Is It Normal For My New Tattoo to Leak Ink?

Getting your first ever tattoo is an exciting experience. But if it’s your first tattoo, you may be unaware of the effects you experience after getting one. It means that once you get the preferred design on a suitable area, you might come across some unexpected tattoo issues. It’s natural to panic when you see something out of the ordinary. But getting tattoos comes with up and downs, so it’s time to accept the downs just as you would embrace the ups.

One of the most common issues people face with their new tattoo is ink leaking from it. There’s nothing to worry about ink leakage as it’s something common and actually a good sign that your tattoo is on its road to a good recovery. When you get your first tattoo, your skin goes through a lot of trauma due to the needles that pierce through the dermis. Hence, it’s expected for issues such as ink leakage to occur. To learn more about ink leaking from your tattoo and what you can do to control it, read further below.

Why does it happen? Is It Normal?

During the tattooing process, your tattoo artist will inject as much ink as possible in the dermis. This helps ensure an ample amount of ink for the tattoo to appear properly. When the tattoo artist uses too much ink in a specific area, it will leak from the tattoo design during the first few days of the healing process. The tattoo artist sometimes purposely tends to fill in extra ink, as the moment ink gets into your skin, your immune system will start working at a speed to ensure the ink’s out of your body.

The immune system sees ink as a threat, so it works towards its removal. This is one of the reasons why tattoo artists have to ensure they inject enough ink. When you notice excessive leaking, ink mixes with some bodily fluids, such as sweat, plasma, blood, and other things that appear on your skin’s upper layer. These naturally go away within time. Ink leakage is a good sign and completely normal. In fact, you should be worried if you don’t experience leakage, as this is a big sign that something may have gone wrong with your tattoo.

If you go to a professional tattoo artist, he/she will know how much ink to inject. During the tattooing process, they know how much ink each area requires, without inserting too little or too much. Your body can only handle a certain amount of ink, and when it’s too much to bear, you will experience ink leakage. The leakage stops within a few days on its own, and there is nothing to worry about. All you have to do is make sure to keep the area clean and dry.

How Long Do Tattoos Leak Ink?

You will experience ink leaking from the tattoo for about two or three days after your tattoo appointment. The tattoo ink leakage time period depends on a few factors, such as your immune system. If you have a fast-track immune system, your tattoo will finish leaking within the first three days. In some cases, ink leakage might last for more than three days. This is something that should concern you, and you must achieve immediate medical help as you might have an allergic reaction to the ink. This is one of the reasons you must carefully choose a tattoo artist, ensuring they use high quality ink. You must also check with your doctor if you’re fit enough to get a tattoo to avoid any complications.

Will This Ruin The Tattoo?

In most cases, ink leaking from your tattoo will never ruin the final look, as a tattoo that doesn’t leak ink will fade, and you will notice a lot of patchiness. Ink leaking from your tattoo is normal and must happen for your tattoo to heal correctly. So if you happen to come across a ink leaking from your tattoo, you should get a sense of relief that your tattoo will look as amazing as ever. In some cases, the ink might not stop leaking, and persist for longer than usual.

This is a sign that you’re experiencing an allergic reaction because of the ink. This may ruin the whole look of your tattoo. If your tattoo artist has injected the right amount of ink using clean and sterilized equipment, you don’t have to worry about ruining your tattoo, regardless of how much ink it leaks.

How to Deal With Ink Leaking From Your Tattoo?

Ink leaking from your tattoo is part of the healing process, so there is nothing you can do that will stop it. But, you must make sure to constitute your aftercare tattoo routine regardless if your tattoo leaks or not. The aftercare steps might also help limit the amount of ink leaking from your new tattoo. Mentioned below are a few things you can do when you experience tattoo ink leakage and limit it:

1.      Clean Your Tattoo

The first and foremost thing you should do is clean your tattoo area. When you experience tattoo ink leakage, various fluids and substances can accumulate on the skin. If you don’t clean this regularly, you might worsen the leakage, ruining the entire look of your tattoo. You will also be prone to different skin infections.

Sometimes, if you don’t remove the gunk regularly, it will harden up and cause scabs, which slow down your tattoo’s healing process. The simplest way to clean your tattoo is to use warm water. Wash your tattoo gently with warm water and use an antibacterial soap by gently applying it all over your tattoo.

2.      Avoid Applying Too Much Ointment

Applying ointment should be part of your tattoo’s aftercare routine to help smoothen out the skin. However, in some cases people tend to go a bit overboard by applying lots of ointment. Make sure you use reliable ointment that aligns with your skin type. When applying, spread a thin layer of ointment on your tattoo and you’re good to go. By applying too much ointment, you may block oxygen from passing through the skin, leading to further ink leakage. Applying ointment won’t only lessen the leakage, but also help the tattoo heal faster.

3.      Shower Carefully

It can get a bit tricky when you have to shower with ink leaking out of your tattoo. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t shower at all. You can take showers, but follow a few guidelines when showering. Instead of taking long showers, cut it down to 5-10 minutes. This is to prevent shower steam from affecting your tattoo. When your tattoo is fresh and new, hot steam is the last thing you should expose it to, especially if it’s leaking.

When showering, use proper soap and gently rub it over the area of your tattoo. Try to limit your skin’s exposure to water. This means you can’t take a hot bathtub wash for long, and it’s best to avoid swimming.  When showering, the best way to get rid of ink traces is by pouring a little water on the tattoo. This will instantly help to get rid of the ink traces without constantly exposing your tattoo to it.

4.      Avoid Drinking Alcoholic Beverages

Till your tattoo completes the healing process, you must not consume any alcoholic beverages. It’s best to stop drinking alcohol a week before your tattoo appointment. When you consume large amounts of alcohol, your blood starts to thin, leading to excessive leaking. This might be the case if you notice heavy ink leakage, and you must at once keep away alcohol.

5.      Change Your Tattoo Wrap or Bandage

You should use a tattoo wrap or bandage if you have to remain outdoors for a longer period of time and don’t have enough time to take care of your tattoo. If that’s the case, make sure to keep changing your tattoo wrap or bandage. If your tattoos start leaking, make sure you apply the wrap properly so that it doesn’t get to your clothes or other surfaces you come in contact with.

Final Thoughts

A sign of tattoo leaking is something you must prepare yourself to expect before getting your tattoo. These are very common symptoms, and leaking is one of the most prominent, ensuring that your tattoo is on the right track. Just make sure to consult your tattoo artist or doctor if you notice something abnormal and if the leaking persists for more than three days.

It’s good to prepare yourself and know what to expect before getting a tattoo, especially if it’s your first time. If you experience ink leaking from your tattoo, just follow the aftercare steps mentioned above, and you’re good to go.