Tattoos and Allergies: How to Do an Allergy Test

The ease with which it is possible to get a tattoo nowadays should not overshadow all the possible side effects that we might encounter when making the decision to change your body permanently. In fact, we must take into account all those risks or diseases that can be contracted with a tattoo. It is good to do all the necessary checks and protect yourself adequately, before a good experience such as a tattoo turns into a bad memory.

Tattoos are made on the skin through ink inserted with special tools in the surface layer of the skin. The tattoo artist uses manual equipment that works similar to a sewing machine, with one or more needles that repeatedly prick the skin. With each puncture, the device injects tiny drops of ink under the skin. The tattoo process, which is carried out without anesthesia and can last several hours for larger tattoos, causes slight bleeding and causes pain, from mild to very strong depending on the area treated and the absolutely personal pain threshold.

tree lion cross tattoo
@_juancarvalhotattoo via Instagram

How to Know if You Are Allergic to Tattoos?

The skin as we have said in the paragraph above, when you go to get a tattoo, comes into contact with ink injected under the epidermis. These ink pigments, depending on the chosen design, can be either black or colored. The color of the ink that is going to be used must be considered and cataloged among the major risks in the sphere of tattoos precisely because one could contract "allergy to tattoos".

First of all, we must categorize two types of allergic reactions that you can come into contact with by making a tattoo. These can occur either during the session or immediately after the tattoo is finished and can be obtained from both the ink and latex gloves. The major allergies also depend on the type of color used, in fact from a study done on a sample of tattooed people those allergic to black ink are decidedly low, while the colored ink, especially the red one, gives more problems. With modernity we tried to make tattoo inks even more hypoallergenic today. But in some exceptions they can still trigger allergic reactions. As we have mentioned, even the latex gloves used by the tattoo artist can cause allergies, a phenomenon that occurs during the session.

 Floral henna tattoo
@ks.subbota via Instagram

The Signs to Be Taken Into Consideration

If abnormal signs appear on our skin, such as redness on the part of the tattoo, blisters with pus, excessive itching or heat, we must immediately go to a doctor who will treat the area with specific creams or antibiotics.

To prevent this from happening and get a tattoo peacefully, it is recommended to go to the tattoo artist a few days before and get the list of ingredients of the colors or the name of the manufacturer to go back to these independently or have a little ink applied in an area of bare skin close to the part of the body where the tattoo will actually be done. If redness, swelling or pain occur in the following hours then there will be an allergy.

 portrait tattoo
@golf_tattoo_nsw via Instagram

What to Do if There Is an Allergy

If, unfortunately, unexpected reactions should appear after having a tattoo, you absolutely must go to a dermatologist who will either solve the problem immediately, or will have you visit an allergist. This type of allergy requires specific treatments. To avoid being faced with these even more serious problems such as infections or more serious diseases, it is always recommended to contact professionals who scrupulously follow the rules of hygiene and sterilization of instruments.

Owl and Stitch tattoo via Instagram

Is There a Risk of Contracting HIV and AIDS With Tattoos?

Tattoos and disease are two words that often go hand in hand. On the question, however, there are very conflicting ideas: on the one hand we have those who completely deny the correlation, on the other hand we have those who believe that tattoos are extremely dangerous and that the risk of disease is very high. Between these two positions there is not one that is absolute or right because both are generalist and too extreme. Today, in this article, we will try to clarify this delicate issue.

The correlation between tattoos and HIV or AIDS exists, it is useless to deny it. Even the greatest enthusiasts know that there can be risks. However, by following some simple rules dictated by common sense and information, it is possible to completely eliminate the risk.

 Floral henna tattoo
@baronartjojo via Instagram


In Italy the legislation governing the execution of tattoos is strict. Studios must maintain a certain standard of hygiene and must follow certain rules in order to remain open to the public. Of course, there will certainly be some that break the law but in these cases common sense comes into play. A dirty looking, poorly maintained studio whose tattoo artist doesn't have a reliable, clean appearance will likely not be hygienically safe. For this reason it is better to avoid getting tattooed even if the prices may appear advantageous or you do not want to continue the search.

A serious and professional firm, on the other hand, will do everything to be safe and reliable. Specifically, the practices that a good tattoo artist must apply to completely reduce the risk of disease are as following:

Sterilization of materials: the machine used must be perfectly cleaned and made sterile after each tattoo.

Use of disposable needles: a disposable needle, perfectly sterile and packaged, must be used for each person. A professional tattoo artist will show you the opening of the package to show you that you don't run any risk of disease.

Use of gloves: all the operations performed by the tattoo artist must be done with the use of gloves to avoid direct contact with the customer's skin.

When all these rules are followed the risk of contracting HIV (or hepatitis) is nil. The law, in fact, states that tattooing is a safe practice if the rules are respected.

 snow man Olaf tattoo
@chrissharpetattoos via Instagram

When Do You Take the Risk?

The answer is simple: when getting a tattoo outside the law. Many people learn at home and offer friends and acquaintances tattoos at discounted prices. In this case the risk is really high because most likely the basic hygiene rules are not observed. Leaving aside this category of amateur tattoo artists, we can say with certainty that no type of contagion has ever occurred in serious studies.

anime Demon Slayer Kamado Tanjirou and Kamado Nezuko tattoo
@tattooer_littleng via Instagram


When it comes to difficult issues like this, try to have a critical eye and keep an open mind. We must not believe everything we hear but we must inform ourselves from clear and certain sources. Doctors and specialists say that by following the laws there is no risk and they are right. The state protects the citizen and subjects specialized studies to continuous checks and training courses for tattoo artists in order to avoid unpleasant accidents. At this point it is up to individual common sense to choose reliable places and stay away from anything that appears unprofessional and clean. In most cases the studies that can be found in cities are reliable because they pass the periodic checks of the police.

If the tattoos are done wisely and if you think carefully about your choices, you can rest assured, there is no risk of contracting HIV and you can show off a wonderful tattoo in complete safety. Or you might want to get a tattoo without these risks, try some inktells’ tattoo stickers!