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Q. I got slight epidermal prick while tattooing. Is the risk of infection high?

Answered by
Dr. Gauri Kshirsagar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 28, 2016 and last reviewed on: Dec 27, 2019

Hi doctor,

Four days ago I visited a tattoo shop. It is a small one and I think he will do only temporary ones. Suddenly, I got a hit on the backside of my right thumb. I stopped him as he did not change the needle. Little piercing was done till my epidermis of skin. I am scared. What should I do now?

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Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • There are lot of medical issues which can occur from tattooing like HIV infection, tetanus, hepatitis B and C and allergic reactions. Nowadays tattooists reduced such risks by following universal precautions, working with single use items, and sterilizing their equipment after each use.
  • As you mentioned your piercing was done only till the epidermis, the infection is highly unlikely (very very less chance) that you will contact any infection. Even if the needle was infected, it requires contact with body fluids like blood. So, you can relax.
  • Still I would like to make the following points:-
  1. In case of an HIV infection, the test takes about 2-3 months to be positive. Hence, there is no way to find out if you got infected, which is again highly unlikely.
  2. There is something called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) given to individuals who have been exposed to the virus and includes three drugs given only under doctor's supervision. You can discuss this with your doctor.
  3. If you frequently get a tattoo done make sure your tetanus and hepatitis B vaccines are up-to-date.
  4. Always have clear knowledge about the infections spread by tattooing like HIV and hepatitis and their mode of spread. Take care and stay safe.

For further doubts consult a HIV AIDS specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/HIV-AIDS-specialist


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