Why Is My Tattoo Raised and Itchy After It Has Healed

Last updated: February 19, 2019
Published 9:14 am

You did everything you were supposed to. You applied lotions. You didn’t scratch the itch. You let your body do what it needed to do to allow your tattoo to heal.

So why is your tattoo raised past the healing window?

There are several reasons that this can occur. See if any of the following offer an answer and possible solution to your tattoo troubles.

Allergic Reaction to Tattoo Ink

Being allergic to tattoo ink is rare, but it is possible. The most common colors to provoke allergies are yellow and red. The symptoms of a tattoo ink allergy are similar to what you’ll experience during the healing process, such as pain, itching, and inflammation, making it difficult to determine if an allergy exists before the damage is done.

The danger with allergic reactions to tattoo ink is that the issue doesn’t disappear once the tattoo is healed. In most cases, the tattoo needs to be removed to prevent further discomfort and complications. If you suspect an allergy, schedule an appointment right away with your doctor.

The good news is that most who discover they have an allergy to tattoo ink are still able to enjoy tattooing by using inks that are less likely to cause complications.

Harsh Weather Conditions

Even if you love the weather where you live, your tattoo might not. Humidity and dry air can irritate the skin, especially if your skin is on the sensitive side.

You might notice that a warm summer day leaves your tattoo raised. Cold winter days can do the same as the air dries out your skin. If you do notice that your tattoo is raised during extremely humid or dry conditions, remind yourself not to itch it or accidentally scratch it.

It’s impossible to avoid less than ideal weather conditions all the time, so don’t limit your outdoor activities just because you have a tattoo. Remember to check your skin on occasion and if you do notice a problem, take the proper steps as needed, such as applying lotion.

Overworking Tattooed Skin

Your tattoo is permanent but its appearance isn’t. This means that certain actions can alter the brightness or clarity of your tattoo, or raise it. Anything that consistently alters the position of your skin can do this.

If you gain or lose a drastic amount of weight, your tattoo could change in appearance as your skin changes. If you exercise regularly and bulk up muscles enough to stretch your skin, your tattoo could be altered. Pregnancy can also change the appearance of tattoos, especially if they’re near the hips or stomach.

While these changes happen after your tattoo session, your skin can also be overworked during the appointment. If your artist goes over the same area several times or pushes too deep with the needle, you have a higher chance of raised skin after your tattoo heals.

Scratching a Healed Tattoo

As mentioned in some of the previous sections, don’t ever scratch a healed tattoo. Even if it itches like crazy, scratching a tat can have serious consequences. While it’s not as risky as scratching a fresh tattoo, aggressively touching your tattoo with your fingernails or a sharp object can permanently alter its appearance.

If you’re struggling with an itchy tattoo on a regular basis, try using a different lotion. You can also use a tattoo numbing cream if you’re really struggling. If the itchiness doesn’t improve, there could be an underlying condition, so consider scheduling an evaluation if it’s interfering with your day to day activities.

What to Do If Your Tattoo Is Raised

It’s better to prevent raised skin than have to treat it. The best way to do this is to not only apply lotion several times a day, but to make sure your skin is completely dry before applying your product.

Many make the mistake of applying lotion immediately after exiting the shower. But scabs can hold on to moisture from a shower, preventing lotion from doing what you need it to do. These scabs can then fall off sooner than they should, leading to a raised appearance on your skin.

If your tattoo is raised, for whatever reason, keep the following tips in mind:

In most situations, your tattoo will go back to normal, even if you don’t take any action. If this is the first time your tattoo has raised, give it some time before doing anything.

  • In most situations, your tattoo will go back to normal, even if you don’t take any action. If this is the first time your tattoo has raised, give it some time before doing anything.
  • Evaluate your tattoo care regimen. It might be time to try a new lotion or start moisturizing at different times of the day. Like the rest of your skin, a healed tattoo still needs to remain moisturized to keep it looking its best.

If your healed tattoo continues giving you problems, it’s worth having it looked at it. You should be able to enjoy your tattoo instead of constantly wondering if there’s something wrong. If your tattoo is raised most of the time, talk to your tattoo artist about your options.