What is tattoo allergic reaction?

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Allergic reaction to tattoo ink: Overview

Some people have an allergic reaction to the ink used in their tattoo. Allergies are a reaction of the immune system. An allergic reaction can range from mild and annoying to sudden and life-threatening.

Allergic reactions do not always occur the first time you are exposed to the tattoo ink. For example, if you have had 3 or 4 tattoos without any problems, you could have an allergic reaction to the ink the next time you have a tattoo. Each time you have a tattoo, you must watch for signs of an allergy and get help based on the severity of your reaction.

An allergic reaction can be local and produce swelling, itching, or hives in the area of contact with the allergen. Local reactions can usually be handled at home and are not life-threatening.

Sometimes a local allergic reaction can be the start of a more serious whole-body reaction to the allergen. More serious reactions can include swelling of the throat, nausea or vomiting, wheezing, or problems breathing (anaphylaxis). This is a medical emergency. Emergency care is always needed for an anaphylactic reaction.

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