Getting a tattoo for the first time can be exciting, but if you get one on vacation or are planning to go swimming anytime soon, there’s something you should know. According to a 2015 Harris Poll, about 3 in 10 people surveyed have at least one tattoo. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been receiving many reports of people developing infections from tattoo inks, as well as bad reactions, which is why they are urging people to think before they ink.
Before getting a tattoo you have to make sure to do your homework ahead of time. If possible, take a look at the location where you’re getting the tattoo done and make sure it’s clean and that they have no reports of contaminated ink, check reviews on Yelp if possible. Also, if you are prone to developing bad scars, then you’re at a higher risk of developing a scar within the tattoo.
According to the Daily Mail, a 31-year-old Hispanic man died after ignoring the tattoo artist’s warning of not going swimming after getting a tattoo. Five days after he got a cross tattoo on his leg, the man went for a swim in the Gulf of Mexico and caught a bacterial infection. A few days later, he started feeling ill, had a fever and chills, as well as rash near his tattoo. Unfortunately, the infection got the best of him and he died.
The young man didn’t listen to tattoo guidelines which state that you’re supposed to wait at least two weeks before swimming in a pool or ocean. You have to let your skin heal because after all, you’re getting poked ink inside your skin which leaves an open wound that takes some time to heal. Jumping in a pool or ocean exposes your skin to a number of bacteria which can cause some serious infections like in this case.
The 31-year-old unfortunately caught a horrible flesh-eating bacteria called Vibrio vulnificus, which attacks your immune system and can be contracted by exposing an open wound to seawater or by eating raw shellfish. Even though he visited the doctor within a week of getting infected, due to an existing liver condition, he developed sepsis from the infection and died 2 months after being hospitalized. Click here to see photos of how badly his tattoo got infected.