Tattoo 101 – Why do New Tattoos Itch?

So you’ve just got that new tattoo that you’ve been dying to carry around with you for the rest of your life. You and everyone else loves your new tattoo; however there is just one itchy problem. You start to realise that your tattoo itches like a rabid dog with mange.
Only who have felt it knows what I’m talking about. That unbearable itch that seems to be buried so deep underneath your skin that scratches away at your very soul.

I know this because all eight (8) of my tattoos itched like crazy. But itch no more because help is right here!

tattoo meme

Let me start off first by saying that no matter how much you might want to give in to temptation, whatever you do, do not scratch your skin. A tattoo is a wound that needs to heal properly without getting infected. Your hands and fingernails carry enough bacteria to infect any cut or wound, so please don’t scratch your tattoo. So now you might be wondering what’s the reason behind my itchy tattoo. Well, it’s pretty simple, but to understand why tattoos itch, we need first to understand what tattoos are.

In essence, a tattoo is a series of small cuts/puncture wounds that place ink underneath the skin. A tattoo is a wound that needs to heal properly, and it is this healing process that causes our tattoos to itch.
To protect your skin from infection and harm your skin will eventually begin to heal or regenerate itself. It is in this regeneration process that cause new skin to for and the old skin to scab over. Your skin will itch due to the new skin being pulled tightly as the wound closes up.


1. Natural Liquid Aloe Vera for the skin.
Wash tattoo with cool water before applying the aloe vera.

2. Luberderm
Apply this ointment twice daily or when your tattoo becomes itchy.

3. Pat the tattoo
If you feel like you can’t resist the urge, and you just have to scratch it then pat the tattoo or give it a little slap. If you didn’t bring yourself to do, you could ask a close friend or relative.

4. Hydrocortisone Cream
This is perfect to prevent infection and soothes itching as well.


When you leave the tattoo parlor, you are leaving with an open wound. Therefore, it’s very important that you take proper care of it.

Always and I mean always get your tattoos done from a licensed professional tattoo artist and ensure that they maintain proper sanitary procedures to lessen your chance of your tattoo becoming infected.
It’s important always to wash your hands with antibacterial soap before you apply any ointment or bandage to your tattoo.
Never apply a thick layer of ointment because this is known to cause rashes around the tattoo instead always try to maintain a thin layer. Try keeping your tattoos from drying out by applying ointment at least five (5) times a day or just enough to keep it moisturised.
It is recommended that you use some bandage the first three nights to prevent it from drying out overnight.