Itching is normal as your tattoo heals, but never scratch it. (If itching is accompanied by heat, inflammation, pus, spots or anything worrisome – consult your tattoo artist and doctor if necessary. Don’t let infection overwhelm your tattoo!)
Your tattoo needs to heal and needs to be left alone: don’t scratch, don’t itch, don’t scratch at the scabs or scales, no matter how insanely itchy – after about a week, when the scabs and scales start to disappear, it can be distressing unbearable!
However, not only do you risk ruining the design by messing with the ink, but you also risk inflaming the tattoo, which can be a real problem.
Stopping itching is not easy, but it helps if you approach the problem from all three angles at the same time.
Why is my tattoo itchy?
Itching for a tattoo is completely normal and part of the healing process. This happens because you are under stress and your skin can eventually become damaged from repeated piercings of areas of skin. With this, your body responds to the trauma by forming a scab to heal and protect the skin, making your tattooed area itchy.
Before tattooing, the artist shaves off the desired area of the canvas and the surrounding area so they can see the area more clearly and can better ink you. You may experience mild itching and discomfort as hair grows in the area, which can be especially frustrating if it grows in the healing process.
Allergies and Skin Diseases
In some cases, itching may be a sign of a more serious condition that may require medical attention. Some people may be allergic to the pigments used in tattoos and experience an immediate allergic reaction. You’ll know you have an allergic reaction if your skin develops itching, redness, and bumps.
Another cause of itching may be a pre-existing skin condition, such as eczema or psoriasis. While not too dangerous, it’s still important to watch out for ulcers and consult a doctor if the itching and problems persist for several weeks.
How to Prevent New Tattoos from Scabbing and Infection
what to do when i get home
- Once you get home and are in a clean environment, it’s important to clean your tattoo thoroughly. This will help prevent scabbing.
- Remove the foil and let it air out for about 30 minutes.
- Then, using an antibacterial foam or natural soap, lather up your hands and gently wash the tattoo in circular motions. Note: Do not use towels, sponges or brushes. That could tear it apart. Use only your hands. This is the perfect tool for the job!
- Rinse thoroughly with gentle running warm water until all fluid is gone.
- Next, let your skin air dry for about 45 minutes in a clean place away from the sun (not a dusty, dirty old shed).
- However, don’t let your tattoo get too dry, or it may crack.
- After drying, apply a small amount of care cream. Don’t exaggerate! A big factor that can cause a scab to stay on a tattoo for too long and not fall off naturally is using too much aftercare cream. This keeps the skin moist and prevents the scab from drying out. They can also promote bacterial growth.
- The most important thing you can do to ensure your tattoo heals properly is to keep it clean. That means don’t let anything dirty touch you. Dirty hands, clothes, and other surfaces are a breeding ground for germs.
Here’s how to care for your new tattoo in the next few days
After the artist has finished and packaged your tattoo, you are solely responsible for aftercare. If you take good care of it, you may never have to deal with scabs. Here are some ways to make sure you feel comfortable with your recovery:
- Talk to your artist about what you need to do to heal and protect your tattoo. They know the best treatment techniques for their tattoo style.
- In the first few days after a new tattoo, particles, lint, and other debris from clothing and linens rub against the new tattoo, often leading to infection. Your artist may suggest that you wrap your tattoo while you are wearing clothing or at night. I was advised to do this for the first three to five nights and found that my tattoo healed very quickly.
- After washing or showering, allow your skin to air dry and massage your skin cream into your skin gently before it becomes too dry (to the point where it might crack). If you must use a towel, gently blot the tattoo without rubbing it.
- If scabs have formed, do not apply any nourishing creams on them. Bacteria will begin to grow in the wet scab, possibly leading to infection. The crusts need to be dry so that they will eventually crumble.
- Keep your tattoos out of the sun.
- Make sure the tattoo doesn’t stick to clothing or sheets. This may mean wearing different styles of clothing and sleeping in different positions for a while while you recover.
Should You Stop Tattoo Scabbing?
The skin tissue beneath the scab regenerates. If you pluck or remove the scab, you take away some of this beautiful new tissue and interfere with your healing process, so pluck enough!
Pulling off the scab will leave a more visible scar. When you remove the scab, it irritates the skin and leaves an open wound that gives bacteria a chance to re-enter. Inflammation and bacterial infection are part of the reason some scars are more visible than others.
Maybe you are usually a pickpocket and don’t care that pickpockets may leave worse scars, but this time is different! This time you’ve chosen a piece of art that you want to keep with you forever, and you’ve paid for it.
A weird scab that isn’t part of the design you choose, and if you don’t want it to be part of your new tattoo, then it’s best to leave that scab alone!
A scabbed wound that does not heal or does not heal as well as a scabbed wound due to lack of protection.