Is it Normal to feel Sick after Getting a Tattoo?

When you get your first tattoo, you’ll experience a wide range of feelings, both mentally and physically. Anxiety and nervousness play a big role in how you feel both before and after getting your tattoo. As you gain more experience with tattoos, the mental and physical “ailments” will decrease with each session.

One common thing people experience after getting a tattoo is a sense of flu-like symptoms and nausea. These are two common symptoms after a tattoo appointment, but you may not necessarily experience them.

However, if you’re having similar symptoms, don’t panic. This is just your body’s immune response to the “trauma” of getting a tattoo, which is an open wound. Once your body determines an injury has occurred, your white blood cells go to work to repair itself. To learn more about the after side effects of getting a tattoo, you must read this article further down.

Is it Normal to feel Unwell after Getting a Tattoo? (Sometimes referred to as “Tattoo Flu”)

Usually, after getting a tattoo for the first time, you’re likely to catch tattoo flu or feel feverish. It’s pretty normal for something like this to happen and is not necessarily a sign of a virus or serious infections.

While you could experience a bad skin reaction from the ink injected in your body to create a tattoo, the flu is more common. One of the main reasons for feeling sick after your tattoo appointment is your immune system starts working to repair your skin.

Tattooing does cause a lot of trauma in the skin, and you put a lot of stress on your body and brain before getting one, especially when it comes to the pain factor. That stress and trauma can weaken your immune system. It takes time before your immune system gets back to normal and fights any other possible viruses near you.

Thus, the feeling of sickness becomes even more evident for you when you already have a weak immune system. However, that doesn’t mean you will keep experiencing the flu symptoms after every tattoo. Once your body starts adjusting to the tattooing process, you’re less likely to catch flu or feel sick after you go in for another tattoo appointment.

What are the Symptoms? Is there anything You Can do to Prevent the Sickness Feeling?

You may experience a few symptoms that may cause you a feeling of sickness after your tattoo appointment. The most common symptoms are high fever, cold, diarrhea, tiredness, soreness, and swelling in your tattoo areas.

Anytime you get a tattoo, there is a risk of infection occurring. The symptoms listed above are very common and do not necessarily indicate your tattoo has developed an infection. However, you should monitor these symptoms to ensure they don’t get progressively worse. If they do continue to worsen, you contact one of your healthcare providers or the tattoo artist that did your work.

You can take some medication for your flu, but it’s a good idea to you consult your doctor before taking any kind of medication.

There is nothing you can do to stop the feeling of sickness, but you can stop stressing out before your appointment. It’s normal and okay to experience a bit of stress before your tattooing process; it is one of the main things that impact your level of getting sick.

Since your immune system has to fight with different viruses, your immune system stops working at a faster pace after your tattoo. Not to mention, your body goes through a lot of physical trauma during the tattooing process.

If you already have a poor and weak immune system, it’s best to build it up before going in for your tattoo. You can do this by eating and drinking healthy.

You can also avoid the risk of feeling sick by going to a good and experienced tattoo artist who has strict hygiene rules. Find a tattoo expert who will make you feel a bit at ease during the tattooing process, as this will help calm your stress levels.

Going to an inexperienced tattoo artist who doesn’t use the right ink or clean machinery will lead to the chances of getting a tattoo infection, mostly because of the ink. This could also lead to flu and other related symptoms.

You will have to do good research on different tattoo parlors around you and take recommendations from people who have got tattoos.

Can you Get Sick from a New Tattoo?

Yes, you can get sick after getting a new tattoo, but it’s not a serious thing as the feeling of sicknesses such as nausea and flu go away after some time.

You may feel unwell after a new tattoo, especially if it’s your first time and if the tattooing process lasts for longer than 2 or 3 hours. You will typically experience a feeling of achiness as your body tends to get numb when you’re sitting in one position.

This also puts a lot of stress on your mind and body, which usually leads to a feeling of flu and tiredness. Another reason for this discomfort is that your immune system starts working slowly.

Tattoo flu is one of the most common things you will experience that include feeling of flu, nausea, headaches, dizziness, and sometimes a stomach ache that may lead to diarrhea.

To avoid the feeling of weakness and nausea, you must have a proper meal before going in for your tattoo appointment. You should also have a good, healthy meal as soon as you get home after your tattoo appointment.

You will experience this feeling of sickness (tattoo flu) for a few days. You may even regret your decision to get a tattoo, especially the next day when you wake up. For some people, the symptoms may get worse the next day as your body is still going through some changes, and recovering from physical trauma caused by the tattoo needle.

But, again, this depends on the type of tattoo you’re getting and the placement. The tattoo flu shouldn’t stop you from getting a tattoo after the first time, as your body starts to slowly adjust after you keep getting tattoos. Plus, you most probably won’t experience the tattoo flu again unless you’re generally sick.

Why does a New Tattoo Feel Warm?

After you get a fresh tattoo on your skin, you’re likely to experience warmness on the area you’ve got your tattoo and will notice that it’s suddenly starting to heat up. One of the main reasons for this is the trauma caused by the tattoo machine, as your tattoo artist will inject many needles that pierce into your skin.

After your tattoo is complete, your tattoo will start to heal and look like it’s inflamed. The warmth you will feel on your tattoo is a sign of healing, as this is the moment the tattoo ink is adjusting into your skin.

This feeling lasts for around a day or, say, but if it doesn’t seem to go away and gets worse, then this is a big sign of a skin infection. After a tattoo, skin infections are also quite common and caused due to the tattoo ink or poor maintenance of tattoo machines.

If you feel like it’s worsening, you must immediately contact your tattoo artist and then visit your skin doctor.

What is Delayed Shock? Symptoms and Timing after a New Tattoo?

Delayed shock is the state in which you feel symptoms of sickness after your tattoo appointment for hours or even days. This happens during or right after the end of your tattoo process.

Some people don’t experience them at once; they usually experience it the next day. During a delayed shock, the most common symptoms are weakness, numbness, the regret of getting a tattoo, and losing the urge to get out of bed and do anything.

After getting a tattoo, your body experiences different changes, and since most of the time you sit in one position while getting your tattoo, your body starts to get stiff. This later results in extreme pain, which is a symptom of delayed shock.

These symptoms are quite common for any person who gets a tattoo, but if these last longer than a few hours or days, it is a sign of delayed shock.

 Tips to Remember before Going in for Your Tattoo Appointment

To make your tattoo appointment more fun and less stressful or painful, you must follow these tips mentioned below as they might help avoid the feelings of sickness later on.

Do Not Consume Alcohol

Refrain from consuming alcohol a day before your appointment, and especially on the day. Coming drunk or intoxicated to your tattoo appointment will increase the chances of heavy bleeding and more pain as your blood starts thinning.

This will also cause feelings of nausea, making it difficult for the tattoo artist to complete your tattoo.

Avoid Aspirin

Many people tend to take aspirin a few hours before their appointment thinking it will help control the tattoo machine’s pain. However, it will cause you further pain during your tattoo appointment as it leads to thinning your blood.

Other Tips

  • Get an ample amount of sleep the day before
  • Avoid exposing your skin under the sun and stay away from sunburns
  • Take care of your skin a week before your tattoo appointment as you want it in the best shape
  • Always do your research and find a reputable tattoo artist that works at a highly rated tattoo parlor
  • If this is your first tattoo, avoid long tattoo sessions. You will want to build up your body’s endurance to a long session.

Final Words

As we mentioned earlier, if your symptoms continue to worsen or even if you are concerned about some of your symptoms, be sure to reach out to your tattoo artist or seek medical attention.

Getting a tattoo for the first time can get quite overwhelming. But just one bad experience doesn’t mean you should never get a tattoo. Getting a tattoo is one of the most memorable and fun experiences.