Recently, a new bacteria called Mycobacterium haemophilum has been linked to tattoo infections. The odd thing about this bacteria is that Mycobacterium haemophilum is usually found in individuals who are immuno-compromised. But recently, the CDC is reporting of two individuals with normal immune systems who developed chronic skin infection after getting the tattoo from the same tattoo parlor in Seattle.
As you may be aware, tattooing is not considered a sterile procedure and it is not regulated at the Federal level. Most states have rules and regulations on tattoo parlors. Unfortunately, these regulations are not fully enforced. With budget cuts recently affecting most states, inspections of tattoo parlors will be even less. It is up to the consumer to make sure the place they are going to is adherent to the rules and regulations.
Before getting a tattoo, be sure to do your due-diligence. Ask your friends about where they got their tattoo or go online and look at reviews. If you got a bad tattoo from one parlor, don't go back to them to get it "fixed". Find another place.
So how would you know if your tattoo is infected? The signs of a skin infection include: redness, swelling, warmth, discharge, and pain. If you have any of these symptoms after getting a tattoo, see your doctor immediately. If left untreated, it can lead to serious complications.