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Scabbing of Tattoos

Scabbing of Tattoos
Scabbing of tattoos is a natural occurrence during the healing process. However, scabbing can get worse if proper care is not taken. This article will give you detailed information on how to prevent tattoos form a scab along with information on tattoo care.
Deepa Kartha
Last Updated: May 31, 2018
Although the most exciting part of getting a tattoo has finished, the adventure does not exactly end here. On the other hand, you have an additional responsibility to follow the tattoo care instructions carefully, to ensure that your tattoo does not fade away and remains intact. Improper aftercare can lead to scabbing, which can further ruin your tattoo. Therefore, it is necessary for you to know the healing process, and most importantly, the treatment and its preventive measures.

Once your tattoo is scabbed, it is futile to follow the after care directions since they were advised to prevent your new tattoo from scabbing. By following certain instructions, you can ease its healing process.
  • Take a fresh and clean wash cloth, soak it in lukewarm water for a while. Then squeeze the excess water out. Apply this wash cloth with a gentle pressure to the scabbed area. Make sure the pressure is light and you don't scrub the area. If there is formation of a pus, you can use hot compresses with a pinch of sea salt. After you're done with the hot compress, wait for a few minutes and then apply any antibacterial ointment.
  • If the nature of your scab is marginally thick, then avoid using moisturizing products as they will block the air passage delaying the healing time. Also, application of creams on a scabbed tattoo tend to form oozes around the scabbed area.
  • Provide as much amount of air as possible. Depending on the location of your tattoo, you can decide whether you can let it air out or dry heal it. The more breathing area for the tattoo, the faster the healing process. Also, avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes around the tattoo since they will rub against the scab and may cause bleeding.
  • In case of a spray, you can use Bactine spray as it is often recommended because of lidocaine present in it, which is a local anesthetic and relieves pain, burning and itching sensation. Depending upon the condition of your scab you can also use products like Tattoo Goo or H2Ocean as directed by your tattoo artist. In order to keep the skin soft you can use lotion instead of ointment, and remember that the ointment you use should be free from fragrance and dyes. However, if the scab doesn't heal in two days, then you must see the doctor.

Preventing a brand new tattoo from scabbing is possible only if you're willing to put in serious effort. No tattoo is complete unless and until it is entirely healed. All tattoos have the tendency to peel off or scab a little bit. Here are some preventive measures which will help you in avoiding a recently fresh tattoo from scabbing excessively.
  • After removing the bandage that the tattoo artist has put for you, clean the area with antibacterial soap and water. This is important because there may be some kind of blood and plasma around the tattoo area, and not cleaning them properly can give rise to formation of a scab. Also, remember that you should clean the tattoo only with your hands and avoid using a sponge or a wash cloth as this may cause tattoo scabbing
  • Keeping the tattoo moist in appropriate amount absolutely essential as the moisturizing helps form a thin membrane over the skin of the tattoo and thus preventing a tattoo scab.
  • Refrain from wearing tight-fitting clothes during the healing period as this may cause irritation as well as scabbing. Prefer light-fitting clothes and those made of materials like cotton, instead of polyester or nylon.
  • The initial two weeks of the healing period are very crucial, and you have to take extra care while handling the tattoo. You have to wash your hands well before cleaning the tattoo. You should use only antibacterial soap and not any harsh soaps.
  • If you have the habit of staying in the shower for a long time, this has to be avoided for a few weeks. This is because soaking the tattoo for a long time can lead to tattoo scabs. Moreover, refrain from using saunas, hot tubs or swimming pools during the healing period.
  • Avoid staying out in the daytime as the sunburn may aggravate your scab. Even if you are stepping out, then remember to put a sunscreen with high SPF.

Signs to Notice

The healing process after one gets a tattoo will be different for different people. Hence, it is not possible to tell exactly how it will heal. The process depends upon several factors including your skin type, the area where the tattoo is made, and also the way in which the tattoo artist made the tattoo. Apart from this, the way you take care of the tattoo also plays a very important role in the healing.
At first, your new tattoo will appear to be red and swollen, but do not worry as it won't stay for long. When the tattoo is made on the skin, a protective layer is formed over it. For some people, this protective layer of the skin may peel away, while for some thin scabs form around the tattoo. And, if you notice scabbing, it is likely that you may experience uncontrollable sensation of itching in that area. However, you have to control this feeling and restrict yourself from scratching that tattoo as it can thicken the scab.
You have to keep in mind that once you get a tattoo, it is your duty to protect it from getting damaged by doing the needful and so that it continues to look beautiful.
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