II. Adverse Effects

III. Management: Acute

  1. Symptomatic relief
    1. Ice packs (applied no more than 20 min/hour) decrease local swelling and pain
    2. Avoid topical Diphenhydramine
      1. Risk of skin sensitization
    3. Avoid topical Hydrocortisone
      1. Risk of secondary infection
  2. Infection Risk
    1. Patients should be made aware of infection signs (redness, fever, Pustules, foul drainage)
      1. Seek medical attention if these occur
    2. Avoid preventive Topical Antibiotics(e.g. Bacitracin, triple antibiotic, neosporin)
      1. Likely ineffective and risk of reaction
    3. Avoid antiseptics (e.g. Hydrogen Peroxide, Alcohol)
      1. Risk of delayed Wound Healing
    4. Clean Tattoo sites with Mild Soap and water twice daily
      1. Standard Mild Soaps are as safe and effective as specific targeted products (e.g. Tattoo Goo)
    5. Apply hypoallergenic Skin Lubricant after washing skin
      1. Petroleum-based products are likely safe (despite concern that they may fade Tattoo)
    6. Avoid swimming until Tattoo site heals (2-4 weeks)
      1. Life threatening, serious infections have occurred in those with new Tattoos and contaminated water exposure

IV. Management: Longterm

  1. Sunscreen regular use
    1. Prevents Skin Cancer as well as Tattoo fading
  2. Vaccinations
    1. May be safely administered through a Tattoo site after it has healed
  3. Transdermal patches
    1. Avoid placing over a Tattoo site (especially a fresh Tattoo site)
  4. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
    1. Rare burns and other reactions have occurred at Tattoo sites during MRI (postulated due to metals in certain inks)
  5. Tattoo Removal
    1. Avoid OTC Tattoo removal creams (risk of reaction, and ineffective)
    2. Refer for Tattoo laser removal

V. References

  1. (2017) Presc Lett 24(9): 52
  2. (2023) Presc Lett 30(2): 11

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