Infections and Tattoos

INFECTIONS and TATTOOS
The majority of people whether it is their first tattoo or one of many experience no problems during the healing process. However a small amount of people may develop a skin infection.

Having had an infection affects the way the tattoo looks when it is healing and can be uncomfortable. For most people they will be able to treat the problem at home.

Healing can take longer but the skin will settle and most people will find that their tattoo is unharmed. There may be some touch ups needed but this can also occur for people who have had a problem free healing process.

TATTOO STUDIOS AND INFECTION CONTROL
Tattoo Studios work hard to ensure the cleanliness of their studio with routine hygiene sterilisation and disinfecting techniques to make sure their working environment is clean and sterile where required.

INFECTIONS
Infections affecting tattoos are mainly caused by two types of bacteria. Streptococcal (Strep) and Staphylococcus (Staph pronounced “staff ”). Streptococcal (Strep) bacteria can be found living harmlessly in certain peoples respiratory, gut and genitourinary systems. Streptococci typically infect the throat and skin, although many other parts of the body can become infected, strep throat is the most common streptococcal infection.

 Staphylococci (Staph) normally grows in the nose and on the skin of 20% to 30% of healthy adults (and less commonly in the mouth; mammary glands; and urinary, intestinal, and upper respiratory tracts).

These bacteria do no harm until the skin is punctured or broken then the staph bacteria can enter the wound and cause infections. Staphylococci tend to infect the skin but they can travel through the bloodstream and involve almost any organ in the body.

 HOW STAPH INFECTIONS SPREAD

Staph can spread through:
• The air
• On contaminated surfaces and from person to person.
• A person can carry staph bacteria from one area of the body to another on hands and under fingernails.

Hand washing is the most important way to prevent staph infections. Staph bacteria can cause folliculitis, boils and abscess. It can also lead to other types of  infection such as cellulitis and impetigo.

 TREATING STAPH INFECTIONS

Minor staphylococcal infections of the skin surface can be treated by keeping the area clean.

• Do not over wash the area. An antibacterial soap can be used for a few days.
• Some natural aftercare products like TATTOO AFTERCARE® and TATTOO AFTERCARE VEGAN®  contain natural antibacterial ingredients.
• To stop the infection from spreading use disposable paper towels to dry the area. If you use a household towel use it once then wash it.

If the skin around the tattooed area starts to become very red, sore, is weeping pus or has boils or blisters then a visit to your doctor would be advisable. Apply a dressing to help absorb any discharge until the area is treated by the doctor.

Customers to the studio can help by informing the artist by delaying their tattoo appointment if they have a cold or feel generally unwell.

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