Is it Normal to Have a Fever After Getting a Tattoo?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on October 1, 2021
    Last Updated: October 12, 2021

How you will feel following the tattooing process is something that’s hard to predict. Having a tattoo causes trauma and stress to both your body and your brain. Your skin is being penetrated by multiple needles many times each second and this causes trauma. The way that your body reacts to this is important.

Your immune system is there to protect your body and any signs of stress will kick it into action. This could make you feel a little achy following the tattoo process, or it could turn into a full-blown fever.

We’ll let you know if getting a fever after a tattoo is normal and why.

How Can Tattoos Cause a Fever?

The tattoo procedure involves lots of needles being repeatedly inserted into your skin, this creates some trauma in your body. It also creates stress in your body and your brain. 

The way that your body deals with this is important. It is programmed to react to any kind of stress and trauma by repairing itself and fighting against it. This can come out in many ways, one of these being a fever. Many people get this and it has been called “tattoo flu”.

This is a normal reaction from your body and you shouldn’t worry. 

Is it Normal to Have a Fever After Getting a Tattoo?

There are many stages of getting a tattoo. These can be broken down to the design and placement of the tattoo, the actual tattoo procedure, and the aftercare.

The aftercare isn’t just about the tattooed skin but your body as a whole. The trauma and stress caused by the procedure will take a lot out of your body and may cause you to be sick. Your immune system will fight against everything to protect your body, and it will do this against the needles of a tattoo gun. 

Your body will try to heal itself following the tattoo procedure and this may mean that you start to feel a fever coming on. This is your body’s way of healing and protecting itself.

It’s normal to get a fever that will last for a short time. You should look after yourself until it passes, which it will do.

How Long Will It Last?

The fever or “tattoo flu” as it’s known to some may last for a few days as your body starts the healing process.

If you find that the fever is continuing past a few days you should speak to a doctor who will be able to advise further. 

What Can You Do To Feel Better?

We wouldn’t advise taking any medication in this situation as it should only last for a few days. However, if you feel like you need to take something, speak to a pharmacist who will be able to recommend an over-the-counter medication for you.

The best thing that you can do would be to relax and look after yourself. Get plenty of rest and eat healthily, drinking lots of liquids.

Tips For Next Time

You can rest easy knowing that your first tattoo will always affect you the worst and your body will get used to the procedure. 

We would always recommend that you care for your skin before having a tattoo as this will make sure that it’s in the best condition. This applies to the food and drinks that you have before your tattoo appointment. Eat well and healthily and drink lots, but don’t ever drink alcohol before getting a tattoo. 

You should avoid taking any medication before having a tattoo as this could thin the blood and make it difficult for the tattoo artist to do the tattoo.


It’s normal to suffer from a fever for a few days following a tattoo so don’t let that put you off getting a tattoo. 

As long as you’re prepared and you look after yourself, you will be fine. You will soon forget about the pain once you have your new tattoo to look at.

We hope that we’ve answered your question and you have not been put off having a tattoo. A little bit of pain is worth the stunning tattoo that you are left with.

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