Itching is a perfectly normal stage in the healing process of new tattoos, so don’t get alarmed if you’re finding it irritating! But how long should this frustrating stage go on for?
Here’s what you need to know about itchy tattoos, which should explain how long yours might itch for.
- Itching is a normal part of the healing process; it generally starts at around day four, as the skin starts to peel, and can take around two weeks to subside.
- If the itching is accompanied by swelling, pain, spots or heat that is getting worse not better, your tattoo could be infected. Get it checked out sooner rather than later, either by your tattoo artist or your doctor. Infections are no joke!
- Itching is normal but different people are affected in different ways. Some might find their skin is healing quickly, with scabs forming and the skin being pulled very tight. This can lead to intense itchiness! If you’re someone who has naturally dry skin you may find the healing process itchier and longer than others.
- Resist the urge to scratch! You don’t want to pull scabs off before they’re ready and risk them pulling away ink as they come away. Scratching can damage the healing tattoo and spoil the design.
- Scratching and itching can also risk infection from dirty hands or fingernails. Any extra damage beyond the trauma caused by the needles can also make the skin more vulnerable to infection.
- If your tattoo is itching, keep it clean and keep it moisturised.
- Keep your fingernails short and clean, in case you’re scratching while asleep.
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If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.