Will A Healing Tattoo Leak Fluid?

My tattoo is scabby and tight.
ohsarahrose /Flickr

A question was submitted about a healing tattoo: I just got my first tattoo, and it's leaking clear pus!! What should I do?

If it's leaking a clear fluid, it's not pus, and it's not an infection. Sometimes a tattoo will leak plasma - the clearish fluid in your blood - if you had a particularly long session. You didn't mention how long ago you got your tattoo, but if you really just got it then it is possible that you are "leaking" plasma.

This is a signal that your body went beyond its threshold and that you need to take it easy for a couple of days and let your body catch up with healing itself.

However, if it's been a couple of days and you're leaking, that is more likely a signal that you're using way too much ointment on your tattoo. Certain ointments tend to cause more leakage on some people than others - ease up on whatever you're using. You should only be adding a tiny amount, barely enough to give the tattoo a bit of a shine. If it feels wet after application, you're using way too much. If decreasing the amount doesn't help, stop the ointment altogether and switch to another product or just keep your tattoo clean and forget the ointment for a couple days and then switch to lotion.

If your tattoo is hot to the touch, very red, and/or oozing something thick that is yellow or green, or has a foul odor, these are signs of infection and you should see a doctor immediately.