

In the following sections, we will explore the causes and treatments of tattoo bleeding ink and provide tips on when it is a problem and what to do.

You may also like this post, which covers all the details of tattoo aftercare.
After Tatto Care – Everything You Need To know

Understanding Why Your New Tattoo May Be Bleeding Ink

Getting a new tattoo can be an exciting experience, but it’s common to experience some bleeding during and after the tattoo appointment.

However, excessive bleeding from the newly tattooed skin can be a cause for concern, and it’s important to understand why your new tattoo may be bleeding ink.

What Does Ink Bleed Look Like?

You are most likely to notice ink bleeding out of the tattoo when you have a tattoo dressing or cling film covering it.

In the first 24 hours after the tattoo is done, the body can push out quite a lot of the ink mixed with body fluid.

If this is trapped under the dressing it can look alarming.

Some peoples bodies reject more ink than others.

You could even get a blister of ink under the dressing.

Tattoo Ink Sack on Tattoo
Fluid can seep out of the tattoo to make it look blurred. If there is a lot of fluid it’s called a Tattoo Ink Sack

This is called an ink sack and you can read more about it in this post. Tattoo Ink Sack – Is It Normal? Can You Pop It?

The important thing to know is that in most cases. Ink sacks or ink bleed is perfectly normal and won’t harm either your health or the tattoo.

Causes of Tattoo Bleeding

There are several reasons why your new tattoo may be bleeding ink. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Blood thinners: Certain medications and substances like alcohol can cause your blood to become thin, leading to excessive bleeding during the tattooing process. If you’re taking blood thinners, it’s important to let your tattoo artist know beforehand.
  • Tattoo placement: Certain areas of the body, such as the hands and feet, may bleed more during the tattooing process due to the thinness of the skin and increased blood flow.
  • Tattoo artist technique and experience: The technique and skill of your tattoo artist can also play a role in how much bleeding occurs during the tattooing process. A professional and experienced tattoo artist will know how to minimize bleeding and create a clean, precise tattoo. An inexperience artist can overwork the tattoo or put the tattoo needle too deep into the skin layers. This causes traumatized skin and excessive bleeding or blowout.
  • Tattoo Style – A heavy tattoo design such as blackwork or tribal will bleed ink much more than a lighter style such as dot work. This is because much more tattoo pigment is packed into the skin during the tattooing process.
  • Tattoo aftercare: Proper aftercare is crucial for ensuring that your new tattoo heals properly and doesn’t bleed excessively. Failure to follow aftercare instructions, such as keeping the tattoo clean and avoiding certain activities, can lead to bleeding and other complications.

What to Do If Your Tattoo Is Bleeding

If your new tattoo is bleeding excessively, it’s important to take action to prevent further bleeding and ensure that the tattoo heals properly. Some steps you can take include:

  • Changing the dressing if it is full of ink/blood. If the inker blood is running out from under the dressing it’s probably best to change it for a fresh one. Consult your tattoo artist.
  • Avoid raining your heart rate. Going to the gym or doing exercise such as running could cause you to bleed more.
  • Avoid certain activities: Avoid activities that may cause the tattoo to rub against clothing or other surfaces, as this can lead to further bleeding and irritation.
  • Consult your tattoo artist: If you’re concerned about excessive bleeding or other complications, it’s important to consult your tattoo artist or a medical professional for advice.

In conclusion, while some bleeding is normal during and after the tattooing process, excessive bleeding can be a cause for concern.

The Tattooing Process, The Immune System and Ink Bleeding

During the tattoo process, the needle of the machine punctures the skin, creating a wound that the body perceives as trauma.

As a result, the body’s immune system responds by sending blood to the area to help heal the wound.

After the tattooing process, it is normal for the tattoo to bleed ink for a short period.

This is because the body’s immune system is still responding to the trauma caused by the tattooing process.

What is coming out is usually a mixture of ink, blood and healing body plasma.

However, excessive bleeding or prolonged bleeding can be a sign of a problem. In such cases, it is advisable to seek medical attention.

A good tattooist should not cause excessive bleeding

The truth is that a decent tattooist should not cause excessive bleeding.

A tattoo will bleed a little bit if you have huge amounts of blood coming from the tattoo, this can be a sign of poor technique.

If you do have excessive bleeding this can mean the skin has been overworked. This can raise your chance of getting an infection so you need to be aware and on your guard for this.

Identifying and Treating Tattoo Infections

Tattoo infections are skin infections that can occur in people with tattoos. Most infections are limited to the area of the tattoo, but in rare cases, the infection can become severe or spread to other organs. This is very serious and can result in death.

You need to see a Doctor ASAP if you have an infection.

Identifying and treating tattoo infections is crucial to prevent complications.

Symptoms of Tattoo Infections

The most common symptom of a tattoo infection is hot red skin around the area of the tattoo. This can be itchy, red, swollen, and painful.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pus or discharge from the tattoo
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Causes of Tattoo Infections

Tattoo infections are caused by bacteria that enter the skin through the open holes in the tattoo. The bacteria generally live on your skin and take the opportunity to infect the tattoo.

The immune system responds by sending white blood cells to fight the infection.

Treatment for Tattoo Infections

If you suspect a tattoo infection, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will examine the tattoo and may take a sample of the pus or discharge for testing. Treatment may include:

  • Antibiotics to kill the bacteria
  • Pain relievers to reduce pain and fever
  • Warm compresses to reduce swelling and promote healing
  • Rest and plenty of fluids to help the body fight the infection

In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary to administer intravenous antibiotics and monitor the infection.



Prevention of Tattoo Infections

Preventing tattoo infections is crucial to avoid complications. Here are some tips to prevent tattoo infections:

  • Choose a reputable tattoo artist who follows proper sterilization procedures
  • Follow proper aftercare instructions, including keeping the tattoo clean and dry
  • Avoid swimming, soaking in hot tubs, and exposing the tattoo to direct sunlight until it has fully healed
  • Wash your hands well with soap and water before touching the tattoo or changing your dressing.

By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of tattoo infections and enjoy your tattoo without complications.

Things Which Can Cause Tattoo Ink Bleeding

Vigorous Exercising too soon after a tattoo

Exercising after getting a tattoo can cause the tattoo to bleed ink. This is because exercise increases blood flow and can cause the blood vessels in the tattooed area to expand, leading to ink bleeding out.

It is recommended to avoid tough exercising for at least 24-48 hours after getting a tattoo. However, light workouts such as walking or yoga may be okay within this time period.

Being Stressed

Stress can also contribute to tattoo bleeding.

When a person is stressed, their body releases cortisol, a hormone that can increase blood pressure and cause blood vessels to expand. This can lead to ink bleeding out of the tattooed area. It is important to manage stress levels after getting a tattoo to minimize the risk of tattoo bleeding.

Blood Thinners

Blood thinners in your system can lead to increased bleeding.

In the worst case scenario they can lead to tattoo blowout.

This is when the ink spreads under the skin and leaves a blurred halo of ink. This can ruin the appearance of the tattoo so its something you definitely don’t want.

If you are using blood thinners you definitely need to tell your artist before the tattoo as they may not be happy to tattoo you. 

You can find out ore about tattoo blowouts here
What is a Tattoo Blowout? Can It Be Fixed?

In summary, exercise and stress can contribute to tattoo bleeding, and it is important to avoid strenuous exercise and manage stress levels after getting a tattoo. Proper aftercare and monitoring for signs of complications can also help minimize the risk of tattoo bleeding.

Tattoo blowout around lettering
Theres severe blowout around this lettering, seen as the blue smudge under the tattoo

Preventing and Managing Tattoo Blowouts

Tattoo blowouts occur when ink spreads beyond the intended design, resulting in a blurry or fuzzy appearance.

While it is not always possible to prevent tattoo blowouts, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the risk.

What causes a Tattoo blowout?

A blowout can go hand in hand with a badly applied tattoo that bleeds too much.

It occurs when the artist puts the ink too deeply into the skin. It goes into the fat layer which isn’t stable. The ink can then move around and blur around the tattoo line and spread out ruining the appearance of the tattoo with an inky halo. 

You can also get blowouts on thinner skin like the fingers or under the bicep.

People with tattoo blowouts may also be on blood thinning drugs like Warfarin.

Choosing a Skilled Tattoo Artist

The number one most important step in preventing a blown-out tattoo is choosing a skilled tattoo artist.

An experienced artist will be able to apply the ink evenly and avoid overworking the skin, which can cause damage and scarring.

It is important to do research and choose an artist with a good reputation and a portfolio of high-quality work.

Managing Tattoo Blowouts

If a tattoo blowout does occur, there are several options for managing the appearance.

One option is to have the tattoo touched up by the original artist or a skilled tattoo artist. This can involve adding more ink to the affected area to even out the appearance of the design.

Another option is to have the tattoo removed through laser therapy or surgical tattoo removal. However, these options can be expensive and may not be suitable for everyone.

A blowout cover up can also help to improve the appearance

Overall, preventing tattoo blowouts involves choosing a skilled artist, proper aftercare, and minimizing excess ink during the tattooing process. If a blowout does occur, there are options for managing the appearance, but prevention is always the best approach.

You can read more here Fixing Tattoo Blowouts
Tattoo Blowout Removal How To Fix Your Botched Ink

Understanding the Tattoo Healing Process

When a person gets a tattoo, the skin undergoes a healing process that can take several weeks. Understanding the tattoo healing process is important in order to ensure the tattoo heals properly and doesn’t bleed ink. You should follow the proper care instructions your tattooist gave you.

The tattoo healing process can be broken down into a few stages:

  1. Weeping: After getting a tattoo, the skin will start to weep or bleed. This is a natural part of the healing process and can last for up to 24 hours. During this time, the tattoo artist will typically apply a dressing to the tattoo to protect it from dirt and bacteria.
  2. Scabbing: Its important to note that not all tattoos scab. In fact, the better your tattooist the less scabbing you should see. However, a little scabbing is ok so dont worry if you do have it. 
    It’s important not to pick at the scabs, as this can cause the ink to come out of the skin and result in a patchy tattoo. The scabs will naturally fall off on their own once the skin has fully healed.
  3. Tender: The tattooed area may be tender to the touch during the healing process. This is normal and will go away as the skin heals.
  4. Itchy: After about 4 or 5 days the tattoo may become extremely itchy. This is part of the healing process. It’s incredibly important that you dont scratch it as it can cause a lot of damage to the fresh tattoo. 

    If it’s driving you nuts you can slap the tattoo with clean washed hands. this can really help to calm the itching down but won’t cause damage.
  5. Peeling: As the skin heals, it will start to shed dead skin cells. This is a natural part of the healing process and can result in flakes of skin falling off the tattoo.

Be on the look out for any signs of allergic reaction or infection. The risk of infection is highest in the first few days of the healing tattoo. Make sure you follow the instructions given to you

Overall, the tattoo healing process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. It’s important to follow proper aftercare instructions provided by the tattoo artist in order to ensure the tattoo heals properly and doesn’t bleed ink.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can tattoo blowout be prevented?

Tattoo blowout can be prevented by choosing an experienced and skilled professional tattoo artist who uses the right technique. It is also important to avoid getting tattoos on areas with thin skin or where the skin is prone to stretching. The tattoo should be done at the right depth into the skin layer, not too shallow or too deep.

When does tattoo blowout typically appear?

Tattoo blowout typically appears within the first few weeks after getting a tattoo. It is caused by the ink spreading out under the skin, creating a blurry or smudged appearance. 

Does tattoo ink spread over time?

Tattoo ink can spread over time, especially if the tattoo was not done properly or if the skin is prone to stretching. This is why it is important to choose a skilled tattoo artist who uses the right technique and to avoid getting tattoos on areas with thin skin or where the skin is prone to stretching.

How long should a tattoo bleed during the healing process?

During the healing process, a tattoo may bleed for a few hours or up to a day or two. However, if the bleeding persists or is excessive, it may be a sign of an infection or other complication. It is important to follow proper aftercare instructions and to seek medical attention if there are any concerns.

Conclusion: Tattoo Bleeding Ink. Help!

If you notice that your tattoo is bleeding ink, there’s no need to panic.

Ink bleed is a common occurrence during the tattoo healing process, and it’s usually not a cause for concern.

However, it’s important to understand why your tattoo is bleeding and how to address the issue to ensure proper healing.

Firstly, it’s essential to identify the cause of the bleeding. Poor application or incorrect technique during the tattooing process can cause bleeding ink. If the tattoo artist overworked the skin it can cause the skin to become irritated and bleed. 

Once you’ve identified the cause of the bleeding, you can take steps to address the issue. One of the most important steps is to keep the tattoo clean and dry. Avoid touching the tattoo with dirty hands, and avoid exposing it to water, sweat, or other liquids that can cause irritation or infection.

If the bleeding persists 48 hours after the tattoo process or is excessive, it’s important to seek medical attention. In rare cases, bleeding can be a sign of an infection or other underlying medical condition that requires treatment.

In summary, if you notice that your tattoo is bleeding ink, don’t panic. In most cases it’s normal and will still heal into the perfect tattoo.

If the bleeding persists after about 48 hours or is excessive call your tattoo studio for advice and seek medical attention to ensure proper healing.

The information on the site is for entertainment only. Anything you do is at your own risk. Consult with your own Tattooist, Piercer or Doctor for advice.
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