My neighbor, nice lady, good mom, developed an unusual bump under stomach skin, solid, round pingpong ball sized. It grew fast, began 2 weeks ago. She’d gotten a wreath-shaped stomach tattoo 6 weeks earlier, and this growth is right smack in the center of it.

Could be coincidence of course. Doctor didn’t have diagnosis, only that blood tests showed no bacteria. I’m retired from 35 years in medical research lab, so I can say with assurance that this insurance-assigned doctor is just guessing, badly, his solution was go find a surgeon. And much more thought/info/tests should happen before surgery on this odd a bolus. I’d feel a lot better if we could eliminate the tattoo before treatment get drastic.

I have zero knowledge re tattoos, and would really appreciate hearing from people familiar with the field– have you ever heard of something like this developing in connection with a recent tattoo? She’s in emergency room again now, pain’s awful, and as with other doctor, tattoos don’t seem to be taken very seriously.

Hoping you can provide a little expert info or know someone that can? Thanks very much–


I hope Sherav sees this soon. I doubt anyone here knows more about health issues and tattooing than he does.


To intelligent-looking gentleman from Iceland– thanks so much, really appreciate that you read me, I’m about as unfamiliar with posting on forums as with the world of tattoo arts. hoping Sherav sees this too-

Natalie tells me that site is closer to a new navel piercing, done at same time as tattoo. Guess I hadn’t noticed piercing, being not accustomed to examining my neighbor’s mid-drift! Also, she has similar-sized tattoo on leg from about 6 months earlier which she’s tolerated perfectly well.

When you’ve got a medical mystery, helpful to consider any/all recent body changes, even minimal, normal stuff. Even if you don’t know what it is, good to know what it’s not–



First of all this is layman opinion and not medically qualified in anyway – I would advise a biopsy as the first cause of action. This will rule out if it is a cyst or anything related to cancer. The earlier the better.

I checked through my notes and whilst some rare reactions do include swelling none that I am aware of would produce a swelling like you described as the whole or most of the tattoo area tends to become inflamed or swollen.

Other symptoms are blistering or a white coating of the skin (chromate poisoning) which any Dr with half a brain would be able to spot a bacterial infection or chemical burn.

That should rule out staph or strept infections.

Keloids are possible in small number of people but this is usually spotted early on in life if the person cuts themself – however as pigment is put in there (tattoo ink) it is something to keep in mind. Those of a west indian or african-american heritage may have a higher chance of keloids.

There is also Granulomas but this small packets of scar tissue forming along the tattoo outline not a solid lump as you described.

If there has been a naval piercing one thing that comes to mind is a cystic reaction – these are easily removed. These can sometimes happen after a piercing is done and is a build up of fluid which needs to be drained.

Sorry cannot help further.

Take Care


It seems very unusual to get a tattoo related side effect 6 weeks later …. :confused:


to Sheraz, many thanks for answering, I think your info essentially discounts tattoo or piercing as underlying cause of abnormal lump.

As you note, obviously biopsy’s indicated asap- but since the attending doctor didn’t bother, my confidence was not high. that’s one reason I went looking for supplemental expert input on your forum, about all I could do to help was try to narrow the field of mystery!

Last night’s ER doctors were sharper cookies, no diagnosis yet, tests neg for bacteria again, but this time a biopsy’s ordered.

We do feel better having your kind assistance on possible after-effects. Doctors she’s seen seem a bit dismissive re tattoos. Well geez, don’t relate to tattoos much myself, but personal points of view won’t make the skin a less essential body organ. Knee bone’s always connected to the head bone whether that suits us or not–

thank you for your input, really appreciate it, checking out of your world of tattoos and back to babysitting–

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