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Fever / Sick After Tattoo?

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This shit really scared me.

I've been done about 30-35 tattoos so far. Im extra carefull, i bag EVERYTHING, i clean everything with
surface cleaner (it kills hiv, hep, mrsa etc..), i use allso strong isopropyl alcohol + chloride mix too,
Everything is disposable, only one time use. I am really trying to be as clean as possible to protect myself and
my client. I am lisenced and i got approval from health department. Im still newbie tough.....

Ok, this was my first large backpiece tattoo. Not too large tough, from shoulder to shoulder. Large black decorative tribal
with lots of details and lots of solid black coloring. It took alltogether 6hours to make it done.

My friend (beauty, small woman) didnt have any tattoos before. I warned her that this will be hell of a road to do
at one sit, but she was ready and so was i..

We tattooed about 4 hours and suddenly she beginning to feel COLD, she told me that "Feels cold, and not too comfortable
anymore, looks like you have a little fever". We took a little break, but she wanted to finish it at one sit, so we continued..I prefer to stop and continue later, but she was absolutely sure she can handle it.. Finally we make it done
and it turned out pretty good, there was some places i overwork and cause extra pain to customer, but alltogether
it looked very nice and good!

Immediately after tattoo she beginning to have a little fever 37,1 - 37,3. Just a little higher temperature than normally,
and she felt cold too..

I was scared... What the hell was wrong. Her medical condition was fine, she does not have any sickness..

I gave her very good aftercare instruction, 3x shower with antibacterial soap + 3x bepanthen etc...Hot/cold shower and so on...

I drive girl back to her home and make sure she was fine, spend time with her, i told her to eat+drink and rest well.
I went 2x per day to pay a visit and check that everythings good.

Tattoo feels painfull, but its normal. After 48hours she till had little cold and temperature higher than normal and she was very tired..
i took her to see doctor. Doctor take a good look at tattoo and say "everythings fine, absolutely no infection, no blood posoning"...
Doctor gave her antibiot just incase. Doc really didnt know what was wrong...He was just quessing and he said it to me,
he didnt know for sure what was wrong, he guess that this was just how her body reacts to tattoo. I still wonder why doc gave
antibiots so easily...

Now its third day after tattoo and shes back in normal life, tattoo is a sore and painfull, but no fever anymore..

Im really confused what i did wrong??

I used kuro sumi outline and Moms black onyx for fill.

My best guess is that 6h of tattooing was just too much for her little body, or maybe that was some kind of allergic reaction
and her body think that some weird gersm are now in her skin and starts to fight back, by rising a little temp and forcing that
girl to rest??

I allso called my mentor (who lives now in another town) He told me that little higher fever and cold feelings might occur sometimes
especially when doing large pieces at one sit, and especially IF OVERWORKED!!! he told me to observe and be with that girl until shes fine and make sure
that she obey aftercare instructions..

Every item i used, was disposable, every colors was great quality (never had problem with these before)...


    Needle Prick

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Welcome to the world of shock!

Big Pete

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Yep...sounds like she went into shock....should probably have done the tattoo in two sessions....lining for first session, maybe a bit of shading as well....let it heal, then finish it off, especially as it was her first tattoo...six hours is a long time to be in pain.


    Human Billboard

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yep.....definitely should have refused to finish until another time....
Tattooing.................what else is there?

dead bird singing

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have a friend who often gets fever after getting tattooed, especially if its a bigger one. tattooed him a couple of times myself and he was fine, but i remember him tellin me about it in a most casual way, kinda like - thats the way my body functions.. good that you got a doc though.. always play safe, i would have stopped.. wouldnt want them to faint on me or somethin... take no heed if they insist, its all your responsibility in the end... they should know

Edited by dead bird singing, 03 March 2009 - 05:32 AM.

remember to always be yourself! unless you suck.


    Pin Cushion

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I does seem like shock, the same happens to me after 3 hours of tattooing I get shaky and cold. I found this out while sitting for a sleeve now I limit my self to 2.5 hours of work at a time and also insist on the same for people I tattoo. Although everyone is different and some can take a little more some a little less, I always air on the side of caution.

Red Dirt Ink

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At the end of the day you are the one in control of the tattoo, if you don't feel you should go on stop.
Don't let the customer tell you what to do. I use to get push around when i first started my apprenticeship.
The boss picked it up, i didn't even see it.
Now i just say sorry i think you should stop and thats it.
Some customers get shit but they always come back and most of the time they will listen the secound time.
Poeple always think they are being tough to keep going.
Just my 2 cents away.


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Thank you guys!

I learned a valuable lesson!!


    Shop Groupie

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I remember on my first big piece I start to cold sweat. I didn't have enough sugar or food in me and felt light headed. It wasn't in a very painful spot and I let my artist know right away so we could deal with it.
I just wanna give you the creeps.


    Needle Prick

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20yrs ago I could get tattooed 6-7hrs and did a few times no problem! I'm pushing 40 now and anything longer than 3hrs I feel like I'm coming down with the flu. So knowing this like a previous member said I try not to go any longer than 2.5hrs 3 max! I usually wont tattoo anyone longer than that either. If I do I keep an even closer eye on their skin color (tells you a lot right away). If I feel they've had enough and their bodies telling me so, like it or not for their own best interest I wrap up the session. My clients health and safety are my number one priority and I also want them to have the most positive experience possible. They thank me later even if they don't like it now and I rather that, then not have them come around cause now they think they are going to feel like shit every time they get tattooed (which wouldn't happen, but they don't realize that). Then again you have the rocks that you have to finally stop tattooing only because your getting tired or there's just not enough hours in the day...but even those guys after 3hrs I pay closer attention to skin tone, glancing up at their face more frequently!


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View PostBig Pete, on Mar 3 2009, 03:42 AM, said:

Yep...sounds like she went into shock....should probably have done the tattoo in two sessions....lining for first session, maybe a bit of shading as well....let it heal, then finish it off, especially as it was her first tattoo...six hours is a long time to be in pain.

I'm covered in tattoos but I had 5 hours done recently in one sitting (LOADS of cigarette breaks, lol) and it made me feel like shit! I felt like such a pussy but, at the end of the day, your body can only take so much!

I find these days that I can tell if someone's going to go into shock and can stop in time to get their sugar levels back up before they pass out! You sometimes find that they stiffen up a little or their skin gets clammy and they start looking a little.... odd. Usually a few minute's break can be all they need to sit for another 2 hours but we never book first timers in for more than a couple at a time.

Having said that, I've had many first time customers surprise me with their abilty to sit and take it all day long! :unsure: