Q. Why did I develop hives after tattoo?

Answered by
Dr. Amolkumar W. Diwan
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 11, 2018 and last reviewed on: Sep 25, 2019

Hi doctor,

When I was younger, I was allergic to everything. Now, I have been suffering from the pollen allergy syndrome and fairly bad seasonal allergies. Three months ago, I got my first tattoo. It looks beautiful and healed wonderfully. After getting a tattoo, I noticed seven hives on my legs on the same day, but no hives on the tattoo. Immediately, I thought that I was having an allergic reaction to the ink. So, I took 5 mL of Benadryl and Allegra. I contacted my artist and he gave me the list of ingredients in my ink, which was just carbon pigment, water and witch hazel. Then, I made an appointment with my allergy specialist and he said that the tattoo looked great and I was not allergic to the tattoo itself, but the process. He said that I would most likely get this reaction if I get another tattoo, piercing, or even childbirth. He explained that my immune system just needed time to reset itself. I had a mysterious bout of hives when I was 13 and we could not figure out the reason, but it was around the time I got my ears pierced. So, it made sense and they eventually went away. It has been three months and I am still battling with hives. They freak me out as I have particular anxiety about allergic reactions and would like to know how long it will take for these hives and itchiness to subside. Is it normal to have these hives for three months? I need some reassurance. Thank you.



Welcome to

  • Pollen allergy syndrome is a very common manifestation due to allergy to allergens like pollen, raw fruits, vegetables or some tree nuts. The immune system recognizes the pollen as foreign substance and directs an allergic response to it.
  • The symptoms are usually itchy mouth and swelling of lips or hives.
  • As you know that you are having an allergic tendency, you may suffer allergic reactions like hives to anything you are allergic to.
  • It is very common to have hives as an allergic reaction due to some contaminants in tattoo. We cannot definitely point out the cause, but you should take precautions next time.
  • For the time being, you should continue taking tablet Allegra (Fexofenadine) till you do not have any symptoms as we cannot say how long it will take to subside the symptoms.
  • There is no big deal to be anxious about it, but you should be careful next time before doing any procedure.
  • So, just continue the same medicines and do a skin allergy test to find out what are the most common allergens you are allergic to. So, that you can avoid those things next time.

For further information consult an allergy specialist online -->

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
Role of Diet in Dermatology

.. diseases in which diet has a definitive role. This article stresses upon the importance of diet in dermatology .. ...   Read full

Is there a way to control fur allergy?

.. allergy based on your assessment or has any allergy testing been done? The best way to prevent allergy is to avoid the requisite allergens altogether. We even suggest a change of profession and change of place to our patients. In that case, I feel...   Read full

What is the reason for hives? Are these harmful?

Hives can happen in response to a food allergen or food preservative, medications, infections, and alcohol ...   Read full


Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

JAK Inhibitors in Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Doctors mainly suggest JAK or Janus kinase inhibitors for patients with rheumatoid arthritis to ease their symptoms. Rea...  Read more»
Importance of Sex Hormones - Types, Functions, Normal Ranges, and Roles
Sex hormones are steroids produced in the body that control sexual development, pregnancy, and overall health. Read belo...  Read more»
Fallopian Tubes - Anatomy, Function, and Diseases Affecting It
Fallopian tubes are important structures of the female reproductive tract. This article discusses the same below.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask an Allergy Specialist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.