Tattoo and Bruising Is It Normal? (7 Facts)

When you get a new tattoo you never know exactly how it is going to work out, how it is going to look. Or exactly how your recovery is going to be, so it is good if you are prepared.

Here Is How Your Skin Will Bruise After A Tattoo:

Your skin is in recovery mode (after your tattoo is completed), and that some of your small veins under your skin have been bruised. Bleeding also occurs under the skin while the tattoo is healing and this causes your skin to bruise up.

That is the short answer, so keep reading if you want to know the full details about bruising over your tattoo.

Is It Normal To Bruise Around A Tattoo?

The short answer is Yes. It’s natural for tattoos to bruise, but it doesn’t happen to everyone. Tattoo bruising isn’t harmful either; it’s simply one of the typical outcomes of the tattooing process.

If you’re new to this term, you must wonder what a bruised tattoo actually means. Well, it describes the state where the area around a newly drawn tattoo becomes reddish or swollen for various reasons.

Usually, these bruises can take different forms or colours, ranging from brown to dark blue, bright yellow, and sometimes even black.

While this process may seem scary, it’s typically harmless and mostly disappear in few days without causing any lasting effect to your valuable tattoo.

But what truly causes tattoo bruises? And is there a way to remove or prevent them?

Such questions can cross your mind when you have or planning to get a new tattoo. Luckily, I’ve just the answers you need. Kindly keep reading to learn more about tattoos and bruising.

What Happens If I Get A Bruise On My Tattoo?

Tattoo bruising is a result of the trauma your skin experiences during the tattooing process.

Usually, the tattooing needles continuously and quickly pumping below your skin tend to burst small veins found just below the skin surface, leading to bleeding during the inking process.

After tattooing, the bleeding will stop, but only on the surface.

It will continue leaking below the skin surface for some time. If the blood leaking is in greater volumes, the blood will start pooling within the surrounding tissue’s little pockets and disperse outwards, forming a bruise.

Several factors can contribute to the severity or occurrence of tattoo bruises; some of them are:

Tattoo location

Some parts of your body can bruise faster than others, particularly the lower extremities.

For example, your ankles and feet are more prone to bruising and swelling because of the gravity forcing blood in the body to pool closer to the ground.

Another good example is areas with thinner skin, like the wrists and biceps. Such body parts are more delicate due to minimal cushioning.

The technique of your tattoo artist

Tattoo artists have varying skills and techniques that can significantly distinguish their tattooing work and outcomes.

It’s best to get your tattoo done by an experienced artist who knows what they are doing and how to use/handle the tattooing machine and needles without causing more damage to your skin.

Type of medication

Using blood-thinning medication like aspirin can elevate the chances of your tattoo bruising and even delay the healing process.

Your Health

You’re more likely to bruise if you’ve certain underlying medical complications like diabetes, anemia, and leukemia.

Development of an infection

Bruising associated with other symptoms like fever, pain, rashes, extreme redness, swelling, and bad smell can be a sign of infection.

It’s advisable to seek assistance from your artist or a practitioner immediately you find out or suspect your tattoo is infected.

What do I do?

Treating a bruised tattoo isn’t usually simple. It needs more attention and keenness since it’s like an open wound. In many cases, bruises fade naturally. But you can try several hacks for a faster healing process.

Below are various ways you can treat a bruised tattoo faster:

  1. Elevate the bruised area. Doing this reduces blood flow to that area, causing the area to heal faster.
  2. Apply ice on the area. Using ice helps to restrict high blood flow, preventing more blood from leaking around the tattooed area. For normal bruises, you can apply the ice directly. However, it’d be best to wrap the ice in a clean towel/clothing for a healing tattoo to prevent it from being infected.
  3. Take ibuprofen. Taking some ibuprofen can significantly help with easing the swelling and pain tattoo bruises cause.
  4. Quit smoking for a while. Smoking can significantly impact the healing process of your tattoo. It can slow down the tissue repairing process and lower blood supply.
  5. Have enough rest. Sufficient rest is essential after getting a tattoo. It’s best to avoid overworking your body so that it can get more time to relax and heal the traumatized area.

Is My Tattoo Bruised Or Infected?

Tattoo bruising is normal and harmless, but a tattoo infection can be worse than you think. Generally, you can expect to experience some pain, swelling, or redness around a newly drawn tattoo.

However, these effects are only usual if they keep getting better and not worse. The severity of this inflammation and pain may vary with your tattoo’s size and location, with bigger tattoos having extreme effects.

Some symptoms can be expected, but others can be highly alarming.

For example, it’s usual to bruise after getting a new tattoo, but the signs shouldn’t increase for over 2-3 days. It’s also normal for a tattoo to peel or remove clear, white, or yellow discharge while healing but not stink.

Below are five primary symptoms to help you know if your tattoo is infected :

Purulent drainage

Pus drainage is the primary indicator that your tattoo is infected. When this occurs, it’s advisable to seek medical help or advice to decide if you can treat the infection from home or not.

Worsening swelling and increasing pain

Pain and swelling are common right after getting tattoos.

However, they should get better as you continue healing, not worsening. If the pain and inflammation increase instead, then you’re probably infected.


A tattoo pain, bruise, or swelling associated with fever can also be a sign of infection. See s doctor immediately you experience any fever symptoms.

Redness, swelling, or rash in around area

You can also know your tattoo is infected if you see a red discoloration or feel pulsatile heat burning from your tattoo area.

For this case, you should also see a doctor sooner for oral or topical antibiotics. Here is a article on a topical cream Dr Pickles which is made in Australia.

According to experts, it’s normal to experience these effects even when your tattoo isn’t infected. However, if they persist for over three days or keep getting worse, it’s more likely to be an infection.

Firm bumps

While firm bumps aren’t the best indicator of tattoo infection, they could show an allergic reaction caused by the tattooing dye.

First, you can use the usual aftercare instructions if it’s not associated with any other symptom(s). If this effect persists, it’s good you see your tattoo artist.

Is My Tattoo A Blowout Or Bruising?

A tattoo bruise and blowout are common but highly confusing, especially in appearance. Usually, tattoo blowouts can resemble bruises, but they’re entirely two different things.

When drawing tattoos, the artists may use tattoo needles ineffectually and accidentally push the ink too deep into the skin layers than needed.

This step can make a tattoo area develop a blowout that can be somewhat similar to a bruise.

When a tattoo blowout occurs, it simply means the ink got pushed past the dermis layer. If this happens, the ink spreads out to the surrounding areas near the tattoo, turning it into a complete mess.

Bruises tend to disappear quickly compared to blowouts. Their colors can vary too, from bluish to reddish, yellowish, and later black to its normal state.

On the other hand, blowouts cause long-term effects and take more time to fade away, sometimes, even years.

Actually, it can remain on your body forever if not forcibly removed. However, it’s usually rare to get tattoo blowouts, especially if you go for an experienced artist.

What Do I do If A Tattoo Bruise Won’t Go Away?

Usually, it’s hard to get a bruise that can’t disappear or be treated with time.

Bruises also don’t ruin the overall look of tattoos, they’re simply skin traumas that lead to skin discoloration and pain, and they can fade away in 1-2 weeks.

However, if your bruises take longer than usual to fade away, it’s always best to go to a physician for further examination and medication.

If the bruising is yellow on my tattoo, what does this mean?

Did you know that you can tell your bruise’s age and severity from its colour?

One of the most common bruises colors is yellow. Usually, bruises start to turn yellow/green after 5-10 days after the tattooing process.

These colors appear due to the bilirubin and biliverdin compounds generated when the body requires to break down hemoglobin.


Tattoo bruising isn’t something that should worry you. It’s a general body reaction from the many tiny needles that pump your body during the tattooing process.

Besides, bruises usually clear up eventually on their own, but you can also increase their healing process with the steps provided in this post.

It’s best to take good care of your tattoo and body if you need to heal faster.

Your artist also plays a very crucial part in your tattoo healing process and appearance. So, it’s best to use experience artists to avoid more complications.

It would be wise to be also on the lookout for infection symptoms to prevent your tattoo from getting worse. If your bruises get worse, you should have it checked by a certified physician.

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