Getting a tattoo might seem to be adventurous. But it is not that easy stuff. Among the different problems accompanying this type of body modification, itching is the number one pet-peeve. Especially, when your tattoo is in the healing phase, the problem can become worse.
Though you must have read a lot about tattoo aftercare, here we are with your answers related to tattoos and itching. Read on.
Is it normal if your tattoo itches?
If you are in the healing phases, itching is completely normal. This happens to almost everybody who has got inked. Now it can be up to any extent. Yes, you read that right! While some people only face very mild itching, there are others who face extreme, intense itching sensation.
Coming to the later phase, itching might not be so normal when accompanied by those bumps and lumps around your tattoo. It is a clear sign of an infection, and you need to get the problem checked by your doctor as soon as possible.
Remember, if you have an old tattoo itching, this is uncommon. It occurs mostly when the area becomes dry. So, try to moisturize the area more often, and keep your skin healthy. But if the problem persists, or if there's no improvement after a few days, look for a dermatologist.
What is causing me an itchy tattoo?
The moment you step out of the tattoo parlor, your brand new tattoo is similar to an open wound. It is essentially going to be prone to infections. Gradually, after the first 6-7 days, your tattoo turns completely scabbed over. It will then begin to shed its scabs and dead skin. And it is here when the itching starts.
As far as the reasons for itching are known, it can be caused due to different factors. Among these the most common could be:
- Skin Reaction: As skin reactions to tattoo ink are quite common, these are relatively minor and subside after several days. So, in most of the cases, you don’t require any medical attention. But if you don’t follow a proper aftercare, these reactions can irritate the skin enough to cause them to itch.
- Peeling Skin: It is one of the most likely reason for horrid itchy sensation. Actually, when the skin peels, it partially comes away from the already very sensitive skin. Now if you rub the skin left over, it will be causing more problems.
- Re-growth of Shaven Hairs: When an artist starts with the tattoo, the particular area which is likely to be linked will be shaved. It is done in order to prevent the tattoo needles from getting caught in any hair, growing over the area.
- Skin Conditions: If you are getting a tattoo, be prepared. Having an area of skin tattooed, bring forth certain skin conditions which you might have never faced. Actually, tattooed skin becomes much more sensitive compared to its usual state. It can range from the mild dry skin to eczema and psoriasis. If you're concerned about any new symptoms that you were previously unaware of, it’s advisable to see either a doctor or dermatologist.
What if I scratch my new tattoo?
Please don’t do it! It is one of the worst things you could ever do to your new tattoo. Reason being when you scratch your tattoo, any scabs or skin that has begun to heal, can potentially be ripped off.
Besides, when you get a tattoo, i.e. the ink has been injected into the lower layers, some of the ink gets trapped in the middle and upper layers too. While the ink sets in these areas, it becomes much more prone to being pulled out, which causes itching. Now if you scratch your tattoo, or pull a scab off, ink can potentially be lost. Hence, the tattoo might appear to be patchy in that specific area.
Along with this, the dirt trapped under your fingernails can be a major reason to infect the open wound. And it is an infection starting within your tattoo which can serve to be a whole host of nasty problems. You never know what type of bacteria will make an entrance through your wound.
Hence, it is wise to resist the urge of scratching until the healing is over.
How resist scratching my new tattoo?
Even if you have the strongest will in the world to not scratch the itching tattoo, it can become difficult to keep your skin safe. While you're awake and conscious, you might tell yourself not to itch, but what when you are asleep. Yes, at that time you do not have control of this.
The best thing you could do to keep it away from scratching is applying a numbing cream like Dr.Numb® to it. Being a lidocaine based cream this is a proper solution to make your skin feel numb. Just apply it gently and it will block the itching sensation at the nerve endings. This means, you will not feel any itching and your mind will be at peace.
Keep your skin safe!