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Tattoo Infections


According to research, about 10 to 20% of adults in industrialized countries worldwide have tattoos. While getting a tattoo can be safe under specific circumstances, there are risks. The Mayo Clinic reports that tattoos breach the skin, meaning there is a risk of infections and other complications. Risks of getting a tattoo include, but are not limited to:


  • Skin infections
  • Allergic reactions
  • Inflammation, keloids, and other skin problems
  • Bloodborne diseases, including MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), hepatitis B, and hepatitis C
  • In rare cases, tattoos can cause complications during an MRI

Common tattoo infections include Staphylococcus, Nontuberculous Mycobacteria, Streptococcus, and Mycobacteria. Infections you could also develop after a tattoo include syphilis, HIV, cellulitis, impetigo, and leprosy.


Diligence before obtaining a tattoo can help reduce the risk of tattoo infections. Many causes of tattoo infections have to do with the conditions of the facility where you get the tattoo.

Common Causes of Tattoo Infections in Colorado

Several conditions and situations can increase the risk of developing tattoo infections. Common sources of tattoo infections include, but are not limited to:


  • Failing to sanitize the skin before starting the tattoo
  • Using unsterilized tools
  • Failing to maintain clean, sterile premises
  • Reusing needles, razors, and other tattoo equipment 
  • Using contaminated tattoo ink
  • Using a DIY tattoo kit
  • Failing to practice good hygiene, including washing hands, using clean gloves, using sterilized water, and more.
  • Using expired tattoo ink

Improper aftercare can increase the risk of tattoo infections. Individuals must follow the aftercare instructions carefully and closely watch for signs of a tattoo infection. 

Signs and Symptoms of a Tattoo Infection 

Symptoms that could indicate your tattoo caused an infection include, but are not limited to:


  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Red bumpy skin
  • Foul odor
  • Blisters and/or abscesses
  • Red lesions around the tattooed area
  • Aches and pains in your bones, muscles, or joints
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
  • Pus around or coming from the tattoo
  • Fever 
  • Sores that form around the tattooed area

Individuals should seek immediate medical treatment if they notice any signs of infection after receiving a tattoo. Tattoo infections could lead to life-threatening conditions, including sepsis and septic shock. 

Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Colorado for a Tattoo Infection 

Infections are a known risk associated with getting a tattoo. Therefore, the tattoo artist or facility will likely require you to sign a waiver acknowledging the risk before beginning the tattoo. If you decide to file a lawsuit for a tattoo infection, the tattoo artist and the facility will likely use your waiver as a defense to liability.


However, waivers do not necessarily release parties from responsibility for negligence and intentional torts. You will need the help of an experienced Denver tattoo infection lawyer. You must prove that the tattoo artist and/or business is guilty of negligence or intentional torts to win your case. 


A Denver personal injury lawyer investigates the conditions under which you received the tattoo. They can also search for other complaints against the party alleging negligence or wrongful acts. Evidence of safety and health regulations and laws could also be evidence used in a tattoo infection case. 

What Damages Can I Receive for a Tattoo Injury Claim in Denver, CO?

Under Colorado personal injury laws, injured parties can seek compensation for their economic damages. These damages compensate victims for their financial losses and expenses. Examples of economic damages in a tattoo injury case include:


  • Past and future medical bills
  • Cost of hospitalization
  • Reconstructive surgery 
  • Loss of income, including diminished earning capacity
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Long-term care for permanent disabilities

In addition to the monetary losses, a person with a tattoo infection may experience substantial pain and suffering. Their suffering can include physical and psychological suffering. This harm is included in non-economic damages and include:


  • Scarring and disfigurement 
  • Emotional distress
  • Physical pain
  • Disability and impairment
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Mental anguish
  • Decreased quality of life

The amount you receive for a tattoo infection claim depends on the facts of your case. A Denver personal injury attorney can discuss how much your case is worth during a free consultation.

What Is the Deadline for Filing a Tattoo Infection Claim in Colorado?

The Colorado statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years from the injury date, according to Colorado Revised Statute §13-80-102. The court can dismiss your lawsuit if it is filed after the deadline.


However, exceptions to the statute and the facts of your case could change the deadline. Therefore, if you believe your infection or injury was caused by a tattoo, it is best to seek legal advice as soon as possible from an experienced Denver personal injury attorney.

Contact our Denver Personal Injury Law Firm Today for Help

For more information please contact Zaner Harden Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation with a Denver personal injury lawyer.


Zaner Harden Personal Injury Lawyers

1610 Wynkoop Street, Suite 120. Denver, CO 80202
(720) 613 9706

Where We Are

We are located across the street from Union Station in downtown Denver and offer validated parking for all our clients. We also have offices in Boulder and Colorado Springs.