Aussie man breaks out in painful bumps after Bali tattoo

A Perth couple were three days away from the end of their holiday in Bali when Leanne Stewart’s husband got a tattoo.

After opting for a Viking themed design, the 50-year-old followed advice and stayed out of the pool and sun, and used an antiseptic cream to help ward off infection.

But by the time the pair had returned to Western Australia, the man’s new ink had flared up.

“It wasn’t until we had been home a few days [that] it started to get itchy and then the bumps appeared,” Ms Stewart told Yahoo News Australia.

“He was in pain and it was extremely itchy.”

With no sign of the rash clearing up, her husband went to a doctor for antibiotics and steroid cream.

But neither appear to have worked.

Leanne Stewart's husband's tattoo rash.
Leanne Stewart says her husband's tattoo flared up into a rash a few days after they got home from Bali. Source: Facebook

Nothing has helped’

Getting desperate, Ms Stewart, who also got a tattoo at the “same place, same time” as her husband but is “completely fine”, took to Facebook to appeal for help.

“My husband got a tattoo in Bali a couple of weeks ago,” she wrote.

“Apparently it’s a reaction to the ink but he has tried antibiotics [and] steroid cream but nothing has helped.

“Has this happened to anyone else and what did you use if you did?”

The post has since received more than 470 reactions and 77 comments.

Among them were many who’d experienced the same rash.

“This happened to me too!” one person wrote. “[It] was so itchy! I was on antibiotics at the time so I think it helped to get rid of it. I also took antihistamines and used a steroid cream. [It] took a good 2-3 months for it to clear up properly.”

Ms Stewart and her husband (left) and Ms Stewart's tattoo on her back (right).
Ms Stewart says she got a tattoo at the 'same place, same time' as her 50-year-old husband but that she is 'completely fine.' Source: Facebook/Leanne Stewart

“I get this periodically with my arm tattoo and so does my partner,” another user said. “I got mine in Bali and he got his in Perth. Had it over seven years.”

“My husband does have a reaction to the ink and some raised dots,” someone else added. “Nothing helped his unfortunately and when the blisters finally went it left scars in his tattoo.”

“I get this from time to time on my tattoos, also from Bali,” said another. “Just every once in a while it will raise and get all those bumps throughout them all.”

While some blamed “cheap ink” others suggested it could be the climate.

“That’s pretty normal in the heat sometimes,” one person wrote. “Mine still get bumps and they’re 15 years old.”

“Mine do the same from Thailand,” another said. “Ingrown hairs. Sweat follicles with heat.”

But for some it was enough to rule out getting inked in Bali.

“Wow, I think getting another tattoo over there again is now off the cards,” one person said.

Riley Kingscote with a rash on his chest (left) and the rash from the henna tattoo (right).
Jessie Kingscote says she started to panic that her four-year-old son had 'something terrible going through his blood stream' after a henna tattoo in Bali. Source: Jessie Kingscote

The dangers of tattoos in Bali

Tourists in Bali have previously been warned about the dangers of getting a different kind of tattoo on the holiday island.

Jessie Kingscote from Perth told Yahoo News Australia that her four-year-old son was left scarred after getting a henna tattoo from a market stall.

Riley was left with a rash all over his body and prescribed steroids for three days while he recovered.

WA’s Department of Health warns black henna contains paraphenylenediamine, a chemical dye that as many as one in five people may suffer an allergic reaction to, causing blisters, throat irritation, nausea and bronchial asthma.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.