Tattoo Redness Around Tattoo is Normal or You Need to Worry?

Worried about tattoo redness?

Redness after tattoo is always a sign that something is wrong with your skin. This is particularly true if you do not know what left the mark or caused your skin to be irritated or inflamed. If it doesn’t really hurt, many can brush it off but if the area is tender and touching it makes you wince, then, it’s certainly worth paying attention to.

This is why it’s not surprising that many people get alarmed when they notice some tattoo redness on fresh ink. Infection is always a pressing concern for those who are getting a tattoo, so it’s understandable that many keep an eye out on the smallest changes on their skin that comes with the skin art.

But should you really worry if you see some redness on your tattoo? This guide will help you find the answers you’re looking for.

Tattoo Redness

Tattoo Redness Around Tattoo After a Week is Normal?

For most folks, tattoo redness is what they call the reddening of the skin that immediately surrounds the tattoo. It looks like a red halo around the skin, so if your new ink isn’t too colorful, it can really be quite eye-catching.

The thing is, tattoo redness around tattoo after a week is normal, especially when the tattoo is very fresh. You can expect to have it during the first few days of nursing your tattoo. Why? Because the tattoo did some damage to your skin and the redness is an indicator of the trauma and a sign of the body’s efforts to repair the skin.

Since tattooing involves punching many holes into your skin in order to deposit color in the dermis, the trauma will be manifested through redness. It’s also the body’s initial response in healing the wound that is the tattoo. As more blood is directed to the damaged area to supply oxygen, blood-clotting cells, and other vital things to help heal the injury faster, some redness surrounding the area can be expected.

So to put it simply, yes, tattoo redness is normal. It should be expected, especially while the tattoo is still very fresh. Your tattoo will have some redness for the first few days. With proper aftercare measures, you can expect the redness and tenderness of the skin area to go away quickly.

When to Worry and What to Do

While some tattoo redness around tattoos can be expected, it doesn’t mean that all kinds can be brushed off. There are also some instances where the redness is a sign of a problem. Again, the ideal redness only looks like a halo around the tattoo. If it looks worse than that, then you might have a reason to worry.

As many would know, redness is also a sign of wound infection. It’s one of the first telltale symptoms of the said condition. It can also be a sign of an allergic reaction to the ink, making it more pressing to address the concern right away.

How can you tell if your tattoo’s redness isn’t the normal kind? Be on the lookout for the following:

  • Infections also normally trigger fluid retention as the body tries to deliver the infection-fighting white blood cells to the affected area. An infected tattoo would not just look a bit raised which is normal. It can seriously bulge to a point that the area will be hard to move.
  • Warm to touch. If the area surrounding the tattoo is warmer than other body parts, it means that the body is trying to fight off an infection there.
  • Darkening of color over time. The redness should lighten and subside within a few days.
  • Spreading of coverage. The redness shouldn’t expand its coverage over time.
  • Extended duration. If the redness stays for over two weeks, it can be a sign of trouble.
  • The appearance of lesions, bumps, and rashes. These are also signs of bacterial infection.
  • Pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting. These are symptoms of a full-blown infection.

Addressing Tattoo Issues

If you have reason to believe that the redness of your tattoo is a sign of trouble, the best way to address the problem is to see a doctor that is knowledgable in tattoos. They will be able to tell if your concerns are valid and what you can do about it. Typically, antibiotics are prescribed to deal with the concern.

Allergies to tattoo inks are very rare but can still happen. In such cases, it’s also best to go straight to a doctor who is well-versed in tattoos. They will help you address the concern immediately.

Proper Tattoo Aftercare: An Absolute Must

If you want to minimize the chances of your tattoo redness turning out to become a complication, it’s best to practice proper tattoo aftercare. Follow the advice of your tattoo artist to a T to make sure that you aid the healing of your tattoo.

Taking preventive measures like choosing a reputable and reliable tattoo artist is also very helpful. Doing a lot of research and trusting the right tattooist can also be a great way to make sure that you don’t have to worry about your tattoo’s redness.

FAQs on Tattoo Redness

Want to know more about tattoo redness? Here are additional answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about it:

When Should The Redness Around TattooGo Away?

The redness of your tattoo should go away within a couple of days after getting the new ink. It should start lightening in color hours after your session then disappears a few days later.

However, it should also be noted that because not everyone heals at the same pace, some might experience redness for a bit longer than others. If you have sensitive skin, this might be the case.

How Do You Know If You’re Allergic To Red Tattoo Ink?

The symptoms of a tattoo allergy are pretty much the same as to what you’ll experience skin irritation and infection. In many cases, the skin will instantly have a reaction to the ink a few moments after putting it on. Symptoms can show up a bit later in other instances.

No matter what the case is, though, if you experience or notice the following on your tattooed area, see a healthcare provider right away:

  • Rashes, skin tags, and bumps
  • Intense itchiness
  • Scaly skin
  • Irritation and redness
  • Swelling
  • Liquid discharge from the open wounds
  • Fever

Also read: Tattoo Touch Ups: What to Do to Get an Effective Touch-Up


With the amount of trauma your skin gets from a tattoo, it shouldn’t be surprising if the area becomes a bit red after. It’s normal as long as it subsides within a day or two. With proper aftercare, you don’t have to worry about tattoo redness after a tattoo at all.

About the author

I’m S.R Bhuiyan, a proud Tattoo artist. I will share the body art journey with you here in PrettyJust. I have 10+ years of experience in the field of tattoo, piercing, nail art, and skincare. Check out my bio which has my tattoo studio/cat/travel pics!

2 thoughts on “Tattoo Redness Around Tattoo is Normal or You Need to Worry?”

  1. I got a tattoo on my calf ( back of my knee cap down to my ankle) it’s been 12 days and it’s still a bit red mostly around my ankle. Should I be worried?.


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