Sometimes, even if you take great care of your new tattoo and follow all the aftercare instructions, you may still experience some discomfort. One common problem is itchy, red bumps that appear on and around the tattooed area.
While these bumps on tattoo aren’t dangerous, it can be really annoying and uncomfortable.
It’s important to remember that your skin needs time to adjust after getting a tattoo, and sometimes these bumps, rashes, or irritation are just a normal part of the healing process. So don’t worry too much, and just focus on taking care of your skin as best you can.
6 Most Common Reasons for Bumps on Tattoo
If you notice bumps on your tattoo or a skin rash in the tattooed area, there are several reasons why it could be happening.
#1 Skin conditions
Dry skin or skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis can make a tattoo worse, so it’s crucial to keep the area moisturized. For more on this topic, see our article on dry healing tattoos vs moist healing.
#2 Unsanitary process and/or aftercare
Unsanitary conditions during the tattoo process could lead to a bacterial or fungal infection. You can prevent this by keeping the area clean and using approved antibacterial ointments and lotions.
#3 Immune system response
The ink from the tattoo is a foreign object that can cause an immune system reaction, resulting in a red, bumpy rash. Keep the area clean and moisturized during aftercare to prevent rashes from forming.
Sun exposure too soon after getting a tattoo can also cause a red, bumpy rash. It’s best to keep the area covered or use a tattoo artist-approved sunblock.
#5 Allergic reaction
Allergic reactions to tattoo ink are rare, but they can cause painful and irritating rashes. Talk to your tattoo artist if you have any allergies to dyes. Click here to find more about tattoo allergic reactions.
#6 Overworked skin
A study in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery warns that overworking the skin during tattooing can lead to bumps and scarring. This can happen when the needle goes too deep or when the artist repeatedly goes over the same area.
It’s important to choose an experienced tattoo artist who can prevent overworking the skin and avoid complications like bumps and irritation.
White Bumps On Tattoo: Explained
A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reported that white bumps on tattoos could be a sign of an allergic reaction to the ink used in the tattoo. In some cases, this reaction can result in keloid scarring, a type of raised scar that can be difficult to treat.
Therefore, if you experience any persistent skin irritation or pain associated with white bumps on your tattoo, it’s important to seek medical attention from a dermatologist.
Bumps On Tattoo After Healed – Why?
If you’re noticing bumps and redness on an old tattoo, it could be because of sun exposure.
When you get a tattoo, it takes a while for your skin to regain its ability to handle UV rays. So if you see a rash on your old tattoo, sun exposure could be the cause.
To protect your skin and tattoo, it’s important to use sunblock and lotions because your skin remains sensitive to UV rays for a long time after getting a tattoo.
Another possible reason for bumps on an old tattoo could be an allergic reaction.
A 2020 study published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology discussed cases of allergic reactions to blue and green tattoo inks that appeared 10 years after getting the initial tattoo. This study suggests that allergic reactions to tattoo ink can occur many years after the tattoo and result in bumpy and irritated rashes on the skin.
For more details on possible allergy to ink, read our post on tattoo allergic reactions.
Bumps On Your Tattoo: What to Do
If you notice bumps on your tattoo, the best course of action depends on the cause of the bumps.
- If it’s an allergic reaction, taking an antihistamine and using a tattoo artist-approved anti-allergy ointment can be helpful.
- The American Academy of Dermatology Association suggests using a cold compress to soothe swelling and skin irritation.
- If sun exposure is the cause, using a cold compress and applying an aloe vera-based cream or lotion can help soothe the pain and keep the tattoo moisturized.
- The Mayo Clinic recommends keeping the area clean and moisturized to prevent infection and skin irritation. They suggest using tattoo artist-approved ointments, gels, or lotions to help with any discomfort.
- If you have an underlying skin condition, using a cold compress, taking an antihistamine, and applying a topical ointment approved by your tattoo artist can help with irritation, swelling, and pain.
- Keeping the area clean, sanitized, and moisturized is essential in preventing infection and skin irritation.
If you suspect an infection, it’s important to contact your doctor immediately, and they may prescribe an antibacterial medication to fight the infection.
In conclusion, bumps on a tattoo are a common occurrence that can happen for various reasons. It is important to determine the cause of the bumps and seek appropriate treatment. Keeping the area clean, moisturized, and protected from the sun is essential in preventing infection and skin irritation.
Additionally, seeking professional advice from a dermatologist or tattoo artist is recommended if the bumps persist or cause discomfort.
Will the raised bumps on my tattoo go away?
The raised bumps on your tattoo are usually a sign that your body is getting used to the ink. Don’t worry, they should go away on their own over time. However, if you’re experiencing ongoing skin irritation and pain, it’s best to see a doctor or other medical professional.
How long does a tattoo stay bumpy?
Typically, it takes a few days to a couple of weeks for a new tattoo to stop being bumpy as the skin begins to heal and adjust to the ink. However, the exact duration may vary depending on factors such as the size and location of the tattoo, as well as individual healing rates.