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How Can I Minimize Tattoo Scarring?

A person getting a tattoo.
Woman with tattoos on her arm and back.
Large tattoo being applied.
A tattoo machine.
Article Details
  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 20 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The first step in minimizing tattoo scarring is to use only a licensed and reputable tattoo artist to produce your tattoo. Secondly, the aftercare of a new tattoo is greatly responsible for the amount of tattoo scarring that may occur on your body art. You will also need to protect your tattoo until it is completely healed, which is different for every individual tattoo and body.

Tattoo scarring can be seen as a raised portion of a tattoo and often itches and burns. A tattoo is an abrasion to the skin in which colored ink is deposited in order to create a picture or words. Occasionally, a tattoo artist can go too deep into the skin which in turn can cause scarring to occur. A skilled tattoo artist is able to go just deep enough into the skin to leave a quality tattoo and avoid scaring.

Most good tattoo artists complete an extended internship under an experienced tattoo artist prior to opening their own shop. While this is a required practice of many ethical shops, it is not the legal requirement in many areas, so some unskilled tattoo artists are operating tattoo shops in locations all around the world. For this reason, it is imperative that any prospective tattoo artist be checked for references and recommendations prior to scheduling any work.

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With the research completed and your new tattoo applied, the level of aftercare will directly affect any level of potential tattoo scarring. It is important to keep the tattoo clean and well-lubricated to avoid tattoo scarring. Washing the tattoo with an antiseptic rinse such as Listerine® will keep the area clean and free from bacteria which could cause an infection resulting in tattoo scarring. After allowing the area to air dry or after blotting dry with a clean paper towel, being careful to never rub the new tattoo, apply a thin layer of A&D Ointment® to the tattoo and place a loose dressing over the area.

Also key to avoiding potential tattoo scarring is never exposing a new tattoo to water until all scabbing has healed. The water can cause the scabs to separate prematurely, resulting in potential tattoo scarring. Exposing a fresh tattoo to prolonged direct sunlight can also cause the tattoo to blister and scar. It is important to remember that you new tattoo is, in essence, a fresh open wound in the form of an abrasion and should be treated as such until the wound completely heals in order to avoid tattoo scarring.

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Discuss this Article

candyquilt
Post 3

@turquoise-- How long has it been since you got the tattoo? It takes a while for scars to fade. Keep it moisturized, you can use a scar treatment lotion with vitamin E to speed up the process.

discographer
Post 2

@turquoise-- After-care is important but I also think that some tattoo artists are too heavy handed and push the needle to far into the layers of the skin. I know a tattoo artist that causes tattoo scars on almost all of his customers.

So choosing the right tattoo artist, is extremely important. I can't emphasize this enough. I don't think anyone should work with an artist without speaking to their previous customers about his or her work.

turquoise
Post 1

I have an abnormally large tattoo scar. My tattoo artist said that it's a tattoo keloid. He recommended some creams but they don't seem to be enough. I can't really blame him because I didn't follow his after-care directions, so it's my fault.

Right now I just want the keloid minimized so that it doesn't mess up the tattoo any further. What can I do?

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