Why Does My Tattoo Feel Raised After Healing?

Why Does My Tattoo Feel Raised After Healing
Or Just You – Yes, you could be the culprit behind your raised tattoo. Even if you didn’t have eczema or another skin condition that could dry out your skin before, it’s always possible to develop them later in life — after you’ve added some ink to your skin.

  • If your tattoo is painful, itchy, or inflamed for long periods of time, it’s best to seek a doctor’s advice ASAP;
  • Most often than not, your tattoo will return to its normal self in no time even if you don’t apply a topical anti-itch solution;

If your tat is not already healed, check with your artist and make sure you aren’t suffering from an infection or a seriously botched work of art. Otherwise, a little bit of bumpiness is no reason to fret. This article was originally published on July 14, 2015.

Is it normal for a healed tattoo to be raised?

The Formation of Scabs and Crust – As you may know, getting a tattoo means getting an open wound on the skin. During the tattooing process , your skin is being poked thousands of times, which makes the body respond as if it would respond to an actual injury.

The immune system fights to heal the ‘wound’ as soon as possible, which in this case, takes time, or a few days. That is why your tattoo in the first few days doesn’t appear raised. The body is still getting rid of the excess ink, blood, and plasma resulting from the tattooing process.

After it is done oozing and once it is cleansed and left to dry, your tattoo starts forming a new skin layer. As a result, you will notice your tattoo appearing raised, as well as forming a crust or scabs. This is a completely normal process when accompanied by other symptoms like itching and scabs falling off.

  • What To Do?

In this case, patience will be your strongest virtue. The formation of scabs and their own falling off is a waiting game that you can’t really do much about. Actually, there are a few things you can or can’t do. For example;

  • You should NOT touch or peel off the scabs; this will prolong the healing process and possibly lead to an infection
  • You can apply a thin layer of mild, gentle, and fragrance-free ointment or lotion to rehydrate the skin and relieve the itching
  • You should NOT scratch the tattoo at all costs

How long is a tattoo supposed to feel raised?

Days 1 to 3: Inflammation – It is normal for a tattoo to be red, swollen, and tender for the first 48 to 72 hours. There may also be some oozing of blood and/or ink during this time period. Makharita notes that these symptoms should improve significantly each day.

What does it mean when your healed tattoo is raised?

The Tattoo Is Simply Healing – If you’re dealing with a new tattoo and wondering about raising and itching, chances are your tattoo is simply going through a  healing process. Because a new tattoo is actually an open wound, it is perfectly normal for the skin to raise and swell a bit.

As the swelling subsides, your tattoo will start to dry out as a part of the healing process. During the drying stage, it will start to itch and peel. This is a sign that the new skin layer is forming and the body is getting rid of the old, damaged skin layer.

If this is your case, then you must resist the urge to touch, scratch, and peel the tattoo. If you do, you may prolong the healing process, introduce bacteria and germs to the tattoo and unintentionally cause a tattoo infection. You can simply try to keep the tattoo clean and hydrated.

  • Moisturize it up to twice a day to relieve the itchiness and peeling;
  • If the swelling and itching persist for more than a few days, then talk to a medical professional and have your tattoo medically assessed;

Chances are you’re dealing with an infection, which can be dealt with pretty easily via antibiotic treatment.

Why do old tattoos raise up and itch?

Allergic reaction to pigment – Some people have an allergic reaction to the actual ink used in tattooing. Tattoo pigments may be made from dyes that are made from plastic materials. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) , an allergic reaction can occur right away or even several years after getting your tattoo.

Is it possible to over moisturize a tattoo?

What Are The Risks of Over Moisturizing a Tattoo? – By applying thicker layers of lotion or ointment, several times a day (or every hour or two as some people do), you’re risking over-moisturizing a tattoo. By over-moisturizing a tattoo, you can cause the following problems;

  • Due to excess moisture, the tattoo won’t be able to dry and heal
  • Excess moisture can create a perfect environment for bacteria and germ growth
  • Over moisturizing can lead to tattoo inflammation and infection
  • Excess moisture can cause clogged pores since the moisturizer prevents the skin from breathing
  • Excess moisture can cause the tattooed skin to break out

To avoid these issues, make sure to follow the moisturizing rules we mentioned before. However, make sure to not under moisturizing your tattoo as well. Some people are afraid they might over-moisturize their tattoo, so they leave it dehydrated, which results in heavy scabbing and tattoo dryness. So, make sure to stay in the middle and simply apply a thin layer of lotion/ointment twice a day.

How do you know when your tattoo is fully healed?

Stages of the tattoo healing process  – One of the biggest decisions in getting a tattoo is settling on a design and the right artist to bring your vision to reality. But the time you spend in the tattoo parlor is just a small part of the entire process.

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Once you leave the shop with your new tattoo, it’s important to turn your focus to the tattoo healing phase. So, how long does it take a tattoo to heal? As you might expect, the answer is ‘it depends. ‘ Depending on how the inking process went and where your tattoo is located, it can take anywhere from four weeks to a couple of months for it to fully heal.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how you can speed up this healing process, let’s first take a look at the various stages of it: 1. Week 1: open wound  Immediately after the tattooist is done with the art piece, your body begins the process of healing.

  1. Though it might not look like it, your tattoo is actually an open wound on your skin;
  2. Your body begins to repair the damage right there and then;
  3. In this stage, your body mobilizes its first responders to injury, and you might notice a slight stinging or burning sensation resulting from inflammation at the site of the tattoo;

That sensation, which lasts a week, on average, is your body working hard to patch things up and prevent infection. It’s therefore recommended that you treat your fresh tattoo as an open wound. By doing this, you can avoid infections and other complications that can occur when you leave an open wound unattended.

Your tattoo artist will go over the things you need to do to keep your new tattoo clean, and it can feel overwhelming at first. Add to this some stinging pain, and it’s not hard to see how your stress levels might increase a bit during this time.

A good tattooist can recommend some ways to alleviate this stress so that your skin can heal properly. Week 2: itching and peeling In the second week of the tattoo healing stages, the inflammation around your tattoo will subside a little. As you might have experienced with other healing wounds, an itching feeling — which replaces the burning and stinging sensation from stage one — is normal during this part of the healing process.

  • A new top layer of skin has formed over the tattoo, which means the old skin will form scabs and flake off;
  • The dryness is what causes you to feel the itchy sensation on and around the wound — the tattooed area;

The incessant itching might make you wonder, “How long do tattoos take to heal?”  In such a situation, try to resist the urge to scratch the skin or peel off the flakes. Your tattooist can likely recommend some lotion to keep your skin moisturized, which can reduce the itchy feeling.

Weeks 3 and 4: drying out When the topical healing is done, you will stop feeling itchy at the site of the tattoo. At this point, the skin dries out. In many instances, there’s a layer of dry skin that covers the tattoo after the scabs fall off.

While this often causes the tattoo to appear slightly duller in color, it will naturally slough off to reveal the vibrant piece of art you went in to get. Weeks 5 and 6: completely healed This is the last part in the four stages of tattoo healing. You’ll know you’re in this phase — and that your tattoo is fully healed — because all the dry skin and scabs have sloughed off to reveal new, smooth skin with a vibrant tattoo and you no longer feel the burning and itchiness because the body has repaired itself. Take a quiz. Find out what you can do with our Health Assistant.

Why is my tattoo bumpy after months?

Allergic reactions. Allergic reactions to red tattoo pigments are the most common. If you’re having an allergic reaction to your tattoo, you might get a rash that’s usually red, bumpy, or itchy. These symptoms can crop up in the days after you first get your tattoo or can appear months or years later.

How long are tattoos bumpy?

After getting a new tattoo, the outer layer of skin will typically appear healed within 2 to 3 weeks. However, the healing process can take upward of 6 months.

Why is my tattoo bumpy after a year?

These bumps on older tattoos are caused primarily by things such as heat rash from the sun, and certain allergies that might develop, such as an allergy to the tattoo ink, which can take years to initially appear after getting a tattoo.

Why is my tattoo raised and itchy after a year?

Tattooing as a form of body art is increasing in popularity, especially among young adults. In fact, the Pew Research Center found that 36 percent of Americans ages 18-25 report getting a tattoo. As a result, dermatologists are seeing increased complications such as allergic reactions, serious infections and reactions to tattoo ink that can mimic skin cancer.

  1. Michi Shinohara, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Washington in Seattle, provides the following information about risks related to newer tatoo inks;

The composition of tattoo ink has changed dramatically over the years. In the past, metal salts, lead, cobalt and carbon were used in inks. Today, many modern tattoo inks (especially intense reds and yellows) contain organic azo dyes with plastic-based pigments that also have industrial uses in printing, textiles and car paint.

As a result, Shinohara explains that there are many unknowns about how these inks interact with the skin and within the body and if they are responsible for an increasing number of complications. One of the most common problems associated with tattooing is allergic reactions to the tattoo pigments.

Itching, bumps or rashes can occur days, months or even years after the initial tattoo. These reactions need to be treated with a topical steroid ointment. In cases where an allergic reaction occurs months or years later, the affected person might not suspect that the tattoo is the culprit.

In people with psoriasis and eczema, tattoos may cause the chronic skin conditions to flare. Sarcoidosis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by swelling and itching that can occur in a tattoo decades after the procedure and can involve other organs, such as the lungs or eyes.

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This type of reaction is not directly caused by the original tattoo, but can show up within the tattoo. Treatments include topical creams and, in severe cases, immunosuppressant medications. Some tattoo-related infections can pose serious health implications.

  • Common infections linked to tattooing include localized bacterial infections;
  • In addition, there have been reports of syphilis and hepatitis B and C being transmitted due to non-sterile tattooing practices;

However, Shinohara notes that outbreaks can also stem from the tattoo ink rather than the tools used in the procedure.   A recent outbreak of atypical mycobacterial infections has been traced to contaminated tattoo ink, which cause itchy, painful pustules and red bumps within a tattoo during the first month of the procedure.

With this type of infection, a biopsy of the tattoo is taken and the bacteria cultured. This type of bacteria is harder to treat than regular staph bacteria and can require a several-month course of oral antibiotics to clear the infection.

Skin cancer can occur within a tattoo, and for that reason Shinohara explains that tattoo artists need to be careful not to place a tattoo over an existing mole. However, one reaction that can result is a bump that mimics skin cancer, which can ruin the tattoo.

  1. This type of bump or lesion that can occur within a tattoo looks like a type of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma;
  2. Since the bump is so hard to distinguish from this skin cancer, it requires a biopsy and, in some cases, may need to be treated as a skin cancer, with additional surgery;

Shinohara notes that this unusual reaction is thought to stem from tattoo ink and can result in potentially unnecessary and expensive skin cancer treatment. Shinohara offers the following tips for those who insist on getting tattoos: Be sure to go to a professional tattoo parlor and to a tattoo artist who is licensed based on a states requirements.

  1. Insist on seeing equipment in sterile packaging;
  2. Let the tattoo artist know if you have a reaction;
  3. If a problem lasts more than one to two weeks, see a board-certified dermatologist;
  4. Those with a chronic skin condition such as psoriasis, eczema or a tendency toward keloid scarring should check with a board-certified dermatologist before getting a tattoo;

Avoid tattooing over a mole, as it will make it more difficult to diagnose a problem if the mole changes in the future. Since tattoos are not regulated in any way, there are many unknowns that could pose potential problems for consumers in terms of the inks and tools used, says Shinohara.

Why does my tattoo swell up sometimes?

There are several risks to consider before subjecting your skin to a tattoo needle, not the least of which is the possibility of infection from viruses like hepatitis and HIV. But even if you choose a safe tattoo studio and the tattoo artist uses a sterile needle, you’re not out of the woods.

The tattoo ink can potentially cause an allergic reaction. A tattoo allergy can result in swelling, irritation, a rash , or some other skin abnormality at or around the site of the tattoo. What Causes a Tattoo Allergy? Tattoo ink contains several ingredients and chemicals, and you may be allergic to any one of them.

Substances like iron oxide, mercury sulfide, ferric hydrate, aluminum, and manganese are only a few of the ingredients that may be included in the ink, depending on the color. An allergy to any of these substances can cause an allergic reaction once the ink gets into your skin. Types of Tattoo Allergic Reaction A tattoo allergy can take a number of different forms:

  • Acute inflammatory allergic reaction. Many people who get tattoos experience what’s called an acute inflammatory reaction — the skin becomes red, slightly swollen, and irritated at the site of the tattoo. This occurs because of the irritation caused by the tattoo needle and the tattoo ink. It’s not serious, and generally subsides within about two or three weeks.
  • Photosensitivity. Tattoos that are exposed to the sun may result in an allergic reaction, particularly those that contain yellow tattoo ink. Yellow and some red pigments contain cadmium sulfide, which can cause an allergic reaction when exposed to the sun.
  • Dermatitis. Some of the most common tattoo allergies include types of dermatitis — photoallergic and allergic contact dermatitis. Most often, these types of allergic reactions are caused by mercury sulfide, which is found in red tattoo ink.
  • Lichenoid allergic reaction. This is rare, but is typically related to red tattoo ink, and characterized by small bumps that appear around the red ink areas.
  • Pseudolymphomatous allergic reaction. Caused by sensitivity to a substance in the tattoo ink, this is a delayed reaction — it doesn’t occur right after getting the tattoo. Red tattoo ink is usually to blame, but it can result from blue and green as well.
  • Granulomas. These are small bumps that can appear as a result of an allergic reaction. Red tattoo ink is most often the culprit, but purple, green, or blue tattoo ink may also cause these bumps to form around the site of the tattoo.

Why do tattoos swell years later?

Tattooing as a form of body art is increasing in popularity, especially among young adults. In fact, the Pew Research Center found that 36 percent of Americans ages 18-25 report getting a tattoo. As a result, dermatologists are seeing increased complications such as allergic reactions, serious infections and reactions to tattoo ink that can mimic skin cancer.

  1. Michi Shinohara, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Washington in Seattle, provides the following information about risks related to newer tatoo inks;

The composition of tattoo ink has changed dramatically over the years. In the past, metal salts, lead, cobalt and carbon were used in inks. Today, many modern tattoo inks (especially intense reds and yellows) contain organic azo dyes with plastic-based pigments that also have industrial uses in printing, textiles and car paint.

As a result, Shinohara explains that there are many unknowns about how these inks interact with the skin and within the body and if they are responsible for an increasing number of complications. One of the most common problems associated with tattooing is allergic reactions to the tattoo pigments.

Itching, bumps or rashes can occur days, months or even years after the initial tattoo. These reactions need to be treated with a topical steroid ointment. In cases where an allergic reaction occurs months or years later, the affected person might not suspect that the tattoo is the culprit.

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In people with psoriasis and eczema, tattoos may cause the chronic skin conditions to flare. Sarcoidosis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by swelling and itching that can occur in a tattoo decades after the procedure and can involve other organs, such as the lungs or eyes.

This type of reaction is not directly caused by the original tattoo, but can show up within the tattoo. Treatments include topical creams and, in severe cases, immunosuppressant medications. Some tattoo-related infections can pose serious health implications.

  1. Common infections linked to tattooing include localized bacterial infections;
  2. In addition, there have been reports of syphilis and hepatitis B and C being transmitted due to non-sterile tattooing practices;

However, Shinohara notes that outbreaks can also stem from the tattoo ink rather than the tools used in the procedure.   A recent outbreak of atypical mycobacterial infections has been traced to contaminated tattoo ink, which cause itchy, painful pustules and red bumps within a tattoo during the first month of the procedure.

With this type of infection, a biopsy of the tattoo is taken and the bacteria cultured. This type of bacteria is harder to treat than regular staph bacteria and can require a several-month course of oral antibiotics to clear the infection.

Skin cancer can occur within a tattoo, and for that reason Shinohara explains that tattoo artists need to be careful not to place a tattoo over an existing mole. However, one reaction that can result is a bump that mimics skin cancer, which can ruin the tattoo.

This type of bump or lesion that can occur within a tattoo looks like a type of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma. Since the bump is so hard to distinguish from this skin cancer, it requires a biopsy and, in some cases, may need to be treated as a skin cancer, with additional surgery.

Shinohara notes that this unusual reaction is thought to stem from tattoo ink and can result in potentially unnecessary and expensive skin cancer treatment. Shinohara offers the following tips for those who insist on getting tattoos: Be sure to go to a professional tattoo parlor and to a tattoo artist who is licensed based on a states requirements.

  • Insist on seeing equipment in sterile packaging;
  • Let the tattoo artist know if you have a reaction;
  • If a problem lasts more than one to two weeks, see a board-certified dermatologist;
  • Those with a chronic skin condition such as psoriasis, eczema or a tendency toward keloid scarring should check with a board-certified dermatologist before getting a tattoo;

Avoid tattooing over a mole, as it will make it more difficult to diagnose a problem if the mole changes in the future. Since tattoos are not regulated in any way, there are many unknowns that could pose potential problems for consumers in terms of the inks and tools used, says Shinohara.

Why is my tattoo bumpy after a year?

These bumps on older tattoos are caused primarily by things such as heat rash from the sun, and certain allergies that might develop, such as an allergy to the tattoo ink, which can take years to initially appear after getting a tattoo.

Can a tattoo get infected years later?

So, you finally got inked. You chose a design, picked out a parlor, and “sat” like a champ. (That’s tattoo artist-speak for grinning and bearing it through hours of pain. ) Then you spent a few weeks diligently washing and moisturizing it while it healed. Now, save for moments you catch a glimpse of the design in the mirror, you usually forget the whole thing happened.

What’s done is done, right? Not always. In fact, skin irritation or a full-blown condition can develop months, years, even decades after the initial tattooing process. “Tattoos breach the protective layer of the skin, increasing your risk of skin complications,” says David Lortscher, a dermatologist based in San Diego and San Francisco and co-founder of Curology.

If you start to see redness, bumps, or even burns on or around a long-healed tattoo, one of these issues could be the culprit, and you should see your physician or dermatologist as soon as possible. Your tattoo is infected. You’ve heard horror stories of peoples’ ink getting infected and warping the appearance of the design.

  1. But while this typically occurs during the initial healing process, an infection is still possible even months later, according to the American Academy of Dermatology;
  2. Some signs to look out for: pain or redness that gets worse rather than better; a rash with itchy, red bumps; open sores; pus; and a fever with chills;

You’ve developed an allergy to the ink. “Though it’s rare, a reaction called a pseudolymphomatous reaction can occur in response to red ink,” says plastic surgeon David L. Cangello of Cangello Plastic Surgery in New York City. Essentially, this is a delayed hypersensitivity to the ink.

“The exact etiology is unknown, but it’s thought that the red ink acts as an antigen, or something that stimulates an immune response from the body,” says Cangello. “Cells called lymphocytes infiltrate the skin in the area of the antigen — or red pigment in this case — and cause an inflammatory reaction.

” Likely, the response has been developing for some time but took months or years to appear on the surface of the skin. You’re predisposed to a skin condition. Shockingly, tattoos can cause skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and even vitiligo to crop up for the first time.

  • “This centers around something called the Koebner phenomenon,” says Dhaval Bhanusali , a dermatologist in New York City;
  • “Particularly with psoriasis and vitiligo, the idea is that any epidermal disruption can trigger disease, including a tattoo;

Eczema is probably more reflective of an allergic reaction.

Why do tattoos get bumps?

– Tattoo pimples can develop when a hair follicle becomes clogged with oil, dirt, or skin cells. Most tattoo pimples will clear up without causing permanent damage or color loss. However, picking or popping a pimple can lead to skin infections and patches of faded ink.