Itchy Tattoo
July 1, 2004 5:27 PM   Subscribe

I got a tattoo on my back about two years ago. In the past couple of months, I've found that spot to be itchier than the rest of my back. If I apply lotion, however, it's fine - it feels like the same kind of itchiness I get in the winter with dry skin. There isn't any swelling, and the itching isn't all that bothersome or frequent, so I don't think it's an allergy. Any suggestions for a) why this is occurring or b) other ways to treat it, since I can't reach it myself?
posted by ferociouskitty to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Bada boom, Bada bing. The goos have it!
posted by littlegreenlights at 5:43 PM on July 1, 2004

I just got a tattoo myself a couple of months ago. The artist sold me a small tub of InkFixx, (about $10, but it'll probably last a year or more). I spread some on any time it itched, which in the first few weeks was quite a lot.

Now that it has healed and settled down to the same smoothness as the rest of my skin, I still use the InkFixx when it itches. Of course, your problem is that you can reach it to put goo on it. Do you have a significant other? If not, perhaps taking a tub of goo into a bar and asking for some help would be a cutesy way to find one.

Other than that, if you're bathing/showering in water that's too hot, that's probably not helping the dry-skin feeling. I'm not enough of an expert to know if scratching it would hurt it, though I try to avoid doing anything to mine that would fade or hurt it.

As far as applying lotion yourself - maybe you can jury-rig some sort of soft cloth... Apply lotion to the middle of it, and then use it as if you're drying off your back after a shower.
posted by ArsncHeart at 6:25 PM on July 1, 2004

Best answer: Some people can have reactions to ink years after the tatooing. I find that the ink on my back raises every once in awhile and is warmer to the touch than the rest of my skin. Usually I just put a little hydrocortisone mixed with vaseline (for moisture) on it.

To the body, perhaps ink will always be considered an invader.
posted by answergrape at 6:40 PM on July 1, 2004

I too find my tats occasionally lift a tad and itch. I got them, um, fifteen years ago? It always goes away and the itching is never as bad as, say, a mosquito bite. It's never even occurred to me that the itch might be treatable.
posted by mwhybark at 7:07 PM on July 1, 2004

When I first got the tattoo on my back, the itching was awful (healing and all that.) Since I was wary of scratching it, I gently patted it when the itching got too bad. It helped, a lot.
posted by sugarfish at 7:36 PM on July 1, 2004

The best solution is to find someone to put the lotion on your back for you, among other things they might do for you.
posted by kindall at 8:02 PM on July 1, 2004

Response by poster: Husband officially curses all of you for dooming him to wake up 3 hours before he has to so that he can rub lotion on my back before I leave for work.

Nice to know it's not going to peel off or anything though.
posted by ferociouskitty at 8:48 PM on July 1, 2004

Healed tattoos are essentially scar tissue, which is why they require different care than your other areas of skin. Mine don't get itchy, but every now and then they rise above the surface of the skin and get kinda bumpy, which I then can spend hours a day rubbing because it feels so damn weird.
posted by archimago at 6:53 AM on July 2, 2004

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