How to treat cold sore after lip tattoo

Getting a tattoo on the lip has now become fashionable among youngsters. According to research, 38% of people between 18 to 29 years old had at least one tattoo. Lip tattoo has side effects like cold sore, swelling, infections and others. This article will discuss cold sore after lip tattoo and how to treat cold sore after lip tattoo.


What is lip tattoo?

A lip tattoo is a professional procedure that involves inserting color pigments into your lips with small tattooing needles. This may come in the form of tattoo art in your lip area or perhaps as an aesthetic procedure called cosmetic tattooing. 

How to treat cold sore after lip tattoo
Lip tattoo

Whether you get a tattoo on the inside or outside of your lips, you should know that both can be painful and prone to infection. It’s important to know all the facts about these trendy tattoos to see if they’re worth it for you.


How To Prepare For Lip Tattooing

  • After you’ve decided to get a lip tattoo, you’ll need to choose what you want. You should think through what kind of design you want on your inner lip. 
  • You’ll also need to decide where you want to get your tattoo done. You should research the shop you want to go to before you go. You can visit them to see their workspace and make sure it’s clean 
  • In the days leading up to your appointment, exfoliation and hydration are key. 
  • Include a lip scrub and moisturizing balm into your daily skincare routine to prime the area. 
  • Walking into your session with smooth, soft lips ensures that the pigment maintains an even, vibrant appearance and aids the healing journey.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours before your appointment.
  • If this is your first lip blush session, meet with your technician for an initial consultation and do a patch test to prevent any preventable side effects from the cosmetic tattooing process.

What happens during a lip tattoo?

  • During a lip tattoo session, the tattoo artist will first draw the design you want. They will then trace it onto the desired area of your lips.
  • Using new, sterile needles, your artist will then insert the desired ink colors by making slow, methodical punctures in your skin. 
  • Once the tattoo is complete, your lips will be covered up with a sterile bandage to prevent infection.
  • Expect pain as well as some bleeding during the process. You might experience more pain with a lip tattoo compared with other areas of the body, such as an arm or leg tattoo.
  • It can take about two weeks for a new tattoo to heal, so be sure you understand all aftercare techniques before leaving the studio. 
  • Since you can’t clean the inside of your mouth with soap, you’ll need an antibacterial mouth rinse.

Cold sore after lip tattoo 

A cold sore is a group of tiny, painful blisters caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). They’re also called fever blisters or herpes simplex labialis.

If you have any history of cold sores, fever blisters, you could contact your physician to obtain and take the proper prescription medication to prevent such outbreaks before obtaining a lip tattoo. 

You will need to take the cold sore medication for your touch-up just as you did for your initial procedure. If you have an active cold sore you need to reschedule your appointment and wait until it fully heals.

How to treat Cold Sore after lip tattoo

Though there’s no cure for cold sores, Antiviral medications can speed healing, especially if you take them at the first sign of an outbreak. Your doctor might tell you to use:

  • Cream that you apply on the sores. Acyclovir (Zovirax) and penciclovir (Denavir) need a prescription, or you can get docosanol (Abreva) over the counter.
  • Pills that you swallow, like acyclovir (Sitavig, Zovirax), famciclovir (Famvir), or valacyclovir (Valtrex). You need a prescription to get these.
  • Medicine injected into your bloodstream (called intravenous or IV) if you have a severe case, such as cidofovir (Vistide) or foscarnet (Foscavir). Acyclovir can also been injected.

Some home remedies can help you feel better while you heal:

  • Cold, damp compresses
  • Pain medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen
  • Cream painkillers with benzocaine or lidocaine
  • Treatments with alcohol to dry out the blisters
  • Lip balms and creams to keep moisture in

What are the risks or side effects of getting a lip tattoo?

Despite the popularity of tattoos, there are still risks and side effects to consider. This is especially true of the ever-so-sensitive lip area. Consider the following risks:

  • Swelling. Tattoo needles create micro-injuries in your skin. It’s natural for your skin to swell up as a reaction to such injuries, but this should ease up within a couple of days. Cold packs can help alleviate swelling.
  • Infections. An infection after a tattoo in the lip area can occur for a few reasons. It’s important to make sure your tattoo artist uses sterilized equipment and needles. You must also follow your aftercare instructions, including using a mouth rinse. Since the lips come into contact with saliva, food, and drinks, this can also increase your risk for infections. Inner-lip tattoos are most susceptible because of moisture and bacteria inside the mouth.
  • Scarring. When a lip tattoo doesn’t heal properly, it may scar. Allergic reactions and infections post-tattooing can also increase your risk for developing scar tissue at the site.
  • Allergic reactions. If you have a history of skin allergies or sensitivities, consider talking to your tattoo artist about using allergenic ink. Signs of an allergic reaction may include itchiness, rash, and hives. 
  • Blood-borne illnesses. Not using sterilized needles can lead to the transmission of blood-borne illnesses, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.
  • Anaphylaxis. While relatively rare, this severe allergic reaction has been reported in some people within hours of getting inked. Swelling of your lips is normal after getting a lip tattoo. But if you also notice swelling around your neck and cheeks and experience breathing difficulties, go to the emergency room right away. If left untreated, anaphylaxis can be life-threatening.

How long does a lip tattoo last?

Despite using some of the most vibrant colors around, all tattoo ink eventually fades as your dermis and epidermis heal. The same is true of tattoos done on, around, or inside the lip area.


Tattoos done inside the mouth fade the quickest because they’re always in contact with saliva, food, and drinks.

You can ask your tattoo artist for specific design or color recommendations that could help your ink last a bit longer.

After-Care for a Lip Tattoo

Your tattoo artist will give you the proper treatment plan for your tattoo. They should let you know how to take care of your tattoo and prevent infection. In the first week or two, you should be careful to not bite your lip or irritate the area too much. 


You should look for signs of infection as your tattoo heals. These signs include: 

  • Red skin around the tattoo
  • Pain in the area
  • Pus coming out of the tattoo
  • Fever

If you think your tattoo is infected you should seek medical attention immediately

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