A while ago on Instagram, I made a post about poorly executed tattoos and mentioned that I would go into more detail.
In September, I got a new tattoo. I’m going to stop right there and ask anyone against tattoos to click the X at the top of the page, or press the home button on your phone, and move on; this blog post is not here for you to pass judgement on my lifestyle choices. Are they gone? Good.
Anyway, I went to a different place as I’d seen the work of a girl and really enjoyed her style. An old colleague had been there before and had a good experience with her too, so I was expecting it to be okay.
When I arrived, she swiftly sized up the space and drew it up. It was an odd shop set up with the owner having their mates going through constantly and slagging people off openly etc, but I wasn’t going to let that affect the work of the girl doing it.
It was on my leg, and other than the backs of my calves I’ve not had my legs done, so didn’t know what to expect. What I wasn’t expecting was pain in the levels of me texting my future SIL to say that, if this had been the first tattoo I ever had, I wouldn’t have had any of the others. This was nearing unbearable, but I put that down to it being in a spot I’d never had done.
Fast forward to bedtime and it was agony. Not the usual throbbing warmth, but actual pain. The following day it was incredibly tender and swollen, and it swelled up even more throughout the day. My manager pointed it out to me, and I looked down to see my ankle spilling out over my trainer socks.
I had trouble with it throughout the next few days, and noticed some red bumps. I figured it might have been a bit of irritation, but they got worse. Worried, I messaged the girl who didn’t seem bothered and to let her know if it got worse. It healed past the scaly fish food stage, and was still rashy, so I messaged again and she told me to go to the doctors.
I got to see the same ANP that judged me openly about my choice of destination a few years ago, when I suffered awful reactions to bug bites on holiday and needed antibiotics… “I don’t know why on Earth you’d go to such a filthy place”. I expected, and received, judgement. Being told I’m a silly girl and asked “why would you do this” when I’ve had 10 years of tattoos with no issues is neither helpful or appropriate. She said it wasn’t infected (phew!) but that it could be a reaction. Could be. That’s as much as she would do. She told me it was my own fault and to take antihistamines. Excellent.
I found out what she had used, and I’d had the same inks before. Most people I asked kept on the same line of “people can react to red ink!” Which is really helpful because the areas affected have blue ink… the flowers with red ink are the only unaffected parts.
I’d already been booked in for another one with someone else, and went along. At first she was a bit hesitant to do one so close to the affected one, but after getting all the other artists in the studio to check it out they agreed it would be safe as it wasn’t spreading. None of them had seen anything like it, and immediately searched the girl and mentioned from their professional opinion that she’s rather heavy handed and overworks the skin. A few mins later they’d done some digging and found immediate blow outs on some of her clients and deduced that she’s damaged my skin with the way she did it; the areas affected are mostly shaded rather than coloured in. They think she might have used a different method for the shading, which apparently isn’t really appropriate.
My new tattoo healed perfectly, and I’ve since been back to the place to get two more. It was pretty painless, as painless as they can be, and she gave me a pot of balm she makes herself, to keep both my new and dodgy tattoos beautifully hydrated and calm… I now wouldn’t use anything else on my skin, period. She needs to make it in bulk and sell it so I can slather my entire body in it.
The bad one is still bad. There’s dark red bumps that, when rubbed with a cream or moisturiser, go paler for a few minutes before returning to the darker hue. They’re very dry and scaly, I can moisturise them 3x a day and they’re still super flaky. They’re sensitive to touch and bleed easily. I cannot shave this area as I’m worried it will hurt and bleed all over, so I’m lightly trimming the hairs with a beard trimmer (that’s why the photos are so hairy!) they don’t itch. They aren’t ingrown hairs, I get ingrown hairs all over my legs if I shave in the winter, and I know what they feel/look like and they’re super easy to pop out. These just bleed upon touching. I’ve tried gentle exfoliation too. Nothing is working.
If you’ve ever had this happen, drop me a line if you have any tips!