MS and tattoos?
May 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm #6409
was wondering if anyone else here has tattoos and if you have any problems with them? I’ve noticed that mine almost act like a warning sign. When I’m starting to get some vague symptoms that could be passed off as something else (fatigue, muscle pain, etc) my tattoos swell and get really itchy. I’ve never had any problems while getting a tattoo, never any pain or anything like that, but I’ve never gone through a tattoo session while I was going through symptoms. Anyone else get this?May 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm #6581
I’m gonna pass this one off to my wife. She’s a tattoo artist.
Hello. There are a few theories to this one, most commonly it’s a reaction to our immune system kicking up. It is very common that most people, even those without MS will have this happen. As your immune system is triggered, it will seek out foreign bodies and want them out. That would include tattoos and more commonly piercings (this reaction will not push your tattoo out, but may make a piercing nasty so watch for infection). Keep in mind too, that an over worked tattoo, or scarred tattoo will have this reaction much more commonly. If it never goes away, you should seek out a Dermatologist with experience in tattoos. Sometimes a steroid cream might be prescribed but most cases will just go away as your body settles down.
I have tattooed quite a few people with MS and the most common reaction during the tattoo process was muscle twitching, so if that is a symptom you live with, be sure to inform your tattoo artist so they are prepared for any involuntary twitches.
Hope this helped you out, and all the best !May 28, 2011 at 3:12 am #6582
Thank you so much for the response.
I never really thought of mentioning anything to the artist since I usually fall asleep during tattoos, I will let the artist know before my next one as I’ve had a lot of twitches lately.
Thank you again for the information, very helpfulMay 29, 2011 at 6:50 pm #6583
I have three tatoos and have never had any signs from them of an impending relapse. I received all these tatoos years before I was diagnosed so I’m not sure if the fact that they are older means my body doesn’t recognize they’re there.
I do believe that our bodies sometimes make their own warning signs that a relapse is on its way. I felt unsteady, fatigued and increasing pain in my left ankle (which was still healing from a previous injury). I believe that my mind felt the ankle pain more severely and swelled it up to warn me so I could slow things down. I didn’t take heed to the warnings and ended up with a severe relapse and in hospital for several months.
I try very hard to listen to my body and keep in my mind that not every odd pain is MS. It is always good to have a physician consult.May 30, 2011 at 9:30 pm #6584
Hmmm….that would be interesting to look into (the timing of the tattoos vs the timing of onset of symptoms and how the disease affects the tattoos). I had my first tattoo done within the same year my symptoms started but I can’t remember which came first.
Besides the swelling tattoos, my tremor goes nuts, my numbness spreads and the intensity of my pins and needles increases. Once the fatigue hits, it’s game over. I’m still trying to work out more specifically any sort of patterns that are going on. A physician consult is always best though, you’re right. Thankfully for me, if I’m not sure what is causing a random pain, I just pop an ibuprofen. If the pain stops, it’s caused by something elseJune 3, 2011 at 10:48 pm #6585
I got a tatoo just over a year ago and looked into tatoos/MS/IV’s, etc. I was really concerned if I could put an IV in over a tatoo (as my tatoo is on my arm), both the tatoo artist and my neuro said it would be 100% fine in terms of my health. They said the only thing that might happen is I might get a scar, but that’s it – I have recently had an IV OVER my tatoo and everything went fantastic.
I started getting really itchy on my tatoo as well, my docs office is in a centre where they also do botox/microdermabrasion, all that fun stuff – and she suggested I use “aveeno – with natural colloidal oatmeal” it seems to be the only thing to take away the itch on my arm
As posted above, I did have HUGE issues with piercings, my body pushed every single one out of my body, leaving me a nasty scar on my nose/eyebrow/belly button, what’s another scar right? at least u can see these onesJune 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm #6586
Interesting reading all this. I got a tattoo (my first) last year on Mother’s Day. (Nice gift eh?!) It was fairly big and I was more worried that I might be allergic to the dyes than anything else.
The thing I noticed most afterward was that it felt like someone had taken steel wool and scraped all the skin raw afterwards for a few days. I wasn’t sure if this was normal, but the sensation of my entire body is off, so I sense pain oddly and figured that this was just part of that. It didn’t last long and thankfully, I have a very high pain tolerance.
I guess I’ve been lucky-I’ve had no risidual effects. I’d never given any thought to the possibility that it might cause problems, but it does make sense that putting something foreign into the skin could activate the immune system.
Personally, I’d do it again in a heartbeat! Every time I look down and see my ink, it makes me so happy that I don’t regret it for a second.
Thanks for the info Mrs. FUMS. It’s good to know the ins and outs of this. Knowledge is power!June 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm #6587
Aveeno works for the itching for me too, Spicy. Nothing seems to bring down the swelling though (and these tattoos are about 8 years old). I have a lot of allergies so when the tattoos and allergies both flare up at once, I take oatmeal baths to soothe the itching (just stick some quick oats in a blender until it’s a fine powder and put enough in a warm bath to make the water milky coloured. Feels great and makes your skin nice and soft too).
Piercings have always been a really big problem for me but I’m not sure what to attribute that to. Every single piercing I’ve ever had (3 earlobes, 1 top of my ear, tongue, 2 in navel, lip) have gotten infected no matter what I do with them. Only one piercing (my second navel ring) flat out rejected though and I only got keloid scarring on the top of my ear. I ended up taking all of them out except for 1 set in my earlobes and years later, they are all still open. After a quick glance they just look like scars, but the holes are still open enough to fit a very fine guage piece of jewellry through
*old first aid instructor self coming out* Remember to look out for SHARP! (swelling, heat, aching, redness, and pus).
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