How To Stop Tattoo Itching: Top Things to Do

Tattooed or not, people aren’t really keen on feeling itchy. It’s annoying, for one, as the feeling can really be very uncomfortable. But if it’s your tattoo that’s itching, it can even be a lot more disconcerting as acting on it can harm your new ink as well. So you should know how to stop tattoo itching.

If you’re experiencing some tattoo itching, it’s very likely that you don’t have to worry too much about it. This is particularly true if your tattoo is just a few days old. Itching is a part of the healing process, so this is normal.

There are a few other reasons why your tattoo can get itchy, however. Not all of them are worrisome, so you can relax.

How To Stop Tattoo Itching

Why Is Your Tattoo Itchy?

To better understand and quell your worries about tattoo itching, here are the most common reasons why your tattoo gets itchy:

Your Tattoo Wounds Are Healing

As you would know by now, tattoos also injure and wound the skin through its creation. Despite being small, the number of puncture wounds can be plenty, so it will still seem like a large-sized wound. So it will still cover a large area of your skin.

When your skin is healing an injury, it will grow new skin cells to replace dead ones. This process may not be noticeable to the naked eye but the brain translates the sensation as itchiness. It’s generally harmless, unless the way you scratch the skin is quite damaging.

So when you have a new tattoo, expect it to itch as a part of the healing process.

You’re Having An Allergic Reaction

This is can happen for both old and new tattoo. While it’s rare to be allergic to ink, it can still happen. Your body can react immediately or a few days after getting a tattoo. It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction years after getting inked. Changes in the body can bring in adverse reactions to various things, so this can also happen.

You Have An Infection

Infections are the biggest worries of most folks who want to get tattoos. The odds are lower if you go to a reputable tattooist. But your aftercare measures also play a huge part in this, so if you didn’t take good care of your new ink, your tattoo can still get infected.

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Itchiness is usually just one symptom out of many things that can clue you in an infection. Typically, you can also find lesions, bumps, oozing fluid, and even a foul smell in an infected tattoo. If you suspect that your new ink is infected, see a dermatologist right away.

You Developed A Skin Condition

Some people develop certain skin conditions that come with a lot of itchiness, so that can also be the reason why your tattoo itches. Dry skin and eczema are some of the most common examples of this.

It must be noted, however, that in cases under this category, the skin condition is not caused by the tattoo and that the itching is not always localized to the area of the ink. In such cases, it’s best to see a skin specialist as well.

The Weather

Lots of folks with older tattoos tend to notice that their inks get a bit raised and itchy on certain times of the year or when the weather is off. This is true as the weather can also have an effect on your tattoo.

Such cases are most common during the summer months as the temperature and humidity levels rise. Others experience this during the colder months as the weather can dry out their skin severely. It’s normal for many people to experience it and shouldn’t be a cause for alarm.

How to Stop Tattoo Itching

Here are the steps to handle and deal with the itching of your tattoo:

Determine The Reason Why Your Tattoo Is Itching

As our list above notes, there are different causes for an itchy tattoo. It’s crucial to determine which one of them is the reason for your suffering so you can take appropriate action. Take note of the factors and circumstances related to the condition and you’ll be able to figure it out.

Do Not Scratch

We know, it’s easier said than done but we guarantee you that it’s worth the effort. If you scratch your itchy tattoo, especially when it’s still fresh, you run the risk of infecting it or making the infection worse. It can also delay the healing process of your tattoo.

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Moisturize Your Skin

There’s a very good chance that your tattoo itches because the skin is dry. By putting moisture into it, you can soothe the skin and get some relief.

Be careful when choosing and using a moisturizer, however. Go for mild, unscented ones so they won’t irritate your skin further. Also, apply only a thin layer on top of the tattoo so it won’t get suffocated and your pores won’t clog in the process.

Use OTC Creams And Ointments

If you suspect that you developed an allergy to the ink used in your tattoo, there’s not a lot that you can do to make it stop. You can, however, deal with the itchiness using anti-allergy creams and ointments.

Take The Prescribed Medications For Your Skin Condition

If your tattoo’s itchiness is brought by your skin condition, taking the prescribed medicine for the disease would help you manage the discomfort.

FAQs on Tattoo Itching

Here are a few more points that you might want to know about tattoo itching:

How long does the itching last from a tattoo?

It depends on what caused the itchiness. The itchiness of new tattoos can last for about 2 weeks. For others, it really varies on the severity of the allergy or how dry the skin is.

What does it mean if an old tattoo itches?

As mentioned above, there are various reasons for an old tattoo to itch. It can be caused by an allergy, reaction to the weather, or even the development of a skin condition.

Also read: Tattoo Touch Ups: What to Do to Get an Effective Touch-Up


With how uncomfortable getting itchy can be, it’s understandable if you want to address such a problem with your tattoo. Besides, your worry is not just about your skin but also your skin art, so preserving it would be essential. Don’t worry too much, though, as our tips above can surely help you deal with tattoo itching.

About the author

I’m S.R Bhuiyan, a proud Tattoo artist. I will share the body art journey with you here in PrettyJust. I have 10+ years of experience in the field of tattoo, piercing, nail art, and skincare. Check out my bio which has my tattoo studio/cat/travel pics!

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