The Inability To Clean Inner Lip Tattoos Can Lead To A Dangerous Situation

There are plenty of places on your body where you could get a tattoo. Granted, if you want something that might be considered a little bit unusual, somewhat unexpected, and undeniably edgy, you could get a touch of permanent ink added to your face, have some body art done on your neck — or get an inner lip tattoo. You might know Miley Cyrus has a yellow cat tattooed on the inside of her lip, while Madison Beer has the word "HONEY" in the same space. Both Kendall Jenner and Ruby Rose have "MEOW" inked inside their mouths, while Kesha went for a tattoo that says "SUCK IT!"

Of course, you might not understand why someone would willingly go through the pain of having a tattoo done in a spot where it can't always be seen. "Big Steve," an artist at Fun City Tattoo, explained to Refinery29, "Most of the time, it's people who want to do something rebellious without being blatantly defiant. [They want to] get a tattoo, but make it one that no one will ever see unless you flip down your lower lip for them."

That may be true, but for health reasons, there might be another reason you might not comprehend why someone would risk getting an inner lip tattoo. It has to do with the inability to clean the area, which can lead to a dangerous and potentially icky situation.

Inner lip tattoos are in an ideal spot for infection

When you get a new tattoo, it's important to stick to the proper aftercare to ensure that it heals properly. However, that can be more than a little tricky when it comes to a tattoo that's on the inside of your lip.

"They can become infected because there are lots of bacteria in the oral cavity and it can be challenging to keep the area consistently clean. You can't wash this area with an antibacterial soap as you can in other areas," Dr. Hadley King, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist, told Bustle. Fortunately, you can use an antibacterial mouthwash in place of soap. You'll also want to make sure the mouthwash doesn't include alcohol and King suggests using it two times a day.

On top of that, you might want to stay away from food that is rather spicy or has a lot of acid in it as it can irritate the tattoo. The same can be said for drinking alcohol and smoking. Kissing can also lead to more bacteria in your mouth, so you might want to refrain from making out with anyone until your tattoo is healed. Finally, you must keep an eye out for any signs that your tattoo might be infected and needs some immediate TLC.

Normal side-effects versus an infected inner lip tattoo

While you will more than likely experience pain while you're getting your inner lip tattoo done, you'll also need to endure a few side effects in the following days, which is a totally normal part of the process, if a somewhat unfortunate fact.

Noticing that the tattooed area remains sore and is sensitive for a couple of days is something you should expect, as well as a bit of swelling, according to PMU Hub. Additionally, while it might be a little weird and seriously annoying, your inner lip tattoo might also feel itchy.

On the other hand, if these issues don't seem to be going away or start to get worse, then the area may have become infected. You also need to watch out for other signs of infection which can be pretty unpleasant. That includes developing blisters, as well as spotting pus or another sort of discharge making its way out of your lip. You might also notice an iffy smell coming from an infected tattoo. If you see any of these signs, then you can contact your tattoo artist to ask for a few suggestions on how to handle the situation. If things seem really bad, then you should make an appointment to see a doctor as soon as possible so that they can tell you how to stop the infection, possibly prescribe you antibiotics, and hopefully save your inner lip tattoo.