In my journey with my newest tattoo, I've found very few photos of an allergic response to red ink. The ink used by my artist was Eternal, I'm not sure of the exact shade.
First, this was the tattoo right after she finished it.
Typical redness around it. For those who don't know, that's a model of a serotonin molecule.
A few days later it started to scab, and then about a week later, everything but the red scabs fell off. I noticed more itching at the site of the red ink, but I'd read that red can be the hardest to heal. So, I tried to relax and let it do it's thing.
13 days later, here's a progress picture. Inflammation has clearly developed, and there's no denying that there's a problem.
Being stubborn, I thought I'd let it be for a while. I think the night I took this is when the scab on the right came off, and the ink looked quite bright under it. On Wednesday this past week, I finally went to talk to the artist who told me I'm clearly having an allergy, and to apply vitamin E oil to it four times daily. As well, sitz baths could help but if it gets worse, or doesn't start to improve in 2 weeks to see a doctor.
I have no signs of infection other than redness. Usually when a tattoo is infected, it will pus, and be painful. It's a bit tender to touch on the red parts, but I'm confident that it's probably clean inside. That said, I'm not going to wait two more weeks - if it's not improving by Monday, I'll be going into see my doctor.
This morning, in the shower, the last scab came off. Now, the tattoo looks like this:
It looks better now that the scab is gone, but I'm sad that I lost so much colour on the last red dot.
Worst case scenario - the reaction doesn't stop, and I have the red parts cut out by a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon. Best case scenario, the inflammation goes away, and I touch up the black parts, and eventually either try a new red, or have the dots be a different colour.
But yeah. That's what it looks like now. Kinda disappointing.