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What to do when your tattoo is scabbing


Are you a tattoo enthusiast who's recently had some fresh ink done? If so, you're likely familiar with the excitement and anticipation that come with a new tattoo. However, that enthusiasm can quickly turn to concern when you start noticing your tattoo scabbing. Dealing with scabbing tattoos can be a real pain, literally and figuratively.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about handling a scabbing tattoo. So, if you're wondering what to do when your tattoo is scabbing, keep reading to find the answers you need to ensure your ink heals beautifully and without complications.

Are tattoo scabs normal?

Yes, tattoo scabs are normal. When you get a tattoo, your skin undergoes a healing process, and scabbing is a part of that. It's like a natural bandage that forms over the tattooed area. Scabs are your body's way of protecting the fresh ink and repairing the skin.

However, it's important to know that while some scabbing is expected, excessive or unusual scabbing can indicate a problem like an allergic reaction or an infection. To ensure your tattoo heals properly, follow the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist. Proper care will help your healing tattoo look great for years to come.


tattoo article applying cream to his client's tattoo


Signs when to worry

  • Thick scabs: If your scabs are very thick and dense, it might not be normal tattoo scabbing.
  • Redness around scabs: Red areas around scabs could be one of the signs of infection.
  • Excessive oozing: If your tattooed skin is oozing pus or other coloured fluids, it's might be an infected tattoo.
  • Too much swelling: While some swelling is okay, excessive swelling may be problematic.
  • Unexpected bleeding: Bleeding after the initial healing phase is unusual.
  • Unusual pain: If you feel more pain than you did right after getting the tattoo, it's a cause for concern.

What causes tattoo scabbing?

  • Excessive ink: Sometimes, too much tattoo ink can be placed on your skin. This can make your body try to eliminate the extra ink by forming scabs.
  • Tattoo bubbling: If the tattoo needle goes too deep, it can create small raised bumps under your skin, like bubbles. These bubbles can lead to scabs as your skin heals.
  • Tattoo infection: Sometimes, germs like bacteria can get into your fresh tattoo, causing an infection. When this happens, your body may form scabs to protect itself.
  • Picking at the scab: If you pick or scratch at the scabs that form on your tattoo, you can damage your healing skin. This can make the scabs last longer and increase the risk of infection.

How to prevent abnormal tattoo scabbing?

Preventing abnormal tattoo scabbing is crucial for a successful healing process. To do this, it's important to follow a few simple steps.

Firstly, listen to and adhere to the proper tattoo aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist, as they are tailored to your specific tattoo. Keep your tattoos clean by gently washing it with mild, unscented soap and water, then patting it dry with a clean towel.

For added convenience and effectiveness in your aftercare routine, consider using the Tattoo Goo Tattoo Care Kit (3 in 1), which includes Tattoo Goo Lotion, Tattoo Goo Soap, and Tattoo Goo Balm (21g), a trusted solution for optimal tattoo aftercare.


Tattoo Goo Tattoo Care Kit (3 in 1)


Avoid soaking it in water, like in pools or hot tubs, to prevent excess moisture. Resist the temptation to pick at scabs; let them fall off naturally to protect the healing skin underneath. Additionally, use the Tattoo Goo Lotion or any recommended ointments or lotions to keep the tattoo moisturised.

Lastly, shield your tattoo from excessive sunlight and moisture during the initial healing period to avoid complications. For added protection, consider using Dermalize Pro Total Black Sun Block to protect your tattoo from the sun's harmful rays. This specialised tattoo film provides an extra layer of defence, allowing your tattoo to heal without worries.

By following these steps, you can minimise the chances of tattoo scabbing and ensure your tattoo heals beautifully.

What to avoid when it comes to tattoo scabbing?

  • Avoid excessive ointment: Using too much ointment can trap bacteria and hinder the tattoo healing process.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures: Direct sunlight and extreme temperatures can slow down healing and increase infection risk, so steer clear.
  • Avoid picking scabs: Resist the temptation to pick at scabs or remove them prematurely around the tattoo, as this can damage healing skin and invite infection.
  • Avoid tight clothing: Wear loose-fitting clothing to prevent irritation or damage that may occur from clothing rubbing against the tattoo.


woman applying cream to her tattoo



Having a scabbing tattoo can be a bit intimidating, but with the right care and knowledge, you can ensure your ink heals beautifully. Remember that patience is key, and if you ever have concerns or questions, it's always best to consult with healthcare professionals or even tattoo artists.

Your tattoo is not just a piece of art; it's a part of you, and taking care of it will make sure it stays stunning for years to come.


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  • Mark Joshua Luz