When a tattoo is healing, it can look like nothing is happening, or it can look like full-blown zombified leprosy, or anything in between. We tattoo artists try our best to educate clients about tattoo care and what to expect during the healing process - we even give out written instructions, so you can refresh yourself later when the excitement wears off. But no matter how well we attempt to prepare folks, occasionally, someone has a panic attack when they see their tattoo scabbing up in spots. Inflammation is not abnormal, especially on the feet, ankles, hands, wrists, and on the inside bicep area (ibuprofen can help with the swelling). A few days of redness is common. One of the worst things for a healing tattoo is pet dander. Your tattoo coming in contact with a bed or other furniture that your dogs/cats lay on very often leads to longer healing time and greater risk of infection. So, what should you do if you're concerned about how your tattoo is healing? Visit your artist in person (don't just email blurry pics!). If you are experiencing trouble breathing, a rash that is rapidly expanding beyond your tattoo, or if greenish liquid is seeping from your tattoo, go see your doctor. But know this: doctors HATE body modification. Piercings, tattoos, doctors can't understand why people do these 'unnatural' things to their bodies. Whether it is misdiagnosis or just erring on the side of caution, the antibiotics and ointments your doctor will prescribe will likely cause the tattoo to reject ink and heal 'patchy'. Trust your artist - he/she will not hesitate to send you for medical treatment if there is an issue.
P.S. Ignore my advice, 'trust your artist', if you didn't go to a professional tattoo artist in a professional tattoo shop. If you got your tattoo in a kitchen, you deserve what you get. ;P