Home » Is Tattoo Bruising Normal? (How to Deal With It)

Is Tattoo Bruising Normal? (How to Deal With It)

When you think about getting a permanent mark on your skin, the first thought that probably comes to your mind is perhaps a heartwarming one.

Getting a permanent design etched on your body gives you access to an art form that is ever so popular. There are people who have their bodies covered in such beautiful designs that they could be called artists rather than tattoo artists.

However, one must remember that getting a tattoo is not something to be taken lightly. A lot of preparation goes into picking an artist and the motif. The individual would feel quite a bit of pain during the process and bruising, which is also pretty common.

Many reasons can result in bruising, and hence, essential to know what they are if you have already decided to get one or plan on getting one at some point.

What is Tattoo Bruising?

What is Tattoo Bruising?
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When you receive an injection or a tattoo, the tissues around the injection or the needles might swell up; it might be because of bruising.

 You may probably notice a bruise on your tattoos, as some of your tattoos are slightly darker than others.

It can occur in any part of the tattoo process, but it is most common when someone gets an injection into the skin.

 Other factors, too, can cause bruising, something we will cover here.

Causes of Tattoo Bruising

Causes of Tattoo Bruising
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While understanding what tattoo bruising is vital, the real question is what you can do to prevent it. Certain factors might lead to bruising in the tattoo process. Let’s take a look at them.

Allergic Reactions

The first and the most common cause of tattoo bruising is allergic reactions. In case you are allergic to a particular substance that was used while tattooing, you might have very mild rashes or even minor bruises. The only way to know for sure is to get a small sample of your tattoo tested for allergens.

Excessive Pigment

Excessive pigment in a specific area at one time is another factor that can lead to bruising. It is something that must be avoided. If you already have a design in mind or you are getting an intricate piece done, make sure that the artist is cautious about the amount of pigment in a particular area.

How to Deal With Tattoo Bruising?

How to Deal With Tattoo Bruising
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The best thing to do is to visit your artist as soon as possible if bruising starts to appear. It is better to have it treated before it gets too big.

The first step that you must take is to stop the bleeding from the area immediately. Wipe the area with sterile gauze, try to stop the bleeding if you can, and then apply pressure on the spot to try to stop the bleeding.

Suppose you are getting a tattoo and notice some bruising after. In that case, you need to sanitize yourself thoroughly before you come out of the studio. Ensure to clean the area with an antiseptic, so there is no dirt sticking to your wound.

Make your tattoo artist aware of the problem, and they can adjust the procedure. There is no need to fear this. It is better to have it addressed than to hide it from the artist and have it get worse.

Factors That Influence Tattoo Bruising

Factors That Influence Tattoo Bruising
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Not all tattoo bruising is the same, and also, not everyone gets tattoo bruising – which might be news to many readers. There are factors that influence whether one’s tattoo will bruise or not. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Location of the Tattoo

Some parts of our bodies are more likely to bruise than others; it is just an unquestionable fact. Some areas where tattoo bruising is more likely are joints, lower parts of the body, ankles, wrists, and biceps. Simply put, areas where the blood flow can be affected and body parts that move a lot.

2. Tattoo Artist’s Technique

Not all tattoo artist follows the same procedure when it comes to tattooing, and it plays a substantial role in bruising.

An experienced tattoo artist will be gentler with their process resulting in less trauma on your skin, which ultimately reduces the risk of bruising.

3. Medication

If you are on some sort of medication, then it would be wise to talk with your doctor about getting a tattoo. For example, blood thinners would result in excessive bruising.

4. Some People Bruise Easily

Humans might look similar, but we are all different. Some folks bruise easily, and there is nothing much you can do about that if you are one of them.

Folks with Vitamin C & Vitamin K deficiency are prone to bruising easily. Even folks with low platelet count would face tattoo bruising.

Tips for Dealing With Tattoo Bruising

Tips for Dealing With Tattoo Bruising
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Tattoo bruising is not such a severe issue, especially if one has taken proper precautions for it. Also, like the tattoo, the bruising will heal naturally. However, that does not mean one cannot do anything to speed up the process.

Here are some tips that you can take advantage of and handle your tattoo bruising much more effectively.

1. Keep Your Area Clean

While it is crucial to stop the bleeding, keeping the area clean is just as important. Make sure to clean the area with an antiseptic or sterile gauze after every tattoo session.

Ensure that there is no dirt hiding in your wound. It can cause infection, making it harder for your doctor to treat it.

2. Keep it Elevated

If you have tattoos on your lower extremities, such as your legs, try to raise them up over your chest when sitting or lying down. Sleep with one leg elevated so the blood flow will return back to its ordinary course without pooling at the spot where the tattoo was created.

Try propping a few pillows, towels, or blankets under one of your limbs so that they are raised off the ground. It will have a major impact on the healing process.

3. Cover the Area with an Ice Pack

It is a quick and easy way to reduce swelling. You can get an ice pack from the grocery store, put it on the area and then wrap it in a towel. Or you can place an ice pack on your tattoo while at home. It will reduce swelling and help to stop the bleeding.

4. Say no to Smoking, at Least for a Couple of Weeks

Scientifically speaking, smoking can have detrimental effects on your body. And the same is the case with tattoo bruising, as cigarettes slow the healing down. This reduces blood flow to your body and delays tissue repair.

So as tempting as it may be, try cutting back on your tobacco intake – at least for a week before getting ink work done and again after (though most people recommend giving themselves 2-3 weeks post-tattoo).

Not only will this do wonders for speeding up healing time (and therefore giving you a better chance at avoiding infection), but it’ll also do wonders for slowing down the aging process and even improve general heart health!

5. Get Some Rest

Following a tattoo appointment, most folks can immediately return to their normal activities. Ultimately, you know your body best – so rest and relax if you need to!

Getting back to an active lifestyle too soon can affect the healing process of your new tattoo. Your body is trying to keep up with all its functions without giving enough time for the traumatized skin and beat-up area of ink from the needle puncture wounds to recover.

Physical activity right after getting a tattoo could also lead to bruising because your muscles are forced to work harder than they are used to due both to the traumatic experience and all that adrenaline pumping through them.

It might be beneficial for you to plan to get your tattoo at the end of your workdays. This way, you will have the next couple of days off and give your body the proper rest it deserves from the tattoo experience.

6. You Can Take Medication

Have a dose of ibuprofen or another pain reliever if the pain is already inhibiting your activities. Plus, they’ll help those bruises disappear faster, too, because these medicines will reduce swelling and pain!

If the pain is not unbearable, but if you’re anemic (which many people are), it is best to increase your intake of iron-rich foods such as spinach and chard. Adding vitamin C supplements to your diet will also help to make sure that your bruise heals even more quickly.

7. Get a Second Opinion

Getting a second opinion will not only make you feel more confident in the artist, but it will also help prevent future issues.

Often, an artist will rush a large portion or might not take the time to cover all the bases. It would be wise if you make sure that does not happen.

Can You Prevent the Tattoo From Bruising at All?

Can You Prevent the Tattoo From Bruising at All
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There are many benefits to getting a tattoo, but they can also pose a number of risks. The best way to prevent bruising from a tattoo is to take precautions before getting one. Here are some tips that can help you out massively:

  1. First, make sure that your chosen tattoo artist is of a reputable sort. Anyone can put ink on your skin, but only the best tattoo artists are skilled at preventing bruising.
  2. Another precaution you should take is avoiding getting tattooed in exceptionally tender or sensitive areas. These areas include the inner arms, the lower back, and the neck.
  3. Finally, avoid getting tattooed during high blood pressure episodes or periods of emotional stress. These conditions increase the risk of bruising. If you do get a tattoo, be sure to bring along a backup plan in case it bruises.

By taking these precautions, you can avoid bruising and enjoy your tattoos without worry.

Also Read: 18 Most Painful Places to Get a Tattoo on Your Body

Tattoo Bruising V Tattoo Blowout

Tattoo Bruising V Tattoo Blowout
Image Source: reddi

It is not uncommon for tattoo bruising and blowout to look pretty much the same, especially in the first couple of days of healing. There are, however, some differences between each, and they should not be confused as the same.

The main difference between tattoo bruising and blowout is that the bruising will start to heal within a day or two. The color will change from reddish to yellowish over the days and finally to the normal state.

Compare it to the blowout, which will be around for a while. You might need to forcibly remove the blowout, as it will stay on the skin forever. A tattoo blowout occurs when the ink gets into the hypodermis layer, where it should not be.

When this happens, the ink will not stay in one place as it is supposed to. Instead, it will spread out to the surrounding area. The colors will bleed into each other, and your tattoo could look terrible when you are unlucky enough to have a massive blowout!

As you can see, a tattoo blowout is significantly worse than tattoo bruising. That is why you must connect with a professional tattoo artist for your tattooing process and ensure that the tattoo ink is correctly placed on your skin.


A bruise, in the end, is not really a matter of concern. It is, after all, just a reaction by the body to the trauma it has gone through due to the tattooing process – completely normal.

Yes, you must keep an eye on the bruising as it could easily result in an infection. In such cases, connect with a doctor immediately.

There you have it, everything you need to know about this and how to react when faced with one.

About Author

Jonathan Corby "Jonny" is a guy who is passionate about Tattooing and successfully running a Tattoo Studio in NY. Through my journey as a Tattoo Artist I have made unforgettable memories. This irrational poetry and sense of freedom of art on skin has given a blissfull experience to my life. Each Tattoo has a story behind it; Lets share one!