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Why Do I have Bumps on My Tattoo?

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. August 26, 2021
Why Do I have Bumps on My Tattoo?

Getting a tattoo is a decision that needs to be thoroughly considered beforehand. There are many things to consider in terms of design and artist, but sometimes people can neglect their own health. Not everyone's skin will react the same to being tattooed as some are more sensitive than others. Even if the tattooing process itself is fine, our skincare afterwards can affect how well it heals and even create a risk of infection. We need to closely monitor how our tattoo heals and notice if there is anything different.

If you notice small bumps or pimples appear on your tattoo, it can be worrying. oneHOWTO answers the question why do I have bumps on my tattoo? In looking at the causes of tattoo pimples, we can know what to do about it and how to best avoid them.

You may also be interested in: My Tattoo Looks Wrinkly
  1. Causes of little bumps on a tattoo
  2. How to treat pimples on a tattoo
  3. How to care for a tattoo

Causes of little bumps on a tattoo

While we can do everything we can to provide the right care for a new tattoo, one of the main causes of pimples is something we have no control over. An allergic reaction to the ink used in the tattooing process will have various symptoms, inflammation being one of them. Before you go to get a tattoo, it would be ideal that we have the skin tested for possible allergies, something which may require a dermatologist.

However, since only a relatively tiny minority of people will have an allergic reaction to tattoos, most will get a tattoo inked without being tested for allergens. In these cases, someone with an allergy will experience a reaction. The skin will become itchy, red, inflamed and tiny bumps can appear. If this happens, we need o go to a doctor immediately to receive anti-allergy medications such as antihistamines.

However allergies are not the only reason we might see small bumps appear on a tattoo. Other causes include:

  • Excessive hydration: pimples may appear if large doses of moisturizer are applied. This can cause excess fat and waste to accumulate on the skin. These residues will damage the skin and make it softer, causing various reactions, including the appearance of pimples.

  • Skin perspiration problems: poor hygiene, the use of tight clothing or fabrics that complicate the breathing of the dermis and a large amount of sweating are problems which can lead to bumps on the tattoo.

  • Inappropriate after-cream: the wrong type of ointment prevents the skin from breathing correctly, causing the appearance of rashes or pimples in the tattoo area. Although many people think it is appropriate for tattoos, Vaseline is not good for tattoos and its use may lead to skin bumps.

  • Mild infection: if the aftercare of the tattoo is inappropriate it can promote infection. Whether the tattoo is not washed, it is washed inappropriately, clothes are allowed to stick to it or any similar problem, an infection can occur. Since a tattoo is essentially a healing wound, bacteria can enter the site and cause inflammation. Take a look at our articles on how to tell if a tattoo is infected and how to heal an infected tattoo for more information.

There is a difference between bumps appearing on a new tattoo and pimples appearing long after the tattoo has healed. In the former case, look at the skin around it and see if the bumps only appear on the skin with ink. If not, it means the problem is a skin issue, probably unrelated to the tattoo. It could be a reaction, sensitive skin flare up, fungal infection or any other type of dermatological issue. This is another reason it is best to seek a doctor's advice if you have inflammation.

Why Do I have Bumps on My Tattoo? - Causes of little bumps on a tattoo

How to treat pimples on a tattoo

Now you know the reasons why your have little bumps on your tattoo, you will want to know how to get rid of them. Since the problem may be an allergic reaction, the first thing we should do is speak to a doctor who can diagnose the problem. However, if the problem is not allergy related, there are some things you can do at home to help get rid of pimples on your tattoo.

Use corticosteroid cream

You can use an ointment with corticosteroids, which has an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effect, to remedy tattoo pimples. If the problem is not severe, over-the-counter topical medication may be enough. However, if the doctor thinks it is a more problematic allergic reaction, they may prescribe some stronger antihistamines.

Regulate skin hydration

The use of moisturizers is essential to maintain good tattoo care. However, it is very important that you only apply the right amount of product. However, it can be difficult to get the balance right. If you have dry skin in the tattoo area, you will have to ensure you moisturize it properly or you might see the tattoo start peeling off.

Stop using cream and wash with soap and water

Although you will need to seek a specialist if you think you are having a reaction, you might want to stop using whatever products you have been using up until now. This can prevent any reaction becoming worse. Instead, all you should do is clean it with a pH neutral soap and warm water. Do not scrub it or use other products and see if the bumps subside. Once you speak to a doctor, they will be able to tell you what alternative is best.

Remove the tattoo

Once you consult the doctor, you will need to see if the tattoo should be removed. A severe allergic reaction to tattoo ink means the tattoo may never heal properly and become a health risk. It doesn't mean you will be allergic to all tattoo inks. It appears that the ingredients in some red tattoo inks tend to be more prone to reaction than others. If you do want another tattoo, you will have to ensure you test the ink on your skin beforehand.

How to care for a tattoo

To avoid pimples on the tattoo or contracting infections, we at oneHOWTO highlight the basic care of a new tattoo so that your tattoo looks as good as possible and doesn't pose any risks to your health.

  • Don't sunbathe with a fresh tattoo. Exposure to UV rays from the sun can not only fade the tattoo, but it can also damage the skin and promote skin cancer.
  • Do low intensity exercise with a new tattoo. You can practice sports, but without sweating excessively to avoid irritation and damage to the tattooed area.
  • Remove the dressing when directed by the tattoo artist. If it is freshly done, you should remove the bandage during a period of 2 to 24 hours afterwards, depending on the size of the tattoo and other factors.
  • Use a tattoo-specific cream to ensure that you keep your skin properly hydrated and protected.
  • Avoid tight clothing while the tattoo heals (in a period of approximately 10-15 days), wear comfortable clothes so as not to hinder the perspiration of the skin.
  • Clean the tattoo area at least twice a day with warm water and mild neutral soap. In this way, the color and brightness of the tattoo will be maintained.

If you want to read similar articles to Why Do I have Bumps on My Tattoo?, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.

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Why Do I have Bumps on My Tattoo?