Now that you’ve decided to get a tattoo, there’s just no stopping the excitement that threatens to take over you unawares! Everyday you stand in front of the mirror and imagine the way your tattoo will look on the shoulder/back/arm, and you desperately count the days till that moment. The meetings with your tattoo artist are done and the design is finalized. All that remains is that you get inked. And of course you know that there will be a price to pay for your tattoo – There will be pain and a great deal of tattoo aftercare, but you’re prepared….Or so you think! ‘Coz you might not even be aware of the possibility of tattoo scarring. What is tattoo scarring and how can it destroy your tattoo? Let us find out.
What is Tattoo Scarring?
It is necessary to understand that every tattoo has scarring – because the very process of tattooing is to bruise the skin and puncture the layers to get the ink in into the body. That is why a tattoo is treated like a wound and tattoo healing and proper tattoo care becomes important. Keeping that in mind, tattoo ‘scarring’ (as opposed to normal tattooing) occurs when the tattoo artist digs the needle a little too deep into the skin or exerts excess force while tattooing. It therefore causes damage.
The other reasons that can lead to tattoo scarring is an individual’s ability to heal. Some people take a long time to heal and are prone to scarring easily with the slightest of wounds. These people are more prone to tattoo scarring as well, than others because of their body’s slow healing process. Read more on infected tattoo care.
Signs of Tattoo Scarring
The most telltale sign of tattoo scarring is raised skin. If you’re lucky (ironically), you can only realize it is raised if you touch it. At other times, the skin is so badly blotched that you can see it clearly. If the tattoo scarring is really severe, it can lead to a running of color as well. Which means that the darker shades of the tattoo will get mixed with the lighter shades and the result will be a very blotched and faded design.
The skin will be uneven, puffy and raised and the colors might seem like they have ridges. These signs of tattoo scarring might not be visible immediately after a tattoo is etched, but could take some time to come about. After the tattoo healing process is complete and you’re left with a tattoo outline that is red and puffy, it could mean that you have tattoo scarring.
The other sign is that of the skin itching followed by the raised skin. But scratching it is not an option because it can lead to the condition becoming worse. Keep a look out for the skin if it becomes too dry. A normally healed tattoo skin should feel like the rest of the body skin. If the skin is exceptionally dry, it could be a sign of tattoo scarring. So also if one sweats a lot then the tattoo will get inflamed and hurt further. Instead of scratching it, apply a soothing lotion for the dryness and the itchiness. Read more on infected tattoo symptoms.
How to Minimize Tattoo Scarring
A tattoo will lead to some amount of scarring. That is a given when it comes to the process of tattooing, but there are ways to minimize tattoo scarring so that it does not damage the skin forever.
Tattoo scarring is tricky because it happens AFTER you’ve been inked, so there’s nothing you can do about it (unless you decide to use surgical tattoo removal methods). So also tattoo scarring usually comes to the fore after a time period of tattooing. That is why it is most important that you choose a tattoo artist who has experience and his good name precedes him. Nonetheless, if you’ve got the tattoo and tattoo scarring has occurred then you can prevent it from getting further inflamed and try to minimize the bad effects. Here’s how:
- Aloe Vera is one of the most natural and herbal remedies that you can make use of for minimizing tattoo scarring.
- Cut out a part of the leaf and collect the sap that flows out.
- Use this sap directly onto the tattoo and spread evenly.
- Aloe has a very soothing and cooling effect on the skin.
- Keep the sap in place till it dries completely, then wash off and pat dry.
- Use this at least 4-5 times a day.
- This will prevent itching, making the puffiness worse, and in time will heal the scar.
In spite of that, it is necessary to realize that healing will take several weeks and it is important to keep at it.
Tattoo scarring can be prevented if you’re careful in choosing a good artist. However, if tattoo scarring does occur then use aloe to prevent it from becoming worse. And IF the tattoo is spoilt beyond repair then using one of the tattoo removal methods will be your only choice. So when you decide to get inked, make sure you’re really sure about it.