Is My Tattoo Ruined If I Scratch It?

Is My Tattoo Ruined If I Scratch It?

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Is My Tattoo Ruined If I Scratch It?

A tattoo boasts a permanent marking by inserting ink, ointment, or other materials into the skin to change its color or appearance.

Yes! Tattoos are made up of dye particles that you can damage by scratching. The ink from the surface of your tattoo is being transferred to the skin, where it will spread and create scars. These marks can reduce the quality and permanency of a tattoo and its appearance.

Tattoos are created with a needle and gunpowder, organic pigment like soot mixed with water, natural dyes like henna (for children), vitriol (sulphuric acid), nitric acid, mercury salts, and metal for metal inks such as silver and gold.

They can be full of elaborate detail or simple lines. You can take the following precautions to protect your new tattoo.

1. Clean the Area: Gently wash the area around the scratch with mild soap and water. Avoid harsh or abrasive materials, such as a washcloth or sponge, which may irritate the scratch and cause more damage.

2. Treat the Wound: Dab a small amount of antibacterial ointment to the area and gently cover it with a sterile bandage.

3. Prevent Infection: Disinfect the area by gently scrubbing it with soap and water or dilute bleach in warm water. Use hand sanitizer instead of soap and water if the scratch is on a sensitive area, such as the lips.

4. Use a Bandage: Apply an elastic bandage to cover the wound to keep it clean and prevent debris from collecting there.

You may use gauze or cotton to cover the wound if you prefer–just be sure it’s completely dry before removing it.

5. Avoid Scratching: Keep the injured area raised and elevated above the heart until it heals. You may also avoid using hot water on the wound.

Is My Tattoo Ruined If I Scratch It?

If you do accidentally scratch your tattoo, be sure that you treat the wound quickly and thoroughly to avoid infection.

What To Do After You Scratch Your Tattoo?

Clean The Area-Rubbing alcohol
– Hydrogen peroxide
– Lidocaine
– Baking soda
– Cold water
Assess the Severity of the scratch-Minor scratch
– major color change
– Permanent damage
Apply Antibiotic ointment-Polyprion ointment
– Neosporin ointment
Cover with a Sterile Bandage-Non-stick gauze
– Sterile gauze
– Steri-strips
Avoid Exposure to Sunlight-UV rays can fade your skin color.
– Avoid long periods of sunlight.
Tint Tattoo with a Hypoallergenic ink-Baby powder oil (white titanium dioxide)
– Cosmetic blend (white titanium dioxide, nickel sulfate, or zinc oxide).

Is My Tattoo Ruined If I Scratch It?

Scratching causes a tattoo to look less vibrant and attractive since it doesn’t have the effect of the dye being embedded beneath your skin.

Scratching can also cause ink particles to spread unevenly, which may make an area of your tattoo darker than others. This can turn your one-color masterpiece into a multi-colored, blurry mess.

Scratches will also create a rough edge, making your tattoo look less natural and more like a healing injury.

The scratching will cause permanent scars. Scars are bad because they are more susceptible to infections. They can also make it difficult to find a job or apply for a visa if you plan on traveling.

Scratching can happen without you knowing it because your skin is very sensitive, but sometimes the itching that makes you scratch can be so bad that you only want to relieve the itch, even if it means scratching until your tattoo bleeds.

How Do I Know If I Messed Up My Tattoo?

Messed upAppearance
Uneven LinesCrooked,Ghosting,Visible skin,Brush strokes and Faulty spacing.
Ink Blowout-Bubbles, Ink running up and Limited color choices.
Bad aftercare-Skin issues
– Flaking skin
Infection Risk-Open cuts on the skin
Scarring-Bad-quality tattoos
– Skin discoloration
Longevity of Tattoo-Green ink
– Black ink

Can You Slap A Tattoo To Scratch It?

No, Slapping a tattoo is not an effective way to scratch it. Tattoos are made by injecting ink into the second layer of skin, called the dermis.

When the skin is tattooed, it becomes inflamed and sensitive, and the body’s natural healing process works to repair the skin.

Scratching a healing tattoo can cause damage to the delicate, healing skin and disrupt the healing process, leading to potential scarring, infection, and other complications.

Scratching a healing tattoo can also lead to long-term issues with health, skin conditions, and even a tendency toward developing cancer.

The skin must first be scarred for scratching the scab off to be effective. Scar tissue is not an encouraging place for bacteria to grow since it contains no blood vessels and poor oxygen supply.

Any wound that results from scratching a scab will heal much more slowly than a regular wound or be healed by natural skin processes.

Many people have scars or irregularities on their skin, as do moles and other marks that are not normally considered tattoos.

There is nothing wrong with people who choose to develop a scar, but it’s important to understand how scars will affect a healing tattoo.

What Can Damage A New Tattoo?

Scratching-Blisters, scars,bacteria and other infections.
Exposure to the Sun-Burns,freckling and discoloration/hyperpigmentation.
 Clothing-Rubbing against other clothes
– washing
– scratching
Hot Water-Skin saturation, Bleeding,clogged pores, Skin irritation and Tearing.
Applying lotion-Causing irritation and clogs pores.
Body oils-Causing skin saturation.
Medications-Causing allergic reactions.

What Happens If You Forget To Put Lotion On A Tattoo?

1. Dry and Flaky skin

Your skin becomes dry and flaky after not applying lotion for long periods. Your skin also becomes more susceptible to picking up external microbes and infections from your environment, so it’s vital to moisturize your skin.

2. Fading

If not lotion enough, tattoos can fade, so your tattoo may appear to change color or lose its clarity over time. This is because the pigmentation in the skin fades and bleaches over time.

3. Infection

It can become infected if your skin gets too dry for too long. This is called cellulitis. A medical professional must treat Your skin with antibiotics to avoid infection and scar formation. Avoid getting this.

4. Cracking and flaking of the skin

Because lotion skin is softer, it can stretch without ripping or tearing under stress. Unlotioned skin will be less flexible and tear more easily, causing pain.

It can crack and flake off unattended, causing further pain and infection.

5. Sun Damage

This is quite important. Dry tattoos will be more susceptible to the negative effects of the sun and will fade faster.

This is because sunlight causes your skin to tan over time, which means your tattoo goes with it. It can also cause your tattoo to look “dull.”

Avoid going out in the sun for long periods unprotected, as you could burn your tattoo.

Why Does My Tattoo Look Like It’s Missing Ink?

1. Skin Type

The texture and skin type play a role in how a tattoo appears. If the skin is too oily or dry, the ink may not be absorbed evenly, causing some areas to look lighter than others.

2. Tattoo Artist Choice

If the tattoo is created with a linear and rounded needle, it may be less likely to have missing ink. The more detailed the tattoo, the more likely there will be some missing ink.

3. Missing Pigment ink

Someone’s genetics or medical conditions can cause them to produce less of certain pigments in their skin, causing certain colors to look lighter or different than expected.

4. Tattoo Artist

The tattoo artist is responsible for the tattoo’s design and the needle’s placement. As this will affect how the tattoo appears, so will the time spend in the chair.

For example, if you only get 2-3 hours of sleep and sit in a chair for eight hours, your skin will be less able to heal after getting tattooed.

5. Tattoo Shop

A tattoo shop that is clean, well-lit, and well-ventilated can lead to less pigment getting into the skin. If the ink is washed out of a tattoo, less pigment will be transferred to the skin.

6. Ink Color

The ink color of a tattoo can also be a factor in how it looks. If the ink is too dark or too light, it may not be able to absorb into your skin evenly, and some areas may appear to be scarred or discolored compared to other areas.

Why Do Tattoos Raise When You Scratch Them?

1. Irritation and Inflammation

This can be caused by the rubbing of a tattoo or by water entering into a tattoo, which may lead to infection. The scratching causes the body to react by pumping more blood to the area and increasing inflammation.

2. Increased collagen Production

Scratching can increase collagen production, a protein created when cells make new tissue to help heal wounds. This process happens as a protective measure to discourage any further damage.

3. Scarring

When your skin is scratched, it can also cause scars that are not desired on tattoos or other areas of your skin that have been affected by an injury or surgery.

Is My Tattoo Ruined If I Scratch It?

A scar is created when the dermis layer of the skin is damaged and formed by collagen.

4. Overgrowth of Hair

If your tattoo was done at an advanced age, you may have more hair follicles attached to your skin than normal. This does not happen to everyone; it’s only a possibility for anyone who has tattoos that are made at a later age.

5. Tattoo Allergy

Although it does not happen to everyone, it can happen to anyone with a tattoo made on top of an allergy-prone area.

6. Moles

A mole can be a normal part of your body, but if one has the appearance of a star or dot, it may be caused by a tattoo.

If you are concerned about a mole on your body, this should be discussed with your doctor as soon as possible.

What Day Does The Tattoo Start Itching?

Stage of Tattoo HealingDurationItching Occurrence
Fresh Tattoo1-2 weeksDay 3-6
Scabbing Stage1-2 weeksDay 7-14
Peeling Stage1-2 weeksDay 14-21
Fully Healed4-6 weeks0

Remember, every person’s healing process is different, so listen to your body and follow your tattoo artist’s aftercare instructions to ensure proper healing.

Can I Rub My Tattoo If It Itches?

No, It’s not recommended to rub or scratch your tattoo if it itches. Scratching or rubbing your tattoo can cause damage to the skin, potentially leading to scabbing, peeling, and scarring, and may also increase the risk of infection.

Instead, gently tap or slap the area to alleviate the itch or apply a soothing lotion or ointment recommended by your tattoo artist or dermatologist.

Some people also find that holding a cold compress over the tattoo can help to reduce itching and inflammation.

If your skin condition fails to improve within seven days, it may be necessary to see a dermatologist for treatment, though it’s important to remember that tattoo removal is an extended and expensive process that requires patience and flexibility.

The ability to remove tattoos is one of the benefits of laser tattoo removal, but remember that it is not guaranteed.

Equally important is that tattoo removal may only be a cure-all for some types of skin conditions and may even lead to new or different complications if not properly diagnosed and treated.

Do Tattoo Artists Know How Do You Draw?

To prevent unnecessary costs, it’s strongly recommended that anyone with a chronic skin condition consult a dermatologist before beginning any treatment with a tattoo removal procedure.


Scratched tattoos can be an extremely difficult issue to deal with. With patience, a plan of action can be quickly implemented to alleviate issues.

There may not be any permanent solutions, but if left untreated, the tattoo can be considerably more painful than it should have been in the first place.


I'm Vincent, a registered skincare specialist and an award-winning tattoo artist. I've been in the industry for over 10 years and have worked with some of the best tattoo artists in my field. I've loved everything to do with tattoos and arts in general, as well as exercise and wellness! This site is a place for me to share some of the expertise knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current research and studies. Tattoos are a huge passion of mine, I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. I decided to start a blog and help other people!

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