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Tattoo and Itching- A Vicious Cycle that Needs an End

Posted by Ann V. On 2016 Jun 1st

Tattoo and Itching- A Vicious Cycle that Needs an End

A tattoo is like a new born baby which when cries, irritates you. But if a good care is taken, it will make you feel proud one day. When tattoo comes into this ruthless world, it needs pampering. During the healing process of tattoo, itching is a very common symptom. Level of itching varies from person to person.

Procedure behind tattooing

Tattoo ink is placed underneath the top layers of the skin by creating punctures with help of special tattoo needles. So, due to these punctures, a wound is created which needs time to heal properly. Itching is one of the phases that arrive during healing process.

Itchiness usually goes away within two weeks but they may prolong because of various factors such as allergic reactions and weather.

Causes of itchy tattoo

The most common reasons paving way for itchy tattoo are skin conditions, weather conditions, allergic reactions and change in your body.

  • Weather Conditions

When it comes to occasional itching, the main enemy is found to be is weather. Most common time for irritation to happen is the summer time. The high temperature and high humidity level makes your tattoo swells slightly, causing the skin to get stretched. This stretch in the skin results in skin becoming itchy.

  • Allergic Reactions

Allergic reaction to the tattoo ink can also cause itching. Usually allergic reaction occurs after one week of receiving a tattoo. A good way of treating this is using topical ointments which will help to relieve mild irritations. Also, it is advised to consult a doctor before getting inked to ensure if you are allergic to the tattoo ink or not.

  • Change in your body

Any change inside the body like rise in blood pressure, change in body temperature and increase adrenaline can affect your tattoo. As soon as you notice that your tattoo has become itchy, analyze and stop doing the recent activity which could have affected the tattoo.

  • Skin Conditions

Some kind of skin conditions often make tattoo more sensitive, thereby making it dry and itchy. It can be because of any skin condition, whether a simple dry skin or major eczema. Consult your dermatologist to help getting rid of itching in this case.

Tips to get relief from itching

  • A good moisturizer

The skin tends to get dry after tattooing. Dry skin often leads to itchy skin. To avoid it, it is advised that whenever your tattoo starts to get dry, apply a thin layer of moisturizer. But make sure that you do not apply moisturizer in large quantity because for proper healing of tattoo, it needs to breathe.

  • Shower has power

A short warm shower may bring a short term relief from itching. It is best suited for tattoos located at the back of body. Once you step out of your bathroom, use paper towel to pat it on your tattoo and keep patting until it gets dry. Avoid using bath-towel as it may contain bacteria that can inject infection through tattoo wound. As soon as your tattoo gets dried up, apply a thin layer of moisturizing lotion.

  • Distraction to avoid infection

Distraction is not a sure shot tip that will work. But it works for many, so giving it a try is worth the time. You have to just tame your mind when you feel itchy and ask it to switch away from the thoughts of scratching or itching. Distract it by any means. Go for a walk, start to play an instrument, start watching TV, play video games and anything that can distract your mind.

Chewing a bubble gum is said to be the best remedy than any other home remedy for itchy tattoo.

  • Gently pat the tattoo and itchiness will sleep

Scratching a lottery ticket is a good idea rather than scratching a tattoo. Scratching a tattoo will always worsen the condition. Instead patting a tattoo will provide you with the much needed relief. When you are patting your tattoo, just focus on word ‘GENTLE’. Gently patting will help to stop the itch and will not create a disaster of the ink.

Make sure when you are about to pat your tattoo, your hands are clean so that the tattoo does not get infected with any sort of the bacteria.

  • Application of ice

Ice is not only meant to be served with juice during hot, sunny days but it has myriad other benefits. Take it out from the freezer and wrap it in the clean cloth and then gently apply it over the tattooed area. Be aware that you do not apply ice directly to the tattooed area as it can cause ice burn. Ice, apart from relieving from itchy tattoo, is also helpful to get rid of swelling and bruising. During the absence of ice, a cool compress can also offer a great relief.