Tattoos are a new fashion trend that is sweeping the world. In fact, according to a recent survey, 36% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 have at least one tattoo. And while there are still some societal stigmas and taboos attached to body art, tattoos are becoming more and more accepted by mainstream culture.
Getting a tattoo is a big decision because it’s something you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life. So it’s essential to ensure that you’re prepared for everything. One thing that many people don’t think about is the fact that tattoos can itch.
This is especially true in the early stages of healing. In this article, we will find out the causes of why tattoos itch and find out the steps of how to stop tattoo itching. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your new tattoo without any annoying irritation! So, without any further delays, let’s get started.
What Causes Itching of a Tattoo?
There are several reasons that can cause your tattoo to itch. Here are 10 of the most common ones:
Dry skin: If your skin is dry, it will be more prone to itching. This is especially true if you have eczema or psoriasis. To help prevent dry skin, use a tattoo aftercare lotion that is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. Apply it twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.
Allergies: You may be allergic to the tattoo ink, the tattoo needles, or even the latex gloves used during the tattooing process. If you suspect an allergy, contact your tattoo artist and ask them to switch to a different ink or needle.
Infection: If the skin of the tattooed becomes infected, it will itch. Be sure to keep an eye out for any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, pus, or fever. See a doctor immediately if you think your tattoo may be infected.
Sunburn: Yes, even your tattoo can get sunburned! If you spend too much time in the sun without sunscreen, your tattoo will become irritated and start to itch. To prevent this, always use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 when you’re exposed to the sun.
Scab Formation: The main reason tattoos itch during the healing process is scab formation. When your skin is healing, it will form a scab over the tattooed area. The scab will protect the new tattoo from infection and help it to heal correctly. However, the scab can also cause the tattoo to itch.
This itch is caused by the scab picking up dirt and bacteria from your clothing or touching the tattooed area. The best way to avoid this is to keep the tattoo clean and dry. You should also avoid scratching or picking at the scab. You risk damaging the new tattoo if you scratch or pick at the scab.
Dry healing: If your tattoo doesn’t heal properly, it can become dry and start to itch. To prevent this, follow your tattoo artist’s aftercare instructions carefully. Keep the area clean, and don’t pick at the scabs.
Reaction to ointment: Some people may react to the cream used to protect a new tattoo during the healing process. If this happens, stop using the ointment and contact your tattoo artist.
Too much scratching: Itching is expected during the healing process, but if you scratch too much, you can cause skin damage to the tattooed area that can ultimately lead to allergic wounds and cause a lot of itching. To prevent this, try to resist the urge to scratch, and if you must scratch, do it gently.
Pigment Allergy: If you’re allergic to tattoo pigment, your body will try to fight the foreign substance by causing an immune reaction. This can result in a rash, itching, or swelling at the site of the tattoo.
There are a few ways that an allergic reaction to pigment can cause a tattoo to itch. One way is if the ink is not properly diluted and the person has an allergy to one of the ingredients in the undiluted ink. Another way is if the person has an allergy to one of the metals used in making some pigments, such as cobalt or nickel.
In either case, an itchy tattoo is the body’s way of telling you that something is not right. If your tattoo starts to itch, it’s important to see a doctor or tattoo artist to figure out what is causing the problem and how to treat it.
Unknown: Sometimes, the cause of tattoo itching is unknown. Consult a dermatologist if you’ve tried everything and the itching still exists. They can examine you thoroughly and run a battery of tests to rule out any underlying medical conditions that might lead to your tattoo itch.
If your tattoo is itchy, don’t despair! You can do several things to relieve the itchiness and help your tattoo heal properly. Just be sure to talk to your tattoo artist or doctor if the itching persists or gets worse.
How to Relieve Itchy New Tattoo?
If you’ve just gotten a new tattoo, chances are it’s going to be itchy. Here are 11 ways to relieve that itch and keep your tattoo looking fresh.
Apply a cold compress: Applying a cold compress can help to soothe the itch and reduce inflammation. Use a clean, damp cloth or towel and apply it to the tattoo for a few minutes at a time. Repeat as needed.
Apply a barrier cream: Barrier creams create a barrier between the tattoo and your clothing or bedding, which can help to reduce friction and scratching. Apply a small amount of barrier cream to the tattoo before covering it with clothing or going to bed. Reapply as needed throughout the day.
OTC Ointments: When you experience the discomfort of an itchy tattoo, OTC (over-the-counter) ointments can provide relief. You can use anti-itching creams such as hydrocortisone or calamine lotion to soothe your tattoo itch.
Wear loose-fitting clothing: Tightfitting clothing can rub against the tattoo and irritate the skin. Choose loose-fitting, soft fabrics that will not aggravate the tattoo. If possible, avoid wearing clothes that are made from wool or other rough materials.
Take Oatmeal Baths: If you’re looking for a natural way to soothe your itchy tattoo, an oatmeal bath may be the answer. Oats have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help relieve itchiness, redness, and swelling. Plus, they’re gentle enough for sensitive skin.
Simply add a cup of oats to your bathtub and let them soak for 15-20 minutes. Then, rinse the oats off with warm water and pat your tattoo dry. You can do this once or twice a day until the itchiness subsides. So, next time your tattoo starts to itch, reach for the oatmeal!
Keep the area clean: It’s important to keep the tattooed area clean and hygienic to prevent infection. Gently wash the tattoo with soap and water several times a day. Pat the area dry with a clean towel. Do not scrub the tattoo or use harsh cleansers, as this can damage the skin.
Moisturize: Keeping the tattooed area moisturized is key to preventing itchiness. In addition to using lotion, you can also apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or cocoa butter to the tattoo. Be sure to test any new products on a small area of skin before applying them to your tattoo. Drinking plenty of water helps to keep the skin moisturized from the inside out.
Moreover, a good quality lotion can help to moisturise the skin and reduce itching. Apply lotion several times a day, especially after showers or baths. Choose a lotion that is specifically designed for tattoos or one that is unscented and hypoallergenic. Avoid using lotions with petroleum or mineral oil, as these can actually dry out the tattoo and make the itch worse.
Avoid sun exposure: Sunlight can irritate the skin and cause itching. When you are outdoors, be sure to cover up your tattoo with clothing or sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Avoid hot showers: Hot water can strip away natural oils from the skin, leaving it dry and irritated. When bathing, use lukewarm water and mild, unscented soap. Avoid soaking the tattoo for long periods of time. Gently pat the skin dry when you’re done.
Don’t scratch: It can be tempting to scratch an itch, but resist the urge! Scratching will only make the itch worse and can damage the tattoo. Take anti-histamine medicines according to the recommended dosage. Moreover, if you need to itch, try using a soft toothbrush to brush the area gently.
See your doctor: If the itch is severe or doesn’t go away after a few days, see your doctor. You may be allergic to tattoo ink or have an infection. Your doctor can prescribe medication to help relieve the itch and treat any underlying conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Let’s have a look at the most common questions that most people asked about itchy tattoos.
Why does my tattoo itch after 2 years?
Ans: There are a few reasons your tattoo may itch after two years. It could be an allergic reaction to the ink, or it could be that the skin around the tattoo is dry and irritated. If you’re experiencing an itch that won’t go away, it’s important to see a doctor or dermatologist to rule out any serious conditions. In the meantime, try using a hypoallergenic lotion or cream to soothe the itch.
How long will my tattoo itch?
Ans: Most of the time, your tattoo will only itch for the first few days after you get it. This is because your skin is healing and getting used to the new ink. However, if you have a particularly sensitive tattoo, it may continue to itch for weeks or even months.
So wrapping up, we can say that if you’re experiencing itching after your new tattoo or even with your existing tattoo, there are a few things that you can do to help soothe the area and stop the itch. Applying an ice pack to the tattoo, using a topical cream or ointment, and taking antihistamines may all help to provide relief.
If the itching persists for more than a week or becomes unbearable, be sure to consult with your tattoo artist or doctor. By staying a little cautious, we can express ourselves the way we like with tattoos. Thanks for reading!