Why Is My Tattoo Leaking Ink?
Fresh wounds often leak a clear fluid called plasma, so don’t be alarmed if you notice some liquid seeping out around your new ink. ‘ It is caused by blood and plasma going to the site of the tattoo and beginning the healing process of scab formation,’ Palomino says.
Why is my Tattoo leaking?
Tattoo artists pack as much ink as possible into the dermis – This is done to ensure the tattoo looks vibrant and colour consistent. It also helps prevent the tattoo from looking patchy, with blank spots here and there. To ensure the right ink levels are deposited in the dermis, the artist will need to go beyond full capacity.
- I mean, think about it;
- If they don’t do this, then it’s highly likely the tattoo will look lacklustre from the get-go! It’s difficult enough to guess exactly how thick the dermis is (it varies), so it’s best to try and deposit as much ink as possible;
In case you’re wondering, this is why tattooist’s wipe their client’s skin constantly during the tattooing process. They’re wiping off the excess ink as well as body fluids released from the skin while they’re working on you. That said, the ink you see leaking during the healing process is part of the excess ink that was inserted by your tattooist.
How long does a tattoo leak last?
Can ink leak out of a tattoo?
Why Do Tattoos Leak? – Tattoos leak for numerous reasons, but most often, it is because the tattoo artist has tried to pack too much ink into the skin. Because the ink has nowhere to go but out of the skin, the tattoo starts leaking, which can be pretty messy. Let’s take a look at the leaking causes in more detail;
- You’re Tattoo Is Brand New
New, brand-new tattoos act as open wounds; let’s start with that. Now, imagine trying to push into your body something artificial and possibly toxic, and ensuring it stays there. That’s what tattooing ‘feels like’ to your body. As a result, the immune system reacts and the body tries to push out the excess ink, so it won’t cause any harm.
- Your Artist Tried To Pack In More Ink
It is well known that tattoo artists try to pack in more ink into the skin, so they generally go beyond the full capacity or the amount of ink the skin can handle. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. Some extra ink can ensure your tattoo stays vibrant for a longer time. Moreover, this ink application method can prolong tattoo fading as well. But, because the body recognizes the ink as a foreign object, it will push away the excess, unnecessary ink.
- You’re Taking Blood-Thinning Medication
People who are on anticoagulants or blood-thinning medication generally experience tattoo leaking. That is because blood-thinners prevent the formation of a blood clot, which is essential for halting bleeding of any kind. So, upon receiving a tattoo, the blood doesn’t clot right away, so the tattoo starts leaking not just the blood but also all the excess, and sometimes all of the ink.
- But, this is just an overview of the possible leaking causes;
- That’s why brand new tattoos leak ink, but also excess blood and plasma;
- Such leaking lasts between 24 to 48 hours on average;
- As a result, the tattoo starts leaking, and the rest of the excess ink in the tattoo eventually breaks down, absorbed into the bloodstream (thanks to your lymphatic system ), and pushed out of the body as waste;
The same issue can occur with people suffering from blood clotting disorders, or immune system disorders. In such cases, the leaking is heavier than usual, which could mess up the tattoo a little bit. However, this isn’t something one should worry about too much.
- You’ve Had Alcohol Before Getting a Tattoo
Drinking alcohol before a tattoo appointment is a no-go. Alcohol acts as a blood thinner and can promote excess bleeding, as well as ink/tattoo leaking days the tattoo has been completed. However, some people still like to have a drink or two before getting inked, mostly for some liquid courage. Nevertheless, the majority of tattoo artists won’t tattoo a visibly intoxicated person.
- The leaking will eventually stop, and your tattoo artists can fix up the messed-up spots on the tattoo;
- In some states, tattooing a drunk person is considered illegal as well;
- But, in case you’ve managed to sneak into the tattoo studio while being tipsy, there’s the reason your tattoo is leaking;
Also Read: Can You Get a Tattoo on Blood Thinners?.
Is it normal for inks to leak?
Why is my new tattoo leaking ink? Should I be worried? – Short answer? No, you shouldn’t be worried about leaking ink. At all. Long answer, well, it’s part of the tattoo healing process. Ink leaks are absolutely normal and totally expected. In fact, if you don’t experience any degree of leaking, then that’s when you should be worried! Here’s Gabby Abi’s video showing her tattoo still leaking on the third day: So, here’s why healing tattoos tend to leak some ink:.
How to stop a tattoo from dripping ink?
What Should I Do About Leaking Ink? – Generally, there is nothing you can really do to stop your tattoo from dripping ink and blood for a few days; this is just a natural process and your body simply needs to expel the excess ink in some way or another.
However, it is advisable to gently clean your tattoo regularly if it’s leaking quite often. This is because the blood and plasma that has mixed with the ink will begin to harden on top of the skin and start to form heavy scabbing over the area if you’re not careful.
If this isn’t gently removed, it is a set up for infection and poor healing. Once cleaned, apply a good tattooing lotion to the area to keep it moisturized and well-nourished. The best tattoo lotion I’ve ever personally used is a vegan aftercare product called After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion. How to clean a new tattoo: While light scabbing is normal and encouraged when healing a tattoo, heavier scabs can form if you let too much plasma harden on the surface of the skin. These thicker scabs are more prone to drying, cracking, itching and eventually getting ripped off prematurely if they get caught on anything. Because of this, it’s always best to try to wipe as much excess blood, plasma and ink away from your skin as possible within the first few days of healing.
This stuff works amazingly well during the healing process; not only by keeping your tattoo really well hydrated but also by soothing any annoying itching and irritation. When using it from the very start of the healing process, this lotion will help to decrease tattoo healing times and work towards eliminating any lingering dryness and scabbing.
Another minor issue with leaking ink is that when trying to sleep with a new tattoo for the first couple of nights, the ink and blood can seep out and dry against the bedsheets, and this poses a couple of problems: Firstly , the pigments in the ink can be very tough to remove from various materials, and if your tattoo begins to leak ink during the night, it can stain bed sheets and pillowcases quite easily.
Therefore, it’s advisable to sleep with bedding that you don’t mind ruining and getting covered in ink and blood for one or two nights. Secondly (and more importantly), as this ink/blood mixture leaks and dries as you sleep, it can cause your tattoo to become stuck to your bedding if you happen to press against it during the night.
Any sudden twists and turns during the night can allow the skin to rip away from the bedding, potentially causing your tattoo to lose some internal ink in the process. This could then possibly lead to fading and patchiness in certain areas of the tattoo once the healing has finished.
If you wake up to find your tattoo has stuck to your bedding, you should never just pull the bedding away from your skin for the exact same reason as mentioned above. Instead, you should take your bedding into the bathroom with you and gently rinse the area under lukewarm water until the bedding falls away from your skin freely.
This prevents any damage from being caused to your tattoo. Most artists recommend you sleep in your tattoo wrap for the first night to prevent these problems from happening. This first night is when your tattoo will be leaking the most, and the second night is rarely as bad as the first when it comes to ink and blood leaking out (although minor leaking will likely still happen).