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wierd skin rash in tattoo

for about 6 months now i have had this itchy spot on my upper right arm within my tattoo. once i start scratching it gets worse and i have to stop myself or else ill bleed.once i started scratching the first spot it has now turned into 5. there is one now that is not on the tattoo. i have had this tattoo for over 7 years without a problem. its seems to itch once or twice a day and doesnt go away even if i cover it with creams and bandaids. ive researched it but cant seem to figure out what it is and now im worried becouse it seems to be spreading but only on the skin in and around my tattoo. these spots look like if you had a mosquito bite that you never stopped scratching. my skin around it seems to feel a little thicker and kind of numb. they are flat and not bumpy. anyone have anything like this or any idea about it. im stumped
162 Responses
Avatar universal
well although rare it is possible to become "allergic" to the ink....Most commonally with RED pigments. It could also be your skin is trying to reject the impurities of the ink. However if you are experiecning a reaction to the ink, it can last a long long time.

It is common for people to experience they're tattoos become raised, and bumpy, it usually only last a few minutes to an hour, and that is the fact that the scar tissue of the tattoo is "inflamed" (any scar will tend to do that) which usually happens if youve been in the sun for too long, or in hot shower.

Also your skin maybe reacting to what your putting on it, most of the time if your tattoo does break out in itchy bumps its usually the lotions/creams your using, when you do have an outbreak any tattoo artist will tell you to stop using all ointments/lotion, and let the tattoo "dry out" and do its thing.

My best advice would be to see a dermatologist and make sure its something that is not serious, or even unlrealted to the tattoo....

good luck
Avatar universal
thanks for the reply. i wasnt putting anything on it but i tried bag balm and a few other creams. i have been putting neosporin on it and it seems to help. i still have the 5 spots but they dont itch as much and they arent such big "holes" like they used to be.
Avatar universal
I have the same problem and have for some time.  I have a large tattoo on my leg with a red flower in the middle of it.  There are many different colors in this tattoo but only that red is giving me the problem.   I've had this tattoo for years without any problems and now that one flower is pretty much ruined.  I started out using neosporin and that did not work.  My doctor then had me try Lotrimen cream.  That seemed to help with the iching for a few days but it always comes back.  I'm going to have him send me to a dematoligist.  Do you have any new information since you posted this?  
Avatar universal
This itching may be a form of skin fungus which does itch a lot and is hard to get rid of,  I suggest you try tea tree oil, use a cotton ball to apply the oil.  There may be a burning sensation but it will subside.
Avatar universal
Thanks.......I'll give it a try.
Avatar universal
I have this exact same problem. I first noticed it approx 6 months ago and it has slowly gotten worse and spread over that time. Everything mentioned in this thread matches my symptoms perfectly athough i have not been able to find any information personally.
  Both of my legs and arms are sleeved and I have never had a problem with any of my tattoos. I have'nt had any work done in several years and this particular Tattoo with the symptoms is probably 6 years old. It has never itched or looked like a problem before. It healed normally when I got it.
The infected Tattoo is  basically all of the light blue on my entire right sleeve. It started out as a few small bumps that itched like crazy. I dont us lotion or anything like that but thought it may possibly be the soap I was using so I switched brands.That is obviously not the case.
  I know that I need to see a dermatologist but I do not have an insurance that will cover that. If I had some type of idea of what it was and how serious then I could better decide whether I should go to one anyway or just learn to deal with it. Either way.....Not knowing what is going on is the most frustrating part. I have asked several artists who all same the same thing "The lotion you are using is causing it...Stop and let the tattoo dry out" Thats a load of BS. First of all, if ive had the tattoo for 6 years ive had pretty much everything on the tattoo that could possibly be on a human body. Every temprature, condition, lotion, weather. Why all of the sudden and why in just one particular color done in one particular session.......6 years ago!!!!!"
  I'm sorry i do not have more information to add to the thread. My point in posting was basically to tell you guys that you are not alone and hopefully we can all get some helpful answers.
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