Like the majority of people, you probably haven’t heard of tattoo flu. It is a flu-like illness, as its name typically implies that some people develop after having been tattooed.
Despite the fact that you’re undoubtedly delighted about obtaining the new work of art, the tattoo virus may (sadly) be waiting around the corner. Check out the below-listed tattoo flu symptoms and prevention strategies since knowing what to look out for will help you during your recovery.
What Is Tattoo Flu?
A typical physical reaction to having been pricked multiple times in the skin is tattoo flu. Your immune system reacts as though an artistic gun is wounding you as the tattoo artist helps you forever memorialize anything that strikes your interest.
Your body’s natural defenses see the new tattoo as nothing more than a large, painful owie (minor injury), even though the skin art may appear incredibly cool. Therefore, your immune system can attack like a four-alarm fire even if you are psychologically quite relaxed.
Your pain receptors even get into overdrive when the needle touches the skin, giving you a pleasant sensation of adrenaline that causes your heart to beat a little quicker.
Your immune system becomes aware that there may be a problem with all of this activity. Since a needle is actually piercing the skin, and during a regular tattoo session, the needle repeatedly pokes your skin. Significant amounts of pain result in high levels of adrenaline and perception of physical threat.
In response to this threat, the immune system dispatches white blood cells and leukocytes to assist in preventing possible infections. Some symptoms might start to appear at that time. Additionally, when the leukocytes begin to operate, your immune system is stressed, which increases your risk of being sick.
During the first phases of the recovery process, some patients may experience flu-like symptoms because the immune system is reacting quickly to this stress. A few additional variables might aggravate these symptoms, which we will discuss in this article.
Is It Common To Feel Ill After Getting A Tattoo?
As the needles continually pierce the skin, getting a tattoo is a painful operation that harms your body. The body will respond by fighting back, which might make you feel sick or dizzy for a while after receiving the tattoo. It would be best if you didn’t worry because this is extremely common.
Before getting your first tattoo, it is essential to consider what this implies. Consider the tattoo design, the style, and the tattoo artist you want to hire. The next step is to decide where the tattoo will be done and whether or not you can withstand the discomfort.
After the tattoo operation, you might assume that’s it, but there are still more considerations to make. The importance of aftercare cannot be overstated since it will determine how your tattoo will look.
The way you will feel after getting a tattoo is another consideration. The procedure of getting a tattoo injures the body and puts stress on your system and mind. Your immune system will begin to defend itself. Given that you could become ill, this is commonly referred to as “tattoo flu.” This is normal, especially when it’s your first tattoo because your body is in shock and attempting to recover.
What Symptoms Will You Experience If You Have The Tattoo Flu?
Tattoo flu symptoms vary from individual to individual. Some individuals merely sense that they are more tired than usual, while others feel as if they have been “struck by a truck.”
After having a tattoo, you can likely experience tattoo flu if you exhibit one or more of the following signs:
- Fatigue or sleepiness
- Body aches or soreness
- Cold chills
- Nausea or vomiting
- Feeling weak
- Tattoo swelling
All of these signs and symptoms are typically minor and appear within a few hours after getting a tattoo, though they may even start to manifest during the appointment.
Infection occurs if the fever or chills worsen or if pus, bleeding, or anything else is seen pouring from the skin around the tattooed region. Consult a doctor right away.
Another critical point to remember is that an allergic response and an infection are not the same things. An allergic reaction to the ink can cause any rashes, redness, itching, or pimples you see around your freshly inked skin design. In this case, you should immediately run to your doctor.
What Makes Tattoo Flu Symptoms Worse?
Long tattoo sessions can hasten the symptoms of the flu. If you are receiving a back piece or sleeves and anticipate being in the studio all day, you may begin to suffer signs during or shortly after the session. If possible, try to avoid the few things that could worsen the tattoo sickness.
During a lengthy session, symptoms might also occur if you do not even move about significantly. Your body might start to feel weak and sore after spending hours in one posture. During the tattoo session, be careful to take breaks and switch up the sitting posture if you can.
Additionally, you should be cautious of the tattoo flu if you are anxious easily or experience high levels of stress before or during your session. Your immune system “kick starts” with anxiety, which might worsen symptoms.
It’s crucial to take regular pauses and find strategies to divert your attention if you feel extremely worried throughout the session. To distract yourself from the tattooing, listen to music or talk with the artist. Most crucial, let the artist know whether you’re feeling anxious, upset, or overwhelmed.
Last, you should postpone your tattoo session if you are already feeling ill. Exposing people to the condition is not only unwise, but it will also raise the risk of developing full-blown tattoo flu.
How Much Time Does The Tattoo Flu Last?
Let’s start with when the tattoo fever usually starts. Some people experience flu-like symptoms for the first time right after getting a tattoo. Others, however, can exhibit symptoms a few hours or even a day later.
The good news is that, unlike the real flu, the tattoo flu is not communicable and does not last nearly as long. Tattoo fever usually disappears within 24 to 48 hours.
So, if you are feeling down and beginning to regret having tattooed, don’t do that! Your symptoms should soon go away, and soon you’ll be feeling wonderful again.
How Can I Cure The Symptoms Of The Tattoo Flu?
You can take a few steps to decrease the intensity of the tattoo flu symptoms. An excellent place to start is by making sure you are eating balanced, healthy meals and getting enough water. Make sure your body receives the vitamins, minerals, and water required to heal from the stress of having a tattoo.
Take a day off of work if you can if you start to develop intense symptoms of tattoo flu. While your body heals, get lots of sleep.
Additionally, you may wish to explore over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen to assist ease symptoms. (Always get medical advice before beginning a new medicine.) These medications can aid with symptom management until the tattoo fever passes.
Is it significant or a reason for worry? When should I visit a physician? Is it an indication of an allergy or an infection?
Fortunately, tattoo flu rarely becomes worse. It often only lasts one to two days, as was previously stated. To check out an infection or even other medical issues, you should see your doctor immediately once if it continues for more than two days.
Some flu-like symptoms can point to an infection that needs rapid medical treatment, such as one in a tattoo. Long-lasting fever, chills, soreness, and swelling around the tattoo could be signs of infection.
Infections from tattoos are uncommon, occurring in less than 6% of people. Infections can spread through contaminated tattoo equipment and ink, and occasionally inappropriate aftercare might result in infection. If this happens to you, you may require medications to help you get rid of the illness. It is essential to remember that the key to treating this ailment is early identification.
Infections are very different from allergic reactions and usually cause symptoms similar to the flu. You’re more prone to develop bumps, swelling, itching, or rashes at the tattoo location if you’re experiencing an allergic response. Even though this is unrelated to tattoo fever, if you suffer any of these symptoms, you should think about visiting your doctor.
Methods For Preventing Tattoo Flu
The good news is that there are steps you can take to protect yourself from contracting tattoo sickness (or lessen the harshness of the symptoms). Look at these suggestions.
- Don’t scrimp on nutritious foods either after your session. Make healthy meal selections for a few days after having a tattoo.
- Avoid taking aspirin or other blood thinners earlier, during, and after receiving your tattoos. Before discontinuing any prescription drugs, you frequently use, talk to your doctor.
- On the day of your tattoo, bring a water bottle with you and drink from it occasionally. Continue to work hard once you come home, just like healthy meals. Drink plenty of water (or low-sugar diet drinks) over the next few days.
- When you come home, continue to get some rest. A body that has had enough sleep can heal considerably more rapidly than one that is exhausted!
- If you’re concerned that you’ll feel anxious during your session, be sure to pick an artist whose personality complements yours. Connect with someone who will listen to your worries with patience and empathy. A compassionate artist may occasionally go a long way when attempting to prevent the tattoo flu.
- It would be better to delay the appointment if you have recently returned from a busy day at the beach. For a few weeks after having a tattoo, you should also stay out of the sun.
- Any action that makes your body tired or sore should be avoided. Avoid getting inked the day after you assist a friend with moving into a new apartment or finish a half-marathon. If your muscles are completely rested, your body has a lot higher chance of preventing tattoo flu.
- Skip the hot showers for a while. Some claim that you should refrain from sweating as well. And apply a light, odorless moisturizer on the fresh tattoo to hydrate it, but just avoid using vaseline.
- Vitamin C is essential for immune function, wound healing, and tissue repair in the body. Try to begin using the supplements a minimum of a week before your visit for the most significant outcomes. (Before using any new supplements, check with your doctor.)
Reasons For Feeling Sick After Getting A Tattoo
Your Immunity Is Compromised
As we previously discussed, getting a tattoo directly impacts the immune system. The body is unsure of how to respond as a result of the increased levels of adrenaline, intense and ongoing pain, and general stress. As a result, the immune system worsens, leaving you more susceptible to illness and the flu since your body is unable to fight against germs and viruses effectively.
You Already Have A Medical Condition
If you arrive at a tattoo appointment already unwell, chances are that you’ll grow even sicker after the tattoo. It is highly suggested to avoid having a tattoo when unwell since the immune system becomes too weak to handle a fresh tattoo. Due to the body’s inability to fight off diseases in such a situation, your tattoo may get readily infected.
You’ve Consumed Alcohol Before Getting A Tattoo
First and foremost, being intoxicated before a tattoo session is unethical and disrespectful to the tattoo artist. You’ll feel bad afterward if you receive a tattoo while under the influence of alcohol. You’ll feel ill, sick, weak, and dehydrated.
You Haven’t Eaten Or Drank Anything Before Getting A Tattoo
Your body needs the energy to deal with the stress of tattooing. Before having a tattoo, you should eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of water. Otherwise, hunger and thirst will alert your body that there is no supply of energy. As a result, you may feel sick and unwell once the tattoo is completed.
It’s natural to feel sick or feverish after receiving a tattoo, but don’t let this discourage you from getting one. You should be prepared, though, by being aware that this is a possibility. The sensation will pass quickly, leaving you with a lovely new tattoo to flaunt.