Suggest remedy for swelling on wrist after getting a tattoo

Posted on Mon, 8 Jun 2015 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: I had a tattoo done on the 14th on my wrist, within two hours noticed redness and swelling. Within 12 hours it spread beyond the tattoo, swelling my wrist up to triple the size, angry redness along with a lovely line going up towards my elbow. Saw a doctor on the 15th, prescribed fucidic acid 3 X a day and Teva-Clozacillin 500mg 4 X a day. (Both were started about 1500 on the 15th)

The swelling is down, but there is still redness that goes away, but returns with a vengeance. The doc I saw did say to go into the ER if the pain becomes more than I can deal with (Its not, its sore, and annoying) or if a line continued to develop. (There is no line per se... there is a definite block of red that is travelling up my arm every time the redness returns. The red areas are warm, but not radiating heat and my entire forearm is slightly tender to touch.

I suppose I am wondering if I should be concerned and head to my ER, or wait for another day to see if the antibiotics gear up and kick butt.
Answered by Dr. Suresh Heijebu 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
You can wait a day or two before you head to ER.

Detailed Answer:
Hi Mam,

I understand your concern.

You seem to have acute allergic reaction to the tattoo material.

Of course the infection too cannot be ruled out,hence cellulitis is also a possibility.

You have been placed on right kind of medications including antibiotics.

I advise you to have a Single shot of steroid Injection Hydrocortisone 100 mg.

This will help to reduce the limit the inflammation,there by resolving all the signs of inflammation like redness etc.

You seem to respond to antibiotics since the swelling came down and redness is fluctuating.

I recommend you to wait for another day or two before you head to ER.

Meanwhile try to get the single steroid shot under expert medical surveillance .

Post your further queries if any.
Thank you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Suresh Heijebu

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2010

Answered : 3656 Questions


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