Normal Tattoo Scabbing (vs) Tattoo Infection | What's the difference?

Tattoo Scabbing

Normal Tattoo Scabbing VS Tattoo Infection

Many people who get a new tattoo are scared once they see a tattoo scab forming. If you’re in this worry boat, relax! Having tattoo scab form is a relatively normal part of the tattoo's healing process. When you get a new tattoo, there is a trauma that has occurred to the skin, because of the needles, ink and pressure on the skin. If your tattoo scab isn’t healing within a normal time period (few days to 1 week) it can become an infection due to bacteria contamination.

Tattoo Scabbing In The First Few Days:

After getting a new tattoo, you will go through the healing process for the first few days. Within this time, you will see some oozing plasma which will often become scabs. Over the next few days, these scabs will harden, and the wound will typically be healed. Until the top layer of your skin is entirely closed up, you will see scabbing. However, at this very time, it is essential to take tattoo aftercare seriously. Cleaning the tattooed skin regularly and keeping it safe from bacteria's will be a crucial factor.

Tattoo Scabbing

How To Know If My Tattooed Skin is Getting Infected:

As you have now come to know that initial tattoo scabbing is quite normal with a new tattoo, you will surely want to understand whether your tattooed skin is becoming infected or not. If you are experiencing these issues, then your tattoo might be infected:

  • Swelling of the skin at the tattooed area
  • Feeling cold and having heat waves
  • Fever
  • Abnormal shivering
  • Pus coming out from the tattoo for a prolonged period of time
  • Red lesions on or around the area of the tattoo
  • Raised skin at or around the tattoo area
  • The tattoo area becoming hardened

In the event you are experiencing the above, be sure to clean the tattoo, and possibly consult with a doctor if any of the above become worsened. 

Can a Thick Tattoo Scab Cause Tattoo Infection?

Having a thin layer of scabbing on the tattoo at the healing stage is quite a regular thing. However, sometimes, you may also see thick and heavier scabs on the tattoo. You need to understand that it will take a longer time to heal if the scab is denser. It’s important to follow proper tattoo aftercare instructions carefully so the tattoo scab has the best chance to properly heal. If you don’t take proper care of the tattoo scab, the thicker scab can lead to infections.

With a thick scab, these will be itchier at times. Be sure to avoid picking the scab, or you will run the risk that it can remove the vibrant color of your newly made tattoo. Despite the itchiness, give the tattoo scab time to fall of naturally. Premature picking of the scab can damage the tattoo. Some people resort to hitting, or ‘patting’ the tattoo to alleviate the itchiness. This can cause irritation and open the scab. It’s best to just become preoccupied and try to ignore the itch to itch, it’s a great test for your mind!

Tattoo Scabbing

Should You Moisturize The Tattoo Scab?

There’s always the common question of how often to moisturize my new tattoo? By applying a tattoo moisturizer, the tattoo will become more moisturized (obviously) and this can add value in the skin healing process. The scabs will get dried up quickly and will fall off naturally. 

Tattoo Scab Cracking:

If the skin remains very dry during the healing process, it can cause tattoo scab cracking. If the tattoo becomes too dry, then the scabs will also become thicker. Because of this, some scabs will break. If the scabs start breaking, then multiple areas of the scab can crack open on your skin. As a result, you may suffer from infection, bleeding, and possibly some pain. It can also fade the color of the tattoo and can even cause scars.   

Steps To Follow In Order To Avoid Tattoo Infection?

There are certain things that you can maintain at home to avoid tattoo infection. If you see thin scabs on your tattoo, you can take the following steps at home.

  • Keep the tattoo spot clean. You need to use warm water to clean the skin at the tattooed portion. If you want to clean the plasma and excess ink, you will need to use a trusted tattoo soap. Always be sure to avoid soap which has an alcohol or any other harsh chemicals as ingredients.
  • While patting the cleaned area of the tattooed skin, you should always use a clean and new towel so no bacteria can touch the scab - which can cause infections.
  • After making the tattooed spot of the skin clean and dry, you can apply tattoo ointments.

Don’t fret if you’re experiencing a prolonged tattoo scab, just always be sure to give it love and attention!