Home » Knowledge Base » How to Treat and Prevent Tattoo Itching

How to Treat and Prevent Tattoo Itching

Avoid the dryness and itchiness of the new tattoo with our methods and advice. Treat and prevent tattoo itching goes a long way during the healing stage. Simple, yet applicable tips and tricks below.

There is nothing more exciting and pleasurable for tattoo enthusiasts than getting a tattoo. Whether this is the process of tattooing itself or the showing off of the tattoo, it is perfect in every aspect.

However, one aspect is generally considered tedious by almost all tattooed people – the unpleasant skin itching during the healing phase. The itching can be painful or simply irritating and ticklish, but whatever the case it is not the best reminder that you are in the aftercare phase.

Today we will discuss how to treat and prevent tattoo itching to a certain extent and make the healing process bearable throughout.

How to Treat and Prevent Tattoo Itching

Prevent Tattoo Itching

To treat and prevent tattoo itching, have the following things in mind:

  1. You must not pick at the skin under any circumstances
  2. You need to apply the healing ointment/cream when the skin feels too dry and scaly
  3. Stay away from the hair removal methods during the whole healing process
  4. Stay away from the sun
  5. Do not wear synthetic or rough fabrics and materials that do not let the skin breathe
  6. Cool off the skin with ice(packs)

How to resist picking at the skin?

This is a tough one, we know. It is just as tough as not biting the nails, or not picking at anything on your body for that matter. Whenever something is kind of forbidden or not good for you, you have the desire to do it, just for a second, right?

And that impulse is quite hard to resist, universally. But, there is no catch here, sadly this is the “bad” news. You just need to practice discipline in your way of thinking. Every minute you think about it, just remember to stop, breathe, and realize that YOU are FOCUSING on the skin sensation, not the other way around.

You control your actions and impulses, even though you may think otherwise. People have given up a lot of (more) serious things, and you doubt that you can resist picking at the tattooed skin? You can do this.

Just thinks how gorgeous your tattoo will be if you don’t pick or peel at the scaly spots that are about to fall off. And think of the bad scenario too – if you pull or pick at the scales that peel off, you can pull too deep and surely damage the ink long-term! What a waste of a good, new tattoo, right?

What if I accidentally scratch the skin

scratch the skin

No worries, this is still ok, as long as you remember not to make a habit out of it. And this counts as well! It is not the same to pick at it by accident, by reflex impulse, and then continue doing it because you messed up once. It makes no sense, right? One versus non-stop? Yes, you get the point.

How often to apply healing products

Healing ointments and creams are essential for a gorgeous tattoo, not just for treating and preventing itching, but for proper healing and nourishing of the skin overall. The healing products for tattoos are contributing to the softness of the skin, and with their specific ingredients, they also treat and prevent tattoo itching effectively.

As a rule, it is recommended that you apply this on average 3 times per day, every few hours with prior suitable cleansing of course. So, follow this rule to avoid itchiness without any problem.

Do I need to apply a lot of the healing products?

This depends on your skin type primarily, and how serious or not is the itching and dryness of the tattooed skin. As we mentioned above, the rule is 2-3 times per day, as normally done. But, if you have extremely dry skin, it could be a good idea to use just a tad bit of product (more than a dollop amount) to let it absorb and provide deep hydration.

Also, if you notice the itchiness is back too soon and too fast, it could be needed to apply the healing product more than 2-3 times, but just in case consult the tattoo artist as well. And, it is a great idea to look for healing products that provide very deep hydration for extremely sensitive and dry skin – these have the ingredients that have the proper consistency and ingredients to last well enough until the next time you apply after a few hours.

Use of razor, wax, trimmers, or hair removal creams

No! During the healing process of the tattoo, you must not use any sort of hair removal methods. You have to last around 2-3 weeks without removing the hairs on that skin area. Feel free to remove the hairs all around, but do NOT touch the hairs coming out of the freshly tattooed skin! Waxing is out of the question for obvious reasons (nobody likes the scaly tattooed skin peeled off!!!), and razors will scrape and even cut the skin if you are not careful!

Trimmers could seem ok to you, but they are not because even if they don’t scrape or cut the skin, they will still be in very close contact with the hairs, and could irritate the skin furthermore. Hair removal creams are a HUGE no as well – they will seep into the skin, aggravate it, and cause possible ingrown hairs in a few days, just as all the other methods of hair removal. Forget about hairless skin (in that area) for the next 2-3 weeks.

Can I use sunscreen and expose the skin to the sun?

No! Sun exposure and tanning are not good for the skin, and this is a known fact for a long time. Sun exposure or UV exposure damages the skin in terms of premature wrinkling, freckles, moles, or even more serious or incurable problems!

Of course, in moderation sun is healthy for the bones and skin, but when it comes to tanning specifically, you must avoid it at least 1-2 months after the tattoo has been made. This Is to ensure not just healing, but settling of the ink under the skin and preventing possible risks due to tanning fresh ink.

Besides, the sun dries out the skin extremely fast and makes it feel tight – this is not good for fresh tattoos. If you have to expose the skin to the sun for some reason, your tattoo artist will surely recommend some SPF product that is at the same time aftercare, but these are rare cases.

What kind of clothes to wear and what kind of clothes to avoid

To avoid tightness and itching of the skin, you have to wear comfy clothes both at home and outside. This is one of the surest ways to treat and prevent tattoo itching, because how can the skin feel good if you are annoyed by the clothes that you wear for many hours?

The fabrics have to be natural origin materials, never synthetic. Avoid stretchy clothes and sporty ones too (yes, avoid sports during healing as well), because these stretchy fabrics will not let the skin breathe, and will cause friction to the skin layer. Loose, breathable materials, and of course, regular laundry for them as well.

If the skin feels hot and itchy, what kind of cooling methods to use?

Too much warmth is not ideal for a new tattoo, and we know what happens when hot air or hot water contacts the skin – sweating, drying off of the skin, enlarged pores, and sensitive skin. The opposite is what you need to treat and prevent tattoo itching; this means cold water, and avoiding hot environments as much as possible.

Coldwater or an ice pack as well, are good ways to keep pores closed and tight, thus preventing irritation or even infections. Coldwater and ice will also numb any itching sensation or irritation, and ‘numb’ the skin due to the coldness.

This is not harmful at all, and whenever you feel the tattoo is red, itchy, warm – get the ice pack, wrap it in clean gauze or cloth, and hold it gently over the tattoo.


It is always best to avoid something before it becomes aggravating later on. But, if that is not possible at first, at least now you learned how to treat and prevent tattoo itching because both are important. An itchy tattoo will give you no peace of mind, or physical relaxation for that matter, so follow our advice to have soothed and gorgeous skin, and with that, a beautifully healed tattoo. 

Remember, loose and natural fabrics and materials, no sun or UV damage and exposure, no picking at the skin, no hair removal of ANY kind during the healing, and if needed as an instant remedy, cooling off with cold water or ice packs.

Good luck!