If you have just got a new tattoo, it isn’t abnormal to develop some kind of scabbing in the first or second week into the healing of your new tattoo. When getting tattooed, several small needles are punctured thousands of times into the same spot of the skin, creating some sort of wound. The natural defense mechanism of the body doesn’t detect a tattoo as a tattoo, but as a wound and will therefore do everything to heal it with as little damage as possible. When a wound develops, wound fluid will also start to develop. This wound fluid contains the necessary elements to heal the wound. The wound fluid can vary between slightly watery to bloody and even purulent if the wound gets infected. Bleeding can cause the scabs to become very thick, but also light, watery wound fluid can create scabs.
In the first place, scab formation occurs when developing the wound itself, while tattooing. The type of artist, the style of the tattoo and the duration of the session are just a few factors that can determine the amount of scabbing. In addition, you also have personal factors that can influence scabbing formation, for example if you have used alcohol or medication (you will start to bleed harder and therefore most likely develop more crusts) or if you have recently been ill (your immune system is weakened and the wound will be less able to heal properly) are just two factors which can increase the amount of scabbing.
Unless your tattoo artist has applied a second skin (this can be applied in spray form or some type of plastic), you can already do a lot in the first few hours after getting the new tattoo, to prevent scabs to form and to influence the healing in a positive way. Since the wound fluid will only be able to escape from the wound as long as the upper part of the upper skin layer is still open, it is often a good idea to let the tattoo dry for a certain period of time during the first hours after tattooing.
- The artist will have applied a layer of cream (unless this second skin was applied) after the tattoo or session was finished. Since the tattoo can still bleed a little bit in the first 2 to 3 hours, it is better to leave the cream on for a moment to prevent the tattoo to start bleeding again by washing it.
- The use of a tattoo aftercare cleanse can have a lot of positive effects at this stage. This cleanse is a kind of soap-free soap suitable for fresh tattoos. It removes all the dirt, grease and excess of ink from your fresh tattoo. It is especially important to remove any blood and other wound fluid at that time, this way you will develop less scabs.
- After using this cleanse, clean the tattoo carefully and dry it with a clean towel.
- After this, you can let the tattoo dry for about 45 minutes without adding any cream or other things. This way you make sure that there will be created a thin layer in your upper layer of skin that is just enough to stop any wound fluid.
- Finally, rub the tattoo lightly with a tattoo aftercare ointment.
If you keep developing wound fluid the next morning, you can repeat this process the next day, please be aware that there haven’t been forming any scabs yet, since you will have to risk rubbing them off.
Both my clients and myself have experienced a lot of positive effects when using tattoo cleanse (we sell Maximus Care, but of course there are enough brands with the same effect!). Because all the ink, dirt and greasiness is removed, the tattoo feels much fresher, heals much faster and people also suffer less from itching and other discomforts. Of course it is not a must to use a cleanse, but I would recommend it to everyone at all times!
If you have developed scabs after all, they can feel awkward, itchy and your tattoo may start to look horrible in the first two weeks. Although you may have the tendency to pull them off, this is the last thing you can do best. Getting rid of scabs at a too early a stage in the healing process leave you behind with a piece of ink missing in the coloring or lining of your new tattoo. In addition, it is also not uncommon for a scar or infection to be formed at that point. Scratching your fresh tattoo can also have the same effect as pulling the scabs off directly.
The moment you have developed scabs, do not apply any cream too thick. Since the ointment and dirt can start to stack under the scabs, this is another source of infections. Also, you better not do any sports in this stadium of the healing process, the more friction the scabs will have with your clothes and the more movement your tattoo experiences, the greater the chance that the crusts will burst or come loose.