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How To Stop Tattoo Itching

Getting a new tattoo is an exciting experience, but there’s one downside – it usually comes with itching.

Uncomfortable and irritating, the itching associated with healing tattoos can be difficult to manage.

If you’re wondering how to stop tattoo itching, you’re in the right place. In this blog post, we’ll look at some simple tips to help alleviate itching for your freshly inked skin.

Woman having a big tattoo piece done to her arm

Tattoo Healing Process

The tattoo healing process is a multistep procedure that varies depending on the size and location of the tattoo.

Before beginning the healing process, it is important to have a conversation with a professional artist about proper aftercare instructions to ensure optimal results.

Once the procedure has been completed, the skin in the area will be very sensitive.

An antiseptic solution should first be used to clean away any bacteria and reduce inflammation.

Next, a thin coat of an antibiotic ointment or non-scented lotion should be applied on top of the fresh tattoos as many times as needed throughout the day.

For added protection, loose clothing can be worn over freshly inked tattoos whenever possible, and avoid activities involving swimming or sweating until your fresh tattoo has fully healed.

Direct sunlight and UV rays should be avoided to prevent any chances of infection or fading within your new artwork.

Depending on where your tattoo was placed, it may take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks for it to heal completely; however, this time frame may differ based on lifestyle and aftercare practices during this time period as well.

Frequent moisturizing is essential for keeping skin tissue healthy around tattoos for lasting vibrancy.

Why Do New Tattoos Itch?

When someone decides to get a tattoo, their skin is broken by the needle and tattoo ink is added.

At first, the area will feel sensitive due to healing, but once the wound starts to heal, that’s when itchy skin can start to become a problem.

When the tattoo starts to itch, this could be because of several things; it could just be your body’s natural healing process, or it may be an allergic reaction to either the needle or ink used during your session.

Itching can also occur as part of an inflammatory response from trauma caused by the needles.

The inner layers of skin are exposed and damaged, which triggers inflammation so that foreign substances like pigment and dirt particles don’t penetrate too deep into your dermal layer.

Which is your body’s way of protecting itself against infection when you get a tattoo.

This can lead to swelling and itching sensations if not managed properly before, during, or immediately after getting a new tattoo.

Although uncomfortable at times, these itchy skin sensations are normal while your body is adjusting to its new artwork and should go away within time as long as you take proper care of it throughout the healing process.

Using certain ointments such as Vaseline or A&D Ointment can help manage any excessive itchiness felt in newly done tattoos.

Top Causes Of An Itchy Tattoo

A tattoo may experience mild itching as part of the skin’s healing process. This is totally normal and usually the result of the body healing itself.

While most people do not experience an itchy tattoo, there are several causes that can cause an itchy reaction.

The first and most common cause of itching is due to improper care following a professional tattoo.

A tattoo artist’s aftercare instructions should be followed carefully to prevent any kind of reactions, including itchiness.

This includes cleaning the area with lukewarm water and antibacterial soap, keeping the area clean and dry, avoiding picking or scratching at any scabs or flakes, applying a thin layer of moisturizer such as lotion or vitamin E cream on the affected area, and wearing loose clothing over the new ink while it heals.

Other causes of itching include;

  • allergies to certain ingredients in the tattooing ink
  • excessive sweating or friction caused by tight-fitting clothes or jewelry rubbing against it
  • contact dermatitis (an allergic reaction affecting skin exposed to irritants)
  • bacterial infection causing inflammation which can lead to itching
  • exposure to extreme heat or cold weather conditions
  • psoriasis (a skin condition marked by thickened patches on your skin)
  • stress induced hormonal changes that can affect your immune system, leading to an itchy sensation on your new tattoo.

Some people may have genes that make their skin extra sensitive, so they may also experience more itchiness than others when getting a new ink.

Woman and man laying in bed, with tattoos all over them

How To Stop Tattoo Itching

Itching can be an irritating side effect of getting a new tattoo. The itching is completely normal for a tattoo, as the fresh ink causes the skin to itch during the healing process.

Knowing how to stop tattoo itching will help relieve any discomfort and ensure your new artwork looks its best.

To stop the itch, start with using a tattoo aftercare product like a lotion or ointment specifically designed for tattoos that will soothe and protect the area as it heals.

Gently rub in a small amount of cream around your tattoo on an as-needed basis, taking care not to rub too harshly or over-apply – this can cause scabbing which would disrupt your final results.

If only light itching persists, leaving an ice pack on the area briefly may provide relief from the irritation; alternatively, if a more intense itch develops throughout healing, use cool compresses instead.

Keeping your newly inked skin moisturized but not wet will also help keep itchy tattoo feelings at bay; look for products with ingredients like aloe vera, which are known to reduce inflammation and soothe skin irritations.

It’s also important to avoid scratching when your tattoo is itchy. It might feel tempting to scratch your tattoo, but that can cause tattoo damage, whilst it’s healing.

If extreme itching persists despite efforts like these, consult your artist or doctor, who can advise what other steps you may need to take to relieve your discomfort without damaging the outcome of your new piece of art.

An itchy and dry tattoo is nothing out of ordinary during recovery after receiving one, however there are several ways to fight back against concerning sensations until fully healed.

Using proper hygiene practices along with topical applications specific for tattoos or cooling techniques both around and directly onto your skin should provide much needed relief as long as itching persists

Which should subside naturally within 3–5 weeks post appointment if followed correctly.

What Do Tattoo Artists Recommend For The New Tattoo Itching Sensation?

Tattoo artists recommend several effective methods for preventing and soothing the itch associated with new tattoos.

They warn against scratching or rubbing your tattoo, urging that you pat your tattoo, or tap it gently instead to relieve any itching sensation.

It is totally normal, and your tattoo can itch for weeks, but it’s important not to scratch the healing tattoo.

You could be experiencing an allergic reaction to either the pigment used in tattooing or skin care products, to prevent tattoo itching and any future irritation.

Ice cubes are another popular recommendation; they quickly reduce both itching and inflammation while providing a cooling sensation that helps ease the discomfort of a new tattoo.

Moisturizers, like Aquaphor Healing Ointment, can help keep your skin healthy and hydrated, which will reduce itching as well as prevent fading of the colors.

Many tattoo artists also suggest topical over-the-counter ointments such as aloe vera gel, which helps soothe the itch without damaging your ink design.

Woman having a floral tattoo done to her chest

Can You Scratch An Itchy New Tattoo?

An itchy tattoo can be incredibly frustrating – trust me, I’ve been there with my own tattoo experiences.

Especially when you’re trying to resist scratching or rubbing it. So if you have an itching tattoo, should you scratch it?

No! Scratching your new or old tattoo will damage and irritate the skin, which means your healing process may take longer than necessary.

It is perfectly normal for your tattoo to itch, and almost all tattoos will itch, as they begin to heal.

The best thing to do is relieve any itchiness with tattoo creams or ointments, as these will soothe and moisturize the wound site, aiding recovery.

If there is severe itching, then any other form of relief like anti-histamines or a cold compress can help reduce discomfort, but be sure to check with your doctor first before taking anything.

Tattoos may itch when the tattoo is infected if scratched – symptoms include increased redness, soreness, swelling and pus around the area.

If this occurs, then visiting a nearby professional tattoo shop or clinic might be necessary, as you could have reactions to tattoo ink used with the tattoo needles.

Never scratch an itchy new (or old) tattoo, as this may cause unnecessary tattoo scarring or an infected tattoo that could lead to further complications down the line.

Instead find a good-quality cream specifically formulated for tattoos at any reputable supplier online or visit your local tattoo shop where they should be able to advise you on suitable products that will keep the tattoo healthy while maintaining its vibrant colors too.

Make sure you cover the tattoo during outdoor activities until the tattoo has healed properly; aged tattoos usually need less protection but remember even those won’t last forever without proper care.

Woman and man hugging, the man has tattoos all over his arm

Why Is My New Tattoo Itchy And Raised?

In some cases, when getting a new tattoo over or close to an older tattoo, the skin may be particularly sensitive and reacting to removal of the old one.

If you think your tattoo has not been cared for properly after being done and your tattoo is dry, this can cause itching as the body repairs itself from the process.

Allergic reactions to the tattoo ink can also cause itching and bumping on the skin.

If you do have an allergic reaction, you may have to consider tattoo removal options like those that involve laser treatments, if your skin just rejects the ink.

The good news is that there are things you can do, when your raised tattoo can cause itching, to relieve the itching.

One thing you should definitely avoid doing, however, is scratching your newly inked skin, as this will disrupt its healing process and delay the revival of normal texture far longer than necessary.

To soothe the itching sensation caused by new tattoos instead, try some lukewarm saltwater baths or dabbing a warm washcloth on it periodically throughout the day.

These steps help keep inflammation down while providing relief from itchiness.

Keeping hydrated with lots of water whilst avoiding hot showers or baths will also help reduce irritation too.

Applying lotions specially made for tattoos can also help lock moisture into your skin so that it doesn’t become overly dry or cracked.

This keeps patchy areas at bay, allowing for better healing of your tattoo in general, resulting in less overall itchiness.

Tattoo itchiness might not ever completely go away but following these simple instructions should help minimize any discomfort related issues considerably – helping provide maximum comfort while the skin heals.


Itching is perfectly normal, and should be expected, when you get a new tattoo. However, what happens when the tattoo becomes so itchy, you want to scratch it?

What can you do to your tattoo to stop the itchy sensation?

Well, you can try moisturizing the tattooed skin with an ointment or cream, you can try using ice cubes wrapped in cloth, run cold water over the tattooed skin, and try avoiding tight clothing that can cause friction.

However, you should also avoid scratching or rubbing your tattoo, as this could lead to infection or other damage.

If the itchiness persists despite these measures, you should consult your doctor or tattoo artist for further advice.