1. Style
Send to a Friend via Email
Tech73 writes: "I have 2 large tattoos, one on each arm and occasionally they get itchy and I get welts where the ink is. Like the tattoos become raised. I have had both of these tattoos for years and they have always done this. Does anyone else experience this? Does anyone know what causes this? I couldn't imagine having a full sleeve or back piece and have this happen. It would be very uncomfortable."


January 21, 2007 at 4:56 pm
(1) Janine says:

I have a full back piece and mine occasionally raises. It usually happens when I’m getting sick or when Im really tired. It also happens when the weather changes. Usually its only the outline though that does it…and after a while you dont notice this happening.

January 21, 2007 at 4:57 pm
(2) Kris says:

I am so glad to hear this happens to other people. Mine swells up (on my ankle), well, just the left half mostly when I get stressed out. I thought I was just a freak! I too would love to know why this happens! I have 2 more I plan to get and don’t want them itching. Odd thing is, the one on my wrist doesn’t bother me at all.

October 4, 2010 at 7:12 am
(3) mckensie says:

I have four tattoos and the two that I got done at the same time itch ocasionally, but the other two never do it. The ones that itch were done by the same person. I’d really like to know why? I think I’m allergic to the particular ink he used.

January 21, 2007 at 11:13 pm
(4) Amanda says:

Phew im glad to hear that this happens to other ppl too. When it first happened I freaked out. It usually occurs when the weather changes. Its rather strange and a tad freaky.

January 22, 2007 at 12:50 am
(5) Kaz B says:

I have a large tatt acroos my lower back that is about 12 months old, and recently this happened to me when I’d been in a very hot sweaty kitchen all day. After i had a cool shower it was fine. I’ve never had it with the tatt on my shoulder or butt.

January 22, 2007 at 10:47 am
(6) sandy says:

I have some spots that will raise with stress too. Mostly the red ink. I think the ink has something to do with it also.

January 22, 2007 at 2:49 pm
(7) Sheila says:

I have a tat on each forearm, one shoulder that occasionally gets raised and itchy. the anklet that I have is green and purple and I haven’t had this happen to it. Nice to hear of others .

January 26, 2007 at 9:45 pm
(8) izzy says:

I have 3 tat’s. One doesn’t raise or itch. Ever. One is almost always raised, but rarely itches. The one I got more recently, itches and is raised so constantly. It’s so annoying. So anyway, I have been searching the web all night and found this on another site:

Why does my tattoo raise up from time to time?
Some scarring occurs with every tattoo. Most of the time it’s not really noticable. When the tattoo becomes irritated the scar will raise up for a bit. This can be caused by sun exposure or sunburn, slapping, scratching, rough clothing or even stress. Given time to calm down, the tattoo will lay flat again.

The same reaction commonly occurs with stretchmarks. If you have them, I’m sure you’ve noticed.

My tattoo is raised all the time. Why?
If the tattoo is raised constantly, chances are it’s permanantly scarred. This can happen with sensitive skin or skin that’s prone to keloiding. It can also happen if the artist goes too deep or overworks the area. There isn’t really anything that can lessen the scar tissue.

I hope it helped you! I put some very good lotion on my tattoo and it at least stops the itching, then I don’t notice the raised part of it.

January 29, 2007 at 3:45 pm
(9) Brent says:

I have 13 tattoos and the only ones that raise and itch are on my arms. I freaked out too!!it happens when im stressed or from misquito bites. its wierd and annoying someone once told me its from nerve endings being damaged during the tattooing process.

October 10, 2010 at 7:52 pm
(10) KateC says:

This sounds like a logical explanation! The only tats that itch for me are the ones on my arms, too!!! Not the one on my shoulder, but my lower arms for sure.
So glad/sad that it happens to others!

February 1, 2007 at 11:39 am
(11) Tanna says:

I have one tattoo on my right shoulder blade, just a sketching of an eagle head and inside the beak gets dry and itchy, and around where the beak and face meets, but does not itch ON the ink… I got it in early october and I healed in like a week. I’ve noticed it will tingle sometimes too? and just recently it’s partly gone dry and very itchy… I’m hoping its because I’m allergic to fabric softener… but I dont know! I read it’s from nerve damage… ahh!

February 3, 2007 at 2:00 pm
(12) andy says:

Pinpointing the reason for this is difficult, there can be several different causes..Allergic Reactions from certain pigments, red, yellow most common, Changes in the weather, Body Chemistry, Skin Conditions.

February 16, 2007 at 3:36 pm
(13) Bear says:

I’m blad other people have this problem, too. My tattoo, which is small and on my lower back, has been raised and itchy for a week now. I hope the itching goes away soon!

February 17, 2007 at 3:37 pm
(14) Tanna says:

My tattoo was never raised, there were just bumps around it? but never actually on it. Turns out, I’m either allergic to fabric softener and/or my vanilla Body Shop spray… I’ve been spraying it on my clothes rather than my body, and now AROUND my tattoo has settled down. Weeeeird.

February 25, 2007 at 11:53 pm
(15) Mike says:

I have been searching for the answer to the same question all night long. This is driving me crazy and i notice it happends mostly when the weather makes a sudden change. But i am glad to see that im not alone in this.

July 28, 2007 at 9:11 am
(16) Trina says:

I have 9 tattoos.ankle, wrists, lower back, upper arms, my chest, you name it.i got my 1st one over 10 yrs ago an the swelling and itchng has just now started.mostly on my bands up by my shoulders.also my ink is all dark ink… No color xcept on my back an that one never swells…its pretty strange tho i must admit.

September 29, 2007 at 2:06 am
(17) brandonv says:

good. thought it was aids or something.

February 20, 2011 at 12:32 am
(18) Jude says:

Wow. Because everyone knows that a telltale sign of AIDS…is itching. Read a book.

March 9, 2011 at 4:01 am
(19) Erica says:

For some reason, I found this really funny. I loled.
But I am SO RELIEVED that I am not the only one. I have a huge chest piece and the lines of the webs on both sides under my clavicles that almost reach my shoulders will ITCH LIKE CRAZY and swell on occasion. No where else itches but those areas not even the big red rose in the middle of my chest which I heard allergic reactions are common with red ink. I thought I was in fact allergic to the ink he used(which could still be possible) but reading other peoples comments I now know there are multiple causes. THANKS FOR THIS!

February 16, 2008 at 12:48 am
(20) Brittney says:

I have a small dragon right between my shoulder blades, and just these past few days it’s turned into little itchy, raised bumpes. like tons of mosquito bites only inside the tattoo, not on un-inked skin. At first I thought it just happened to be itchy but now it’s driving me crazy.

I knew it had nothing to do with healing, but that’s interesting that it happens to others. it must be the fluctuating weather, as I’m sensitive to it, I even get headaches before rain.

I’ve found lotion soothes the bumps and itch some.

February 28, 2008 at 7:51 pm
(21) Cuz says:

My tattoos tend 2 rise on occasion tho i have not found the reason I found that Gold Bond Skin Lotion Helps wen it starts or when it is already Risen or Itchy

March 2, 2008 at 6:20 pm
(22) shane says:

i have ten tattoos 7 of them swell not just on the out side it realy bugs i have had some of them over ten years & i still cant get used to haveing 3 d tattoos … i have one round my rist as well that one dose not swell why??????????????who knowes ….is there some thing that can stop them swelling ????????

March 4, 2008 at 5:18 pm
(23) tony lynx says:


September 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm
(24) dcbrumit says:
March 22, 2008 at 5:30 pm
(25) Rohan says:

I am glad to know that there are others who are wondering the same thing. I have two tattoos…one arm and one chest…the chest never swells but the arms does and I have always been curious.

March 28, 2008 at 11:39 pm
(26) melissa says:

My Husband and i both have tattoos in diffrent places and sometime they itch so bad it causes a hard bumpy rash its happened in all diffrent types of weather but still curios of the cause

April 5, 2008 at 2:18 am
(27) Deb says:

It’s the red ink that raises & itches on my arm. Driving me crayzee lately. Neat 2 kno i not the only one. wood luv to know the reason & cure also…

April 10, 2008 at 11:25 pm
(28) Aaron says:

i just got a full sleeve in black/gray and after 2 weeks it healed up…then started to raise and itch. I’d like to know the actual reason why this happens so i can prevent it in the future.

April 11, 2008 at 4:01 pm
(29) Chad says:

I have 4 tattoos. Recently, one I’ve had for 2 years has started itching like crazy and not stopping. Also, it has bumps that are slowly spreading to the rest of the tattoo. It almost feels like raised rubber its getting so bad. I thought maybe hair was trying to grow through at first, like when it grows through the tattoo the first time.

April 25, 2008 at 8:17 pm
(30) carlajo says:

i have a tattoo on my lower back… and just like other people i have noticed it starting to raise and itch.! I have had it for 2 years now! does it ruin your tattoo or fade the colouring?

May 4, 2008 at 11:40 pm
(31) Sean says:

thanks for posting. I’ve been having problems with my tattooe itching and certain spots raising, normally the outline. Its so funny how your mind works because I could swear I had AIDS, thats the first thought that came to my mind. esspecially because i’ve been feeling weak months after I got my tattooe. I dont think im getting no more.

May 9, 2008 at 1:15 am
(32) Brandon says:

LoL I was curious right now. rubbed my arm and noticed my tattoo was raised- since i was on the PC decided to search about it to see why it does that. I’m glad to kno its obvious a normal occurance! lol i have one on my arm that raises all the time. mostly in the hot weather or after scratching it. But the one on my chest doesnt swell at all. Weird stuff! but we’re all normal. lol

May 9, 2008 at 4:52 pm
(33) soph says:

I have a tat on my leg and have had it for 8 years. 3 years ago i added a few things to and had the old one re-done – i have just come up with two bumps on the black area of the tat and they are scabing up – really worried its just gonna spread to the rest – i asked the doc and they both said its nothing to worry about, but didn,t explain

May 14, 2008 at 5:00 pm
(34) isak says:

I got a rather large tat (halfsleeve) that started to swell and itch after a year.
Thing is that only the white ink started to swell, and i think it is because of the sun.
Anyone know how long this can be going on?
Will it stop happening when/if the white ink fades??

May 17, 2008 at 9:37 am
(35) scoop says:

i got my tatto done about 2 weeks ago. it is on my inner wrist. the entire tattoo healed very quickly but now the top part of a piece of the flower on it itches like crazy. it will swell as well and not go down hardly at all. i’m glad others have problems like mine though. i was getting worried. i am starting to wonder if maybe i have an allergic reaction to the ink color used. its like a light pink color. its very odd b/c i have a flower in my tattoo.. where the center of the flower is dark pink it isnt raised or itchy but the entire outer flower where its light pink is raised and itchy. hmmmm.

May 20, 2008 at 6:45 pm
(36) Eriall says:

I got my first tattoo almost 3 weeks ago and it was healing nicely but now it has like a red glow all the way around it, like a sunburn. Its all the way around my ankle. It was really itchy, warm and swollen for a couple days but now its just red. Some say use polysporin some say let the air at it and let it heal itself……

May 27, 2008 at 10:54 pm
(37) christopher basile says:

I have the same situation happen to me all the time.. i have two half sleeves that do it, in certain spots where black shading gets detailed,, really weird but glad to see lots of other people experience this as well

June 1, 2008 at 9:19 pm
(38) Mandy says:

So glad I found this! I am also searching the raised bumps that itch like crazy on the outline of my tattoo. Its mostly on the dark purple ink, and some on the red and yellow. Its on my arm, and my arm was in the hot sun for about 10 minutes before this started. I have been using benadryl anti itch cram, and it seems to be helping. But its still spreading just a tad…

June 1, 2008 at 10:04 pm
(39) AE says:

I have several large tattoos and none of them ever got itchy after healing. Surprisingly my newest tattoo, on the inside of my forearm was itchy as %&*# after about one week. It stayed like that for about 2 weeks and then stopped. When I got more work done the same thing happened on that part of my arm but not on the outside of the forearm or upper arm. my tattoo artist said that happens sometimes and it goes away eventually. Kinda made me rethink getting a whole sleeve….

June 3, 2008 at 7:32 am
(40) Terry says:

Thank God this is happening to others. I was ready to go to a dermatologist. The ones of mine that are raised and itching are 6 and 17 years old. I was starting to wonder if I had a horrible disease!

June 12, 2008 at 7:45 pm
(41) Samantha says:

The first thing i thought was i had aids n i was freakin out lol im so glad its not just me.. i just put first aid Webber vitamin e ointment on it it takes the itch away n makes the bumps go away, also my tat is only black ink n its on my hand

June 13, 2008 at 9:23 am
(42) Hannah says:

Hey, Just got my second tat. Which has only started being raised and itchy today, 3-4 months after i got it. The one on my wrist has never been a problem, ive had it for about 2 years. Seems like ones closer to the torso, and on sensitive parts of the skin get more irritated which would make sense if it is related to the scar tissue as scaring is often more of an issue if it is in these sensitive areas . Also the lighter colours are more toxic and ive heard from most that it happens to more often to the red colours.
Also if it is an alergy thing, which i think it proberbly is, as people get it when they re sick or stressed which lowers the immune system then it would make more sense closer to the lymph nodes.
I tried taking anti-hystamines which has reduces the itchyness and the swelling within about half an hour, which also support the idea that it is the immune system overreacting when you are stressed or sick, im sick at the moment.

So solution; combo of skin creames to reduce the irritation, also anti-scar bepanthenen when healing to reduce scaring and anti-hytamines when it does over react. I would be interested to see if this works in others.
Sorry for the long post.

June 16, 2008 at 11:41 am
(43) beth says:

i have seven tattoos that i have gotten over the last year and a half. i got 2 at one tattoo parlor, 3 at another and 2 at another. the one of my lower back, the biggest of all my tattoos, will swell sometimes. it will just start out kinda itchy then start to swell up. mostly just the black outline. its only just started doing it recently. i’ve had it since febuary i think. someone told me it could be i am allergic to the ink. i don’t know though.

August 7, 2008 at 1:51 am
(44) kandice Rey says:

I’m soooo freakin glad I’m not the only one with this problem…lol…I just thought I was a wierdo…For months I didnt know what was wrong with me….it raises up from time to time and drives me nuts…out of my 9 tats its the small one on my wrist that does it…GRRRRRRRR. Oh well…At least we all have this prob in one way or another :)

August 15, 2008 at 7:39 am
(45) BeingBrian says:

Whew… good to know I’m not the only one with this reaction. I recently had an ambigram of my name inked into my forearm. All was fine, proper care and smoothed out fine. Suddenly, it itches like crazy and has raised bumps (on the inked spots only)I went bananas!! Found out “too” much ointment or lotion clogs the open pores and settles under the skin. That excess needs to be dried out. Now it looks as if it’s leveling out, yet I still get an attack of the itches. DO NOT SCRATCH!!

August 25, 2008 at 1:47 pm
(46) Christine says:

I have had my tattoo done for almost 2 months, i got 4 flowers on my inside wrist/arm ony one flower (closest to the wrist) does this it gets very itchy and has raised welts/bubbles..where the one flower looks raised like you said, I’m glad I’m not the only one out there with this
problem, I go for a touch up in 2 weeks but I want to know what it is first of all!

September 11, 2008 at 1:25 pm
(47) Alex says:

If you get bit by a bug near your tattoo, it will raise as your body tries to get rid of the venom from the bug because it sees the ink as a foreign substance.. which it is.

September 28, 2008 at 11:15 pm
(48) shade says:

I have a tattoo I’ve had on my upper arm since about 1996. I never had any problems at all until I got pregnant in 2003.

For the entire time I was pregger with my daughter, the entire outline of my tattoo was raised and extremel itchy. It drove me CRAZY. I was really concerned and kept putting off seeing somebody about it. The one day, when she was a few months old, I looked down and voila! The itchiness was gone and it was back to normal.

It itches and raises up only once in a blue moon. I have an orange/yellow beta fish and the black outline is the ONLY thing that ever itches and raises up. It’s raised and itchy now, but lo and behold, it is indeed humid and damp here.

September 29, 2008 at 9:40 pm
(49) Randall says:

i just got my first tattoo :) haha cross on the back of my calf…its still healing haha

October 3, 2008 at 12:06 pm
(50) Lilly Moe says:

I am now on my 4th tattoo, the one on my hip and lower back are fine, but the 2 in the middle of my back are driving me nuts ! They have been done about a month and they are still raised and itchy and I mean when they start to tingle they burn ! Im glad I found this site makes me feel much better ! I found that the Bepanthen cream (for nappy rash) they told me to use makes it a hell of alot worse, I went into the chemist and asked for Lanosil but they have now stopped this BUT another company has started to make the same cream and its back on the market, it has really taken the swelling down but it still itches but not as bad.

October 4, 2008 at 11:55 pm
(51) kayla says:

I have three. the ones on my hand and back never bother me but the one on my foot has started to bother me lately. i have had it for about 10 months now and it started to itch today it was like a mosquito bite! im sooo glad this happens to someone besides me. this is the first time though. idk maybe its just stress

October 6, 2008 at 3:09 pm
(52) dragonwyke says:

i have large 2part backpiece that healed wonderfully about 2yrs ago. no problems. but last spring the swelling and itching started on the outlines and on the heavier inner lines. maddening! i tried everything i could think of short of having it removed, which i was assured wouldn’t help and would only incur MORE scar tissue. so i started using hypoallergenic bathsoap and shampoos in the shower, changed from taking hot showers to warm or cool showers, started using oatmeal based calming lotions on my skin, and if you color your hair like i do use the kind for senstive skin and DO NOT let it get on the tattoo.

i still occassionally get the itching, but never the swelling, and the itching is NOTHING like it was before, just a passing thing. like any other normal itch. hope these ideas help someone.

October 12, 2008 at 12:05 am
(53) jessica says:

I am so glad someone else has noticed, I have a good frend who is a tatoo artist and I asked him. He said it tends to only happen on thicker skin such as the back,not sure why it is just the thicker skin. The reason is you are probably fighting of infection somewhere else in the body and white blood cells are more abundant,and the cells still see it as a threat or intruder. It can also happen in hot water or when you sweat and the cappilaries near the skin are dialated.

October 15, 2008 at 1:37 am
(54) roxxxy says:


March 9, 2011 at 4:04 am
(55) Erica says:

Go back to grade school.

October 25, 2008 at 2:10 am
(56) jennie says:

I have 4 tatoos 1 on each inner arm and 1 on each ankle. Only the outer part of the one on my right arm itches and swells up. I doubt its an allergy because only half of the tat is raised and itchy. I know it must be nothing, but its really itchy and annoying when it flares up. If i have the tatoo removed by a laser will the itching and swelling go away?

October 26, 2008 at 12:38 pm
(57) thickee says:

I have had my tattoo for a year now it was a birthday present and it is on my lower arm taking up all of my lower arm. an I just started experiencing this itching 2 days ago and i was like what in the world? I am glad that I am not the only one going though this and i wish it would stop at first i got bite my a abug or somethiing but then it started to wilt. I hope i am not messing my tattoo up

November 1, 2008 at 7:44 pm
(58) Lindsay says:

Tattoos can raise when the skin is irritated. Mine raise when I’m getting sick or my allergies are kicking in. This is due to a rise in histamine levels. It is normal. As for itching a brand new tattoo, do not scratch with the nails, it will damage the tattoo and healing, only pat or slap it.

November 2, 2008 at 7:25 am
(59) Jodi says:

I’m having this same problem, I’ve had a tat for 8 yrs now and just a lil over a month ago it started itching really bad and is now all raised up with what feels like a lot of lil bumps all clustered together and is actually a lil painful to the touch…I’ve had a lot of people to tell me that it could be skin cancer, but I’m not so sure, is this something I should see a doctor about??

November 19, 2008 at 6:31 pm
(60) Audrey says:

I have a ton of tattoos most of which have been done by different artists. I have a large tattoo on my lower forearm and I have the same problem with that tattoo — all of my others are fine. I spoke with a tattoo shop owner and he said it is an indication of a poorly done tattoo that maybe went too deep… It leaves the skin (especially in sensitive skin areas) prone to itching and bumps or swelling. He suggested putting Aquaphor on it when you notice the itching and it has helped my problem. I hope this helps…

December 10, 2008 at 5:40 pm
(61) marie says:

I also have had the really itchy bumpy bleeding (from scratching) tatt. My dermatologist reccommended an ointment called Protopic. It helps a little but takes a few weeks to feel better. Do not scratch the tatt as this seems to trigger a more itchy reaction somehow. Hope this helps.

December 30, 2008 at 10:38 pm
(62) Lola says:

Thanks! this is my first tattoo and I was freaking out. I don’t know why it happens but once in a while raised up and itches especially in the color areas.

January 7, 2009 at 7:49 am
(63) jolette says:

Im so glad i decided to do a search on this ,i have a tattoo on my lower back of a large butterfly ,have had it for years and it started to swell and get itchy a few months back ,its mostly only on the red ink thats on it,,i was starting to freak out myself,,i would sure like to know what causes this myself,,mine isnt getting better only worse!

January 8, 2009 at 12:44 pm
(64) Rob says:

All of my tats are itching like crazy & raised, just got 1 done in Dec/08, but even the ones I have had for over 20 years are have the same problem. What is happening? The itching is driving %*(@# banannas!!!

January 9, 2009 at 5:52 pm
(65) SBS says:

HELP! :-) I got my second tat 2 and a half weeks ago and it was healing beautifully until about 3 days ago when I put antibiotic ointment on as I had no lotion on me at the time. My friend covered it with plastic and the next morning I woke up and it was red and inflammed under the plastic. Now it itches like crazy and is peeling so I’ve been putting lotion.

The irritation seems to only be where the ointment was and it does seem to be improving – has anyone ever had this happen? or suggestions?

January 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm
(66) Taylor Caylee Jordyn says:

Ohh my goodness!
I thought i was the only one! haha,
yeah I really dont have an answer or anything here.
I was 13 when I got my tattoo, Im now 14 and every once in a while it gets itchy and sore. Oddly enough its the same spots where i picked the scab. I wonder if this is why it always does this?

January 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm
(67) sarah says:

i have 15 tattoos and this is constantly happening to the same 3. its really annoying. ive noticed if i shower and put cocoa butter lotion on it it makes the swelling and itching go away. if ur not able to shower just use the lotion and the itching should subside but it will still be raised.

January 18, 2009 at 11:41 am
(68) Grrrgeousbbw says:

I’m wondering if anyone has tried cortaid cream for this. It works pretty well with any other kind of itching. I just got my tat two weeks ago (Check out the URL to see it. I’m in love with everything about it. Artist’s name is Eric Cooley. HE ROCKS!), so I’m waiting until it’s good and healed before using anything but Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula, but after that if it continues to swell, I think I may try that. It did display welts in a couple of places already, but we did it all in one sitting with 13 different colors, so some spots got worked more than others. Still totally worth it, and I’d do it again, though.

January 26, 2009 at 12:57 am
(69) josh says:


January 26, 2009 at 9:44 pm
(70) derek says:

i have 6 tattoos and the 1 on my inner arm is the only 1 the swells up

February 13, 2009 at 4:51 pm
(71) Benn says:

I have two sleeves and they do this often. None of my other tattoos do this, only on my arms.

February 20, 2009 at 7:48 pm
(72) myspace.com/yvonnesmiles2 says:

DAYUMMM….I was scared as HELLL>>>> I thought It WAS AIDS on my TATT!…HAHAA…Thank GOD…Yea I got a half sleeve and it DAmn itches and ITS BUGGIN!! Nothing made it better. NOTHING. Then it just stopped….

February 24, 2009 at 12:00 am
(73) Candace says:

I got my fourth tat on my inner wrist 7 weeks ago. It’s ALL purple, red, yellow and hasn’t stopped itching! I’ve tried Aquaphor, Aveeno, and scar gel. It is seriously scarred…very raised. It’s like torture. A guy I know is bringing me some pure shea butter he got in Africa and said it really helped his. I HOPE so…this is driving me insane!

February 27, 2009 at 1:20 pm
(74) Jody says:

I have several tattoo’s and the only one that “swells” is the one on my lower back. The 1st time I noticed it was a day after I had a massage,..now I notice it every now and then ..plus it never itches….just swells abit.

February 28, 2009 at 12:52 pm
(75) Luke says:

This really is interesting. I have both of my tattoos itching since a couple of days. I thought it might have been the chlor in my pool. In 7 years I never had this on my tattoos. So I hope it will disappear soon. Glad to hear this happens to other people too ;-)

March 1, 2009 at 11:13 pm
(76) smith says:

maybe this will help.i found this….

How to Minimize Scarring on a Tattoo
by eHow Fashion, Style & Personal Care Editor
Sometimes when you get a tattoo, scarring happens. It can be caused by anything from improper aftercare to sensitive skin. Aloe, however, can minimize the look of a scare from a tattoo. Using aloe directly from a plant gives you the best results.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
1Step OneIdentify the scar. Scarring under a tattoo can be tricky to spot sometimes because ink can distort the look of your skin. But, if your skin is raised up, and it’s past the normal healing time, you probably have a scar.
2Step TwoBuy an aloe plant. Most gardening stores or nurseries carry the plant. They can also be found at discount stores with gardening departments. You shouldn’t need a huge plant to minimize your scar, but be sure the one you choose has several thick, healthy leaves. You will have to alternate between several leaves because the aloe plant will need time to heal itself between tears.
3Step ThreeTear off a small piece of the plant and squeeze the aloe directly on your tattoo. Rub the aloe into the scar and allow it to dry completely. Repeat the process several times a day until your tattoo is flatter and less scarred.
4Step FourBe patient. Healing takes several weeks. But, if after enough time your scar isn’t reduced to a acceptable level, consider visiting a doctor to talk about laser resurfacing options.
Tips & Warnings
Don’t forget the plant! Make sure the plant gets plenty of water and is kept in a spot with a lot of light. During the summer months, the plant may be moved outdoors.
Member Comments

Find this article at: http://www.ehow.com/how_2093868_minimize-scarring-tattoo.html

March 1, 2009 at 11:14 pm
(77) Heather Smith says:

How to Minimize Scarring on a Tattoo
by eHow Fashion, Style & Personal Care Editor
Sometimes when you get a tattoo, scarring happens. It can be caused by anything from improper aftercare to sensitive skin. Aloe, however, can minimize the look of a scare from a tattoo. Using aloe directly from a plant gives you the best results.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
1Step OneIdentify the scar. Scarring under a tattoo can be tricky to spot sometimes because ink can distort the look of your skin. But, if your skin is raised up, and it’s past the normal healing time, you probably have a scar.
2Step TwoBuy an aloe plant. Most gardening stores or nurseries carry the plant. They can also be found at discount stores with gardening departments. You shouldn’t need a huge plant to minimize your scar, but be sure the one you choose has several thick, healthy leaves. You will have to alternate between several leaves because the aloe plant will need time to heal itself between tears.
3Step ThreeTear off a small piece of the plant and squeeze the aloe directly on your tattoo. Rub the aloe into the scar and allow it to dry completely. Repeat the process several times a day until your tattoo is flatter and less scarred.
4Step FourBe patient. Healing takes several weeks. But, if after enough time your scar isn’t reduced to a acceptable level, consider visiting a doctor to talk about laser resurfacing options.
Tips & Warnings
Don’t forget the plant! Make sure the plant gets plenty of water and is kept in a spot with a lot of light. During the summer months, the plant may be moved outdoors.
Member Comments

Find this article at: http://www.ehow.com/how_2093868_minimize-scarring-tattoo.html

March 13, 2009 at 9:22 pm
(78) Greg says:

I was also getting worried. It would start and stop intermittently. I find for me it’s not only on my tattoo with red but my outlines. Also on my other tattoo which uses blue ink, i can feel the skin under the blue raised.

March 23, 2009 at 5:36 pm
(79) Barbara says:

I am so happy that other people have this going on! I was freaking out~!

March 31, 2009 at 4:03 am
(80) Jen says:

I have five tattoos, and only two of them get raised and itchy. One, a medium sized tat with black and a little purple, I have had for 4 years now, and since it healed has been doing it- BOY IS IT ITCHY! I haven’t paid much attention to when or where it is, though. My newest on my wrist is itchy, too, but only raised in some spots. I asked my tat artist, and he said it’s usually a reaction to the metals in the pigments.

Strange, though, because the tats on my upper back, hip and belly don’t get raised. Weird.

April 1, 2009 at 11:22 pm
(81) Jamie says:

when i was 18 i got a tattoo on my right lower back that included red ink. around the age of 20 after having my first child i noticed a lump under my arm near my right breast. when they went in and removed this lump they thought was the size of a pea it was actually the size of a golf ball. after biopsy they found red pigment ink had oxidized in my system from this tattoo and lodged itself in my lymph node causing it to grow in size. since then i have a full back piece and quarter sleeves with no issue and i have overly sensitive skin. they raise from time to time;mostly when im stressed or the weather changes…. never really thought it was a big deal!

April 7, 2009 at 4:41 pm
(82) Ryan says:

AAAAA i dont know why but my tat itches like CRAZY!!! its bugging me its been a little over a year i see alot of people have it but i mean dang it its bugging me!!! like a crazy lil fly

April 28, 2009 at 10:38 pm
(83) steve says:

hiyas all..

i’ve had a tat of an eagle with a ship’s anchor in it’s beak for almost ten years.. a year ago i noticed the red ink was puffy and raised.. come to find out i had an allergic reaction to the red ink.. it happens for different reasons.. usually the weather or a change in the body’s chemistry.. so i had the red ink removed and it took a year to heal up. so now for the last 4 week’s i have had new ink put in but i am wondering, because the skin level where the red ink was removed is actually lower than the rest of the tat, will it eventually grow to it’s normal level?

April 29, 2009 at 10:17 am
(84) Becca says:

Hi guys, I had this once but i used Bepanthen nappy cream and I never got it again. I think it must be a similar type of irritation to that of a baby’s nappy rash.

April 30, 2009 at 1:29 am
(85) TRAINREK says:

I have a lion tatt it never swells but the black tribal design behind it does,this is because were there is alot of coloring in or dark lines you get more scar tissue and like any scar it will bother you from time to time its realy nothing to worrie about..

May 1, 2009 at 4:09 am
(86) Jennifer says:

I have 3 tattoos. One on each ankle/heel and one on my shoulder blade. The one on my shoulder blade is about 6X10 or so. I have had it since 1996. Was done very deep, is thick black outline and some coloring in that is turquiose.
Started last winter to itch, the lines raised so much you could see it through some of my shirts. It actually casts a shodow on itself. It itches awful, and at times when the swelling is at it’s worst, it feels like a terrible sunburn, and cannot stand to have it touched AT ALL. The skin all around the tat turns bright red and looks awful. Only the black ink raises. Sometimes lasts for several weeks, sometimes only a week or so. Sometimes it is raised, and doesn’t itch and sometimes it does. When it itches, it is almost unbearable.

I’ve had this since 1996 and had NO problems, and no problems with the other 2, which were done close to the same time. Went to the dermatologist and he had to do some research, had never seen it before. Said it was an allergic reaction to the ink (metal based) and likely caused by chemical changes in my body. (Well that sux, change BACK !)

Also, one of the nurses here said she had a patient once who right after an MRI, her tattoo looked just like this, she had a large tattoo on her stomach. So some ink’s do react to MRI.

Anyway- glad to hear I am not alone. The doc took pics of it so he could talk to his students about it at the university. Yea! :-(

May 13, 2009 at 2:21 am
(87) Myrn says:

Wow)) thanks for posting your qs!
reading all the comments made me feel at peace since it’s true when I stress or get angry my tattoo raises ,,, thanks!!

May 18, 2009 at 1:23 am
(88) Jessica says:

I got 2 tatoos. one on my right wrist that itches like mad. It is black and gray, shaded word. The other tat I got was a re-do to clean up the tat I already had, and that one doesn’t itch at all, black and green – crazy. How can it be an allergic reaction to the ink if only one tatty bothers me?

May 18, 2009 at 3:36 am
(89) Stuart James says:

My tats raise periodically( 1/2 sleeves). Not the whole tattoo raises just pieces. The raised parts are like lashes on tat, jelly fish lashes.
But on my other tat wich is only 3 out lines no fill in color, the lines all raise.
Can’t pin point why,, could be an alergy of some sort.

May 19, 2009 at 3:13 pm
(90) dani says:

Yet another person who is so glad to hear this is normal. I mean if it happens to all of you it’s normal enough. It does seem to be heat or stress. I could probably put paint on it and make a stamp that looks just like my tat! It swells up raised perfect little flowers! My ink happens to be black – i wonder what the cause is?!

May 27, 2009 at 12:12 pm
(91) Janell says:

wow, glad to know Im not the only one with this problem. I had asked a doctor and she was clueless as to what I was talking about.
I have a full length red and purple tattooed corset piece on my left arm and sometimes my skin raises up in line marked welts that feel like a bee sting. My arm has had previous injuries to it, a pretty bad burn and some cuts which were years healed before I got the ink. I think the red ink has an effect on me big time, because all of the other colors I have don’t throw temper tantrums like my red ink…

June 2, 2009 at 1:21 am
(92) Rebecca says:

I have a tattoo on my right shoulder FREE at that so , in some way I think I got what I deserved. But, the night I got it god it hurt so bad and I was bleeding like a stuff pig, this guy was so heavy handed it was crazy but, I have seen some comments saying I probaly have permenat scaring that really sucks!

June 3, 2009 at 11:33 pm
(93) Shontel says:

Oh my God, I have three tatoos and the one on my left forearm is the only one that itches terribly and gets bumps only on half of the tattoo. Its enough to drive me crazy. Though its a relief to know that I am not the only one this happens to, I would really like to know how the hell to stop this and WHY it happens to begin with. Like I said, the tat is like over 1 year old and it just recently started doing this

June 9, 2009 at 2:18 am
(94) Tari says:

I was just looking up something on tattoo designs and saw this. I get the raised and itchy tattoo thing so I just read all your comments. Now 1/2 my tattoo on my arm just started swelling and itching. Its not hot in here, I’m not freaked out. What the hell? And its weird how people have had their tattoos for 10 yrs and all of a sudden it starts happening. I think some professional should look into this! Don’t you guys?!?

June 9, 2009 at 2:20 am
(95) Tari says:

Do you think vegan ink would prevent this? There is vegan tattoo ink out there.

June 11, 2009 at 9:06 pm
(96) Jen says:

Yeah, Why doesn’t a tattoo artist post on here about this…some one has to know why this happens. I am willing to bet it is sun exposure, stress or moist weather. That’s what seems to do it to me!

June 27, 2009 at 1:08 am
(97) paul says:

Only my blue ink raise and itches????

July 3, 2009 at 11:54 pm
(98) dee says:

I’ve had my tatoo for about 2 1/2 months. It is a very small tatoo of a ladybug where my wrist and thumb joint meet. When I was being tatooed if felt like he was really digging extra hard into my skin. It healed, but you can’t really tell what it is. It looks wrinkly and the red parts are little raised bumps. It itches a lot. I just started using hydrocortisone cream, it helps a little with the iching, but its always raised. What happened? I have another tatoo with red ink on my shoulder and I’ve never had any problems from it. Was it the artist? Did he dig too deep? I think I’ll see a dermatologist and maybe a layer, depending on what the Dr. says. Thank goodness its small.

July 6, 2009 at 8:21 pm
(99) carrie says:

I have 15 tattoos the one on my right foot itches like crazy, some times it itches so much that I leave scratches on it and other times the itch goes away. I noticed that when im going thru stress or body changes it gets really itchy and then it goes away. So its common

July 17, 2009 at 8:59 pm
(100) V says:

-LOL!!!!!I have a couple of tattoos—one on my upper arm has been raising (swelling)-the whole tattoo–it gets worse when I drink Merlot-hehehe!I believe it is because it is very deep—the ink is black and I have had this since I got it about 16years ago—glad to finally solve this mystery—I am in very good health, so I am not worried about anything-just a reaction from scar tissue;)…

July 21, 2009 at 1:43 pm
(101) Christy says:

Got my tat 2 years ago and only the black outline does this, today it is swelled and itches some ,I took a Zyrtec I have allergies anyway …And it’s raining outside…so some said moist and or dry air..and now I am thinking more into this.I have many other tats for years also ..this 2 year old one swells more than the others, But I have one like 12 years old and it swells at least once a year..weird, but I don’t think it’s uncommon.

August 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm
(102) John says:

Every year at the end of summer, the Dragon Tattoo on my Left Arm raises and itches (worse than when I got the tattoo) but only where the tattoo is. I have had this tattoo since 2000 (9+ years) and it just started doing this to me about 4 years ago. I have had Doctors and Dermatologists look at it and they have all tried many things only to come up with “Allergies”.

All 8 of my other tattoos (R Arm, Stomach, Chest, Back, R Calf, Forearms, etc) are unaffected.

August 19, 2009 at 3:53 am
(103) Darren says:

As far as the tattoo rising, its possible that you could be alergic to a certain color of ink as I was.I have a USMC tattoo that had a good bit of red that “rose” up .I went back to the artist that done the work and he said that I was allergic to the red ink and that it would eventually go away and it did once the red faded out .Hope that might have answered some of your questions

August 25, 2009 at 8:20 am
(104) PaigeShinn says:

I recently started on my full sleeve and have sat for two sessions so far. The first session, I got most of the outline done on my forearm. For the second session, the artist finished the outline on forearm as well as outlined my full inner arm. I completed the second session a little over a month ago and it seemed as if everything had healed up nice until a few days ago when only the outline done in the second session started to swell around the outline and itch like mad. Both outlines were done within a a month and a half of each other so it doesn’t make sense to me that, only the second half would have a reaction???????????? If my body chemistry has changed or if if some other factor, such as heat (sun), were the culprit, then why would it only affect part of my arm?

August 25, 2009 at 9:20 pm
(105) kimberly says:

Mine started on my arm and only in the light colored parts of the tatoo bumps that started as little bite looking spots ,then grew to the size of a pea and solid, then spread to the rest of my peice, and to my other tatoos. This is day 4 and its spred mildly to close areas around my tatoos. I have been extreamly stressed and a little cold so this could b the cause. This is the first time this has ever happend to me and I have had tatoo for 8 yrs, but the last two were only 2 wks apart and one month ago….Sooo glad im not alone ….ugggg needs to go away

September 3, 2009 at 2:42 pm
(106) crazykaykay says:

I have had this one Tat for about 3 years and all of a sudden this summer the RED part {its mostly RED} will raise, itch and bumpy. It is making me crazy. It only does it on the red, and its the only Tat I have that has red in it. Its on my calf so maybe its from the sun {wearing shorts} Its just so weird. I wish I could find something to put on it to make the itch stop. It doesn’t look weird I am the only one that knows its like this.

September 7, 2009 at 9:40 am
(107) Sean says:

I have two full sleeves and have had tattoos for over 10 years. Mine raise and get itchy maybe every other 2 days for like an hour or so. Honestly what do we expect we let somebody dig at or skin with a couple needles and pack the wound with color. Seems like it would be not normal for the skin to just blow it off as nothing and never have any reaction.

September 8, 2009 at 6:17 pm
(108) Jaed says:

Ya i have the same problem with one on my inner calf that I did myself and on another that i touched up and only the spots i touched up and the one tat that i did raise up n itch every now and then. i just ice it. This also happenned to one of my friends tats that i did not do. They do it when its hot out too. My theory is that the ink had mercury in it. Its only certain ink that did it to me. It was “vivid” ink.

September 8, 2009 at 7:03 pm
(109) cheryl says:

i just got a new tattoo on my ankle its in black and its a name so no colour and ive had it coming up 3 months and it itches all the time no matter how much i itch it dont stop i have one on my lower back tht i got 5 years ago n thts fine plz if somone knows wots up plz let me know as it not gd itching all the time thanks cheryl

September 11, 2009 at 12:39 am
(110) Lena Afxendiou says:

My first tattoo is 5 months old now and it seems every time i exfoliate it gets super itchy… i dont understand.

September 11, 2009 at 9:02 pm
(111) Ask says:

Written by a dermatologist, scroll some way down:


September 23, 2009 at 6:30 pm
(112) heather says:

i have had my tattoo around my ankle for 10 years now. its roses and vines around the ankle, the roses are a purple color and are swollen and itch like crazy!i think its is raised because its scar tissue but i dont know why it itches. ten years and it still itches and looks like crap!!

September 25, 2009 at 11:46 pm
(113) danielle says:

i have a star tattoo on my forearm at my tattoos is 4 months old and it itches and it gets bumps..its been like this for a week

October 28, 2009 at 5:53 pm
(114) Debra says:

I have over 20 tattoos and never had a problem out of mine except one little burgandy star on my wrist which is part of another tat. It swells up and itches and stays that way for a couple weeks. My artist who has over 100 tats says that his do that from time to time too and thats its from changes in the body,

October 29, 2009 at 10:03 pm
(115) Brittney 138 says:

I just got a half sleeve about a month ago. Its only the black ink that swells and its basically the weather change from hot-cold.when your skin swells it stretches. That stretching causes an itch. This has happend to many other of my tattoos before. Mostly my lower back, wrists and arms. Hips, and upper back never had this problem. Its more where you have more meat vs skin to muscle contact. If it doesn’t go away in a week, start thinking as if its a rash and treat it or see if you have an allergy to something. If it was the ink, your body would have reacted before it even healed.hope this helps.

November 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm
(116) Melinda says:

I’ve had mine for about 5 years and just recently started experiencing the same things as everyone else. It itches really bad and is raised. This one is on my left arm and in all black ink. I have several others that do not do this. Who knows???

December 9, 2009 at 9:32 am
(117) RyDeOrDiEbYtCh says:

I have 2 rather large back pieces an a tattoo on my neck an the one on the top of my back has alot of color and detail an it itches an swells real bad compared to the other 2 that r black and grey… I wonder if its jus the different pigments in the colors that cause our bodies 2 react in that way… Very irritating but WILL NOT cause me 2 stop decorating my body…

December 11, 2009 at 7:56 am
(118) Dee says:

Finally an answer. Mine is lower back and five years old. It is itchy, raised and sore to touch but I can live with it know I know it’s not serious. I will let my doctor know, she had no idea what caused it but wasn’t worried. She picked up on a life threatening problem and I wouldn’t be here if not for her, so I always trust her.

December 13, 2009 at 3:12 am
(119) Marc says:

Ha I started to freak outt ! I got a scripture on my upper stomachs and the left half itches constantly and is raised. I got it about 4 months agao in septemeber an it is Now December. Will it do this everytime the seasons change ?

December 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm
(120) cry says:

I have 6 very larg tattoos all done by the same person my husband. He uses has used the same brand on all of the and only one puffs and itches. The rest never do and most use the same colors. He has also said ir has to do with the pigments. But I have noticed that it happens when I am hot or the skin is hot like after I take a shower or if I sweat.

December 18, 2009 at 12:27 pm
(121) Mando says:

What I’ve been told the reason the tattoo actually raises is that the tattoo artists press harder while tattooing then they should actually be pressing. This & alergic reaction to ink.

December 28, 2009 at 3:53 pm
(122) SJ says:

can u say relief…I have 2 tats…the first I’ve had for 13 yrs… I have no problems with it at all… it’s all in black…recently, some time this year my 2nd tat that I’ve had for 3 years began itching in spots..not badly but enough to catch my attention…it seems that the spots that itch are the parts of the tat that’s red…which is minimal…the tat is primarily black..so i was getting a little concerned because I couldn’t see any bumps..(well it’s on my lower back)… interesting about the weather change…as our weather just changed..

December 29, 2009 at 2:36 am
(123) Jodi says:

My tatt has a honeysuckle vine which has small purple berry-like things on it. Recently only the “berries” have become swollen/raised, but not very itchy. It is warm to touch. Summer has just kicked in here, and although I don’t expose the piece, I am generally hotter and sweat more. Hoping there is nothing more to it. Keeping it moisturized with a fragrance free lotion, so I will wait to see how long it hangs around for.

January 7, 2010 at 4:30 am
(124) Kandii says:

i got a new black and purple star tat on my wrist bout 6 weeks ago it started bumpin up and itchin like 2 weeks ago and i scratch it in my sleep and it bleeds i wanna kno how to stop it.

January 15, 2010 at 5:46 am
(125) jessica says:

my tattoo rises against the skin after getting itchy and my scratching… werd part is, it only rises on the orange, so i kinda just figured im allergic to it, if you want the swelling to go down and the itching to stop i have learned lotion helps ALOT i just put a bit on and its perfect

January 16, 2010 at 1:35 pm
(126) Arvin says:

My tattoo does the same thing but only when the weather changes. Mostly when it is getting ready to rain. But hey I am glad to know it happens to other people to.

January 24, 2010 at 11:55 pm
(127) jessy says:

rubbing alcohol seems to alleviate the itching sensation on my tattoo. good luck!

February 2, 2010 at 10:49 pm
(128) Alise says:

Wow, I thought it was just me too! lol! The three year old tat on my arm raised the other day, only half of it. This was the first time I ever noticed. Im not sure what caused it that day but I was so obsessed with it. I kept looking at it in the mirror and touching it. I was thinknig ” what the hell is happening?” When I woke up the next day it was gone. So I now that I am not the only one, I won’t get so stressed about it! Thanks all

February 9, 2010 at 11:39 pm
(129) Kayla says:

I am also glad to hear that I am not the only one. My situation is identical to Kris’ i have a tattoo on my ankle that has been swollen and itchy but only in one place, and a tattoo on my wrist that is just fine. I plan on getting more but was nervous it was an infection or my skin rejecting the ink.

February 11, 2010 at 5:29 pm
(130) Sabrina says:

Mine I have had for over a year n it just hapenned to b itchy with bumps n I did freak out…. it has to do with weather n if u didnt let it heal correctly.

February 14, 2010 at 9:30 pm
(131) Stephanie says:

I have a star on the top of my wrist & everytime is gets cold outside it itches & swells bad. I usually put A&D ointment on it & go on. It helps but it still bothers me sometimes.

February 18, 2010 at 10:51 am
(132) Erik says:

i have a tattoo on my right shoulder blade…and lastnight it raised up to an extent to where my girlfriend thought we should go to the Hospital and get it checked out. I googled this topic and seen the posting, and im relieved to know that it happens to other people; not just myself.

It only raises up where the ink is.

February 19, 2010 at 1:12 am
(133) Cheryl says:

Yes .. This happens to me when the weather is cold! Gets itchy then welts where the ink is.. It’s frustrating! Cause I have it all up the side of me.

March 7, 2010 at 3:52 pm
(134) baby says:

My tat has been doing the same thing started bout 8 months ago.Seems to be the red and purple ink been putting pure TEA TREE OIL on it.The only thing i dont like is that the raised places will probably never go away.

March 12, 2010 at 3:05 pm
(135) Stephanie C says:

Glad to have found this and know I am not alone. I’ve had my tattoo for just over 8 months, although it was filled in 6 months ago. My tattoo is completely healed and never noticed any problems, until about two months ago. My tattoo will raise for no apparent reason (definitely unrelated to the weather or ink) and then go down again. It’s not in a pattern related to the tattoo and its not on red only, or purple only, or blue only.. it’ll be a straight line down my arm or a tiny circular area. After a few hours or days it completely goes away and I can’t feel it again. It also doesn’t itch like other people on here say theirs does.
I hope it’s not permanent scarring.. it seems like my skin might just be sensitive.. but I urge you guys to ask your tatt artist or doctor.. lots of people can spout out remedies that won’t work or make it worse. Always good to get a pro’s opinion.

March 19, 2010 at 8:05 am
(136) Nick says:

Iv just had my second tat done on my left chest plate of a union jack my first tat with is just black and shade never had any problems with my the union jack had done for about a mounth now and its just seems to be the white thats the problem ichs like mad and then after scraching goes all raised but only the white in the tatto its not nice and hope eases a littile in time as its constanly iching at the moment !!

March 31, 2010 at 4:08 am
(137) sarah says:

wow so this isnt a rare thing i guess!! i have 111 tattoos. and only 2 of them raise. im pretty sure it has to do with the quality of the ink. one of mine that raises is on my neck and i had it done 10 years ago when i didnt care where i went. the other one that raises i got in thailand, and they dont have the same standards as other places. all my other tattoos are from the same place in calgary alberta and i havent had issues with any of them. i have also read that cold or heat can make them raise. as well as there is nickel in some of the inks. and alot of people (including myself) are allergic to nickel.

April 9, 2010 at 4:28 pm
(138) Ro says:

I have a big tatoo on my arm, it was a cover up, got it about a year ago. I dont know why but every now and then it gets sore like it was still just a month old. My 11 yr old genius son suggests that maybe the ink is deeper than just my skin , could that be possible? what do you think ?

April 14, 2010 at 3:19 pm
(139) hollie says:

I have recently had a large cover up done on my lower back, covers from the very bottom of my back to half way up my back. The red ink recently has been very bumpy and swollen on the red dragons claw. This is the only part that raises up, despite having red ink elsewhere on the tattoo. My tattooist thinks its just scar tissue from where the previous original tattooist worked too deep, and now we have gone over the top again. Then things may irritate this such a hot showers and scratching.

April 14, 2010 at 3:23 pm
(140) Tat-Kat says:

Hello all you totally normal people! YOU ARE NOT ALONE in this problem. I am a medical professional, and have about 1/3 my total body covered in tattoos. From time to time, just like a hundred other stories on here, my tats swell up in the pattern of the tattoo, as if newly inked. This usually only happens to the black outlines and full black tats that I have. It also only happens from time to time. When it first started happening (about two years after my first tattoo) I panic and the medical professional in my thought surely this was an allergic reaction. Nope! It’s completely normal. As you can tell from the many, many posts on here you are not alone. Usually a whole tattoo will not swell, usually it is just a segment of that particular tattoo. It is……drum roll please……..A stress reaction. What does that mean? It means that your body, and or mind is under stress. Emotional stress can cause it but so can body stressors, such as weather change, dehydration (is a biggy!) over stimulation, getting sick (cold or flu) etc. Some people have a mild itch or burning sensation, while others simply get the raised appearence, either way unless it is associated with a spreading rash, difficulty breathing, or other signs of a serious allergic reaction, it is comepletly normal, safe and easily treated if it bothers you. Many good ideas like rising it under cold water etc are great. You can even apply a thin coat of anti-itch cream if it really bothers you, but really time and fluids are the best. It was posted on here that someone had been told it is a underlying nerve damage issue done while breaking the skin during that tattoo process….False. I could explain this medically, but the long and the short of it is this: Tattooing if done with any kind of a proessional does not cause nerve damage, they do not come any where near the major nerves that run through the body.

I have also noticed that the tattoos that swell on me personally are not only all the black ones, but are actually all from the same artist. This simply means that I am more sensative to this particular ink and when I do have a stress reaction they will be the ones to swell.

Bottom line, get it check out by a doctor if you think you are having a serious reaction. Once you have established that no serious allergic reaction is in play, go down to your friendly local tattoo shop and talk with the owner. They will regale you with years of similar stories and many ways to sooth the savage beast.

Good health and happy tattooing!

April 18, 2010 at 7:39 am
(141) Starry says:

Great response Tat-Kat, thanks!
Strangely, there are so many people here talking about the same problem, but when searching the net this was the only page I found on the topic.
Mine seems to raise up and prickle when I drink (alcohol) though sometimes also for no reason (though I will take stress levels into account now).

April 20, 2010 at 10:27 am
(142) Guinealady says:

I have had a tattoo on my right arm for over 10 years and recently it has felt swollen and when I touch it, it feels like a bruise. I wondered if I had banged on something but dont recall ever doing that in the past couple of weeks. So all the itching is normal, but is the bruise-like feeling normal too?

May 5, 2010 at 2:01 pm
(143) VictoriaLinsey says:

Like everyone else has said….wow! I’m glad I’m not the only one having this happen. I have one on the inside if my left ankle that will be two years old this coming august and it’s recently been really bugging me! I’ve thought about all the stresses that could be causing it and I’ve just had 3 deaths in the family this April and the weather is changing like crazy especially in the area I’m in. It’s raining one day sunny the next and then snowing a day or two later. Hopefully the swelling/raising will go away soon cause if not I’m afraid I’ll end up scratching the this right off! Hahahahahah

May 12, 2010 at 6:13 pm
(144) Taylor says:

This has been happening for a couple months on and off and just a week ago most recently. Any suggestions on what kind of lotion soothes this? I tried Aveeno and it helps the itching for about a minute but I’m going nuts over here, I want to rip my skin off!

May 13, 2010 at 1:15 am
(145) RadishPixie says:

I have the same issue with just one of my tattoos, and only certain parts of it. I personally feel that it happens when I’m dehydrated. If I drink a huge glass of water it seems
to go away. Anyone else find this to be true?

May 16, 2010 at 2:02 am
(146) brightmidnight says:

The tat I got about 10 years ago on my upper arm will raise up like puffy paint at random times and not all of it, though it was all done at the same time. Artist said he did it with an outline needle to get a darker result. Maybe it scarred a bit too deep. The outline on one of my others does too, but not the shading, just the outline. Seems pretty common from all the message boards.

May 17, 2010 at 11:26 pm
(147) Nicky mane la flare says:

I got a tattoo on my penis and it started itching really bad and when I itch it my penis would raise I was so confused so I went to the hospital and found out I have herpagonasiffilaids! Best tattoo i ever got thinking of getting one in my butt hole

May 25, 2010 at 11:18 am
(148) Kel says:

I have a small tat on my ankel. I got it about a year ago. A month after I got it it started itching uncontrolably. I had to apply benadryl gel to it two or three times a day. It dried it out soo bad. It raises up and itches, then the swelling will go down, but it will still itch. It hurts, but the itch is much greater than the pain. I recently bought some Mederma for scar management. It helps but nothing takes the itching away, or stops the swelling. The tat looks bad from all the scratching.. I can’t help it though.. isn’t there any relief??

May 25, 2010 at 2:43 pm
(149) Nathaly says:

Wow , i thought i was going crazy 1st , but then i thought it was a reaction to birth control method so i had it removed , i have a very large tatt on my arm and the itching is incredible , and it looks swollen sometimes 2 . This is my 7th tatt , i think is an allergic reaction to the ink or stress , i want to know if this will always happend or it will go away eventually :(

May 26, 2010 at 11:24 pm
(150) Erika says:

It’s so funny that we all freak out about this. That’s what we get for messing up our skin, lol. Im glad this is normal. Im not glad it happen’s to other ppl cuz it really sucks cuz it’s really itchy. I was going to the ta2 place to shoke the person who did it, lol. For real for a sec i was scared cuz i was like “what if that means that i have like aids or somesing” but hope in God that its not that. I think we should all go to a Dr. to check its normal that this happenes.

May 28, 2010 at 4:08 am
(151) fishesdelicious says:

I have 2 fish on my chest and the lower fishes scales will puff up i think its cause of my shoulder posture pushes the ink together or just gets irritated when i sleep. kinda cool tho the scales are my scales now i can feel them lol.

June 3, 2010 at 12:40 am
(152) lynzi says:

I half a rather large tattoo on my left leg and for the past month or more it has become raised and itchy. it’s like little bumps that just came out of nowhere and are itchy all the time. its only within the outline of my tattoo though. I’ve had this tattoo for about 3 years now and its never done this. And to be quite honest I’m freaking out a little bit. Can anyone help??!!

June 3, 2010 at 3:11 pm
(153) hdrider1975 says:

I have found that the tattoo on my wrist gets itchy and raised if I’m working in the garden. This is quite similar to the normal reaction I get to some plants. However, I think the area that has the tat is more sensative and gets itchy and raised quicker.

It could be caused by an allergy to an outside source.

June 11, 2010 at 10:27 am
(154) Shellyt says:

I believe it’s an allergic reaction brought on by stress, foods, dry skin etc… Mine do this on my upper leg & both wrists. It’s random. Hot & cold days. Day/night… etc. I think mine is mostly due to dry skin. I lotion them up and they calm right down. Hope this helps you all out. Good luck and I’m so glad it isn’t just me this happens to! =)

June 14, 2010 at 7:33 pm
(155) PerfectlyFlawed says:

I was just telling my mom about this! I’m so glad to hear that I’m not the only one this happens to. I even asked my BF’s son, who’s a tattoo artist btw’ and HE didn’t even know why!! LOL.. I did try and keep track when it DID happen, ’cause I thought it had something to do with stress. But today it happened and it was right after I came back into the office from getting the mail outside and it’s HOT as hell out there. So I’m still kinda stumped, but this actually helped a lot and I feel better about what’s going on with my tats. Thanks ALL!! =)

June 18, 2010 at 11:16 am
(156) Mandy says:

I have had a tattoo for almost a year the RED ink started swelling and will not go down now the one on my leg I have had for eight years the RED is swelling and itching does anyone know what would cause this?

July 14, 2010 at 11:50 pm
(157) Nervous Tattoo mom says:

My new tattoo (2 months old) is on my back, more on my shoulder blade. Out of no where 2 days ago it felt a little stingy so I felt it and felt clusters of bumps! I panicked and from what I can see it’s only the names (4 of my kids) and part of the lady bug out lining. I have lots of black on here too. One kids hand print, and a footprint from three others and they are not like this? It feels like braille? I have a dermatologist appoint with Mayo Clinic in 5 days to see what they say. I will update as this has had me nervous for a few days now. I want to add to this tattoo but now I am nervous too. I really find it hard that sooo many people have tat issues and no one has a definitive answer. My tattoo guy didn’t know either and he’s been doing it 20 yrs. Hopefully I found out why this happens and it goes away soon. This is my 9th tattoo and none of others that have black and are over 10 yrs old have ever done this? Mine also does not itch to bad, it stings more and is annoying.

July 17, 2010 at 10:24 am
(158) melissa says:

i have a tattoo of double hearts witha butterfly with my familys initials on it and ive had it for almost 3 years now but when its hot out or i expose it to sun it gets swollen around the outlining of the initials and the tattoo itself. teh color doesnt raise. mine has been hurting for about 3 days now and it feels like its bruised. wish there was a way to relieve this!

July 19, 2010 at 10:54 am
(159) glenn leahey says:

My tatt’s are all raised up itching and burning right now. They have been like this for four days so far. I have about fifty tatts between my two arms. Occasionally one or two may raise or itch but not all of them and they have never burned before. I have been very stressed lately and this is making it so worse. How can I make it stop.

July 20, 2010 at 1:54 am
(160) nervous tattoo mom says:

Ok, I went to Mayo clinic’s dermatology today. I am fortunate to live so close. They really could not give me a specific reason as to why my words were raised, bumy, itchy & stingy. They told me it could vary on each person but they have seen it before. She believes it’s just the body’s reaction to something foreign. She gave me this cream to try and said use it for 3 weeks and it it was not gone by then they wanted to do a small biopsy to see what’s causing it to react. Mine has been like this for a week now. They checked all my other tattoo’s and confirmed it’s not an ink allergy. The cream I have is Clobetasol Propionate ointment usp, 0.05% I used it one time tonight. It says to use twice a day. I already notice an improvement!!! I am excited as this had me a bit edgy, and I personally didn’t want to do the biopsy. I really recommend seeing a dermatologist with this prescription name and asking to try it. I will post back in a few days to let you know how my tattoo progress’s. I was upset that this happened because I wanted to add to it. I am really confident it will go away. She also said do not itch it. I know, easier said then done.

July 21, 2010 at 1:27 am
(161) nervous tattoo mom says:

I am happy to say less then 48 hours after using that Rx cream my tattoo drama is GONE!!! I couldn’t recommend this for you all to try enough! Good Luck all.

July 27, 2010 at 1:23 pm
(162) HappiKitty says:

I’ve got a similar story to most that have posted here & started looking around just to see what was up.

I have 8 tattoos, mostly just black ink (though was allergic to some white used on a bunch of sweet peas I have on my leg that only gave me trouble whilst healing and now is fine) and only 4 of them ever raise and itch. I do wonder if it’s the ink as I have a severe allergy to base metals even though the affected tattoos don’t always bother me. Mine always just raise on the outline or in the case of one of my solid black celtic ones, the entire thing does. Black shading doesn’t seem to be a problem… I also have one where it’s primarily the artists fault. He did a crappy job and went way too deep on the skin so the whole thing is more raised than my others all the time.

The main reason I’m posting this is that whenever they raise and itch I just pop a one a day antihistamine like Claritin or Zyrtek and it stops bothering me within 20 minutes. I’d never get rid of my ink and this does the trick without an expensive trip to the dermatologist. It also works for super itchy mosquito bites and the like. Hope it helps some of you out there…

July 27, 2010 at 6:26 pm
(163) Nervous tattoo mom says:

Is the raised part just raised yet smooth or is it bumpy? I do feel like there is more then one reason to why this happens. I did try Zyrtec, it didn’t work. But my raised outlines were stingy and bumpy like braille.

August 6, 2010 at 3:40 am
(164) J O E Y says:

“ATTENTION”. Ok everyone, my name is joey and I’m a tattoo artist and quite the fan of gettin work done on myself, I always experinced lines on random tats welting up n gettin ichy and it seem the more I scratched it more they puffed up… it never really bugged me but I did get curious why it was happening, it wouldn’t be whole tattoos all the time jus bits n pieces of outline n such? I’m pretty much covered in ink from full sleaves to coller bone, back, chest, belly, hips, legs, front sholders, EVEN A LITTLE INK ON MY FACE :) But it seems the most spot that welt up is my sholders, elbos, & legs but happens everywhere once in a while…. as long as u aren’t scratchin it constantly is shouldn’t last more than a day or 2 if not 4 just a hour or so… “THE EXPLANATION”. WELTING AND ITCHIN MOSTLY OCCUR ON RED INK AND THE OUTLINES OF BLACK INK. “THIS IS ABSOLUTLY NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT”. ITS A SIMPLE REACTION OF THE BODYS MOISTURE ENTERING AND EXITING THE THE SKIN MOSTLY during WEATHER CHANGES. THE PORES ARENT NESSESARLY CLOGGED BUT THEY ARE SOME WHAT FILLED AND SEALED BY INK THAT’S HELD IN BY UNDER SURFACED SCAR TISSUE. “This is normal and how ink stays in the skin with tat2s”. So no need to stress or worry and if any tat2 related questions feel free 2 contact me at mrstadie@yahoo.com

August 8, 2010 at 10:52 am
(165) val says:

mine itches and raises after an hour cardio

August 11, 2010 at 8:18 am
(166) Max says:

I red the comment(nervous mom) about the use of Clobetasol Propionate ointment. This is a corticosteroid medicine. Does any body else have experience with this family of medicines for their tattoos? Does it actually restores and heals from the bad reaction(s) or just calms them while using it? What’s the final result AFTER the treatment? Mom, if you are reading this. Thanx

August 16, 2010 at 10:15 pm
(167) Shelby says:

I have one on my ankle also and it does it also i was looking for an answer to why this might do somthing like it and wasn’t sure i have 3 and only one does it i think it is when i get bit by a bug or misquo so be sure it does idk why it does it just does. it itches and it kinda odd i use my tattoo goo on them all the time and it seems to help some with the swelling

August 17, 2010 at 11:38 pm
(168) Jermaine says:

I have 3 tattoos, one on each arm and in the center of my chest. The writing on my right arm and cross on my chest never welt, raise or itch, but the tiger stripes down my left arm in certain spots have raised lines and itch horribly at random times, usually when Im just sitting in the house with a sleeveless shirt on or no shirt at all. I havn’t pin pointed it to stress, weather change or any specific condition, it just happens randomly about 1 time per week for an hour or so then it goes away. Its Weird. I read ***JOEY*** comment and it makes since, Thanks for the info.

August 22, 2010 at 5:59 pm
(169) Samantha says:

I have a black cross on my left shoulder and I’ve had it for about 3 months. This past 2 weeks it’s been itching. I’m so glad that this is a common thing. I put some lotion on it and it’s not itching anymore.

August 27, 2010 at 10:48 pm
(170) Travis says:

I recently got a tattoo covered up and had it worked on more than 3-4 sittings. It healed bad due to scabbing and because of it it scarred up pretty good. I had to have the WHOLE TATTOO touched up, going over the red scars.

Every tattoo has scar tissue and that’s the reason why it raises when the humidity is up and sweating occurs, or when your wearing a shirt and it rubs and gets irritated. I deal with this EVERYDAY and use BIO OIL and Lubriderm lotion. There’s not much I can do other than deal with it. When the sun-shine hits my tat, you clearly see the scars raised underneath. I just take care of my tat the best I can everyday with lotions, but it’s scarring.

August 31, 2010 at 4:44 pm
(171) Antrina says:

Yup, mine too, has happened in the past & I notice that when the weather changes (today it is raining after a month of sun and it raised)

September 1, 2010 at 12:53 am
(172) Rob says:

I have had a tattoo on my calf for 10 years and it just started itching really bad and rising as well. Good to Know im not alone

September 12, 2010 at 7:10 am
(173) iceey says:

i was kinda bothered why my tattoo itches.. glad to have read this post.. :)

September 19, 2010 at 10:07 am
(174) heather says:

Tattoos are scars. Scars are formed as part of the healing process after an injury or a surgery. Our skin has nerve endings that are responsible for the purpose of sensation. The scar tissue that forms after a wound or surgery lacks these nerve endings, but the surrounding skin has them. This is what causes the itching sensation in the scar area. However, in the case of old scars, the scar tissue gets stretched, and causes the nerve endings in the surrounding tissue to be stimulated. This is what causes the itching sensation in old surgical scars.

The swelling can happen because of a few reasons.Either there is some form of infection at the scar area, and that could include allergies to sun, foods, insect bites etc, which could cause the swelling as well as the itching, or there could be cell growth in that area again, causing the scar to swell up. Whichever of these reasons is the actual cause would be apparent after a visit to the physician if you want to know for sure.

September 22, 2010 at 8:52 am
(175) jess28 says:

I got my fourth and fifth tatoos about 3 weeks ago and they healed great. A couple of days ago they got bad itchy and feel raised and small bumps one is on my wrist the other my ankle it seems like just the white outline is what is bothereing me.

September 23, 2010 at 6:24 pm
(176) Amanda says:

i have 13 tattoo’s so far, working on a sleeve and a back piece. I noticed only 2 of my tattoo’s do this and I have come to the conclusion both of the tattoo’s healed the hardest due to how rough the artist was on my skin. i was torn up, and one is even a little deeper than it should have been. so the scar tissue has a big role to play in the swelling and itching. as to the random times it happens… i couldn’t tell you.

October 3, 2010 at 3:53 am
(177) Jamie says:

It scared the crap outta me. Glad to hear I ain’t the only one.

October 3, 2010 at 9:20 am
(178) Jerry Howell says:

thanks for the forum!! had a half sleeve for a year, about a third on the tricep area riased up big time and itchy just fighting a cold off so im kind of going with the bodys fighting off the cold and noticed the tattoo and is having a go at that as well . not affecting the chest area or shoulder ,how mad is that!! glad im not the only one!

October 6, 2010 at 12:20 am
(179) Key says:

I have two tattoos on on my back and one on my right arm. The one on my back never ever bothers me, its just the one on my arm. When I am cold, like tonight and get goose bumps the tattoo gets raised and it feels icky. Or if I am in the sun too long, or just every now and again? But it looks like its nothing to worry about because it seems to happen to other people also.

October 18, 2010 at 11:02 pm
(180) Ariq says:

I’m glad this is normal because I was going CRAZY trying to figure out why it itches so much! I’ve had mine for 3 years now. One on each forearm (like a reflection) and the one on my right now itches after so long of having it! I usually just put ice on it or have cold running water over it.

October 23, 2010 at 4:15 pm
(181) martin says:

I had mine done 5 years ago, I started going to gym about 3 months back and my tattoo swollen but only in few places and it loks like mosquito bite, other problem is that I have scare above eye about 10 years old….that changed too, I took arginine for beter performance while in the gym but I hope it is not serious…

October 28, 2010 at 8:02 pm
(182) MoMo says:

LOL, just like the many, many others on here..i am sooo glad to hear what they possible causes are for this. I have had my 3rd tat for 3 mnths now and this is a first for me, also my smallest one, (thank god) lol, the others are and have always been fine. I had the first same thought as others on here..omg aids, lol. I asked my hubby about his and he said the same happens to his every once in awhile too. This is the only site i have been able to find that has sooo many others on here stating the same. So we are all ok and this is a normal reaction…phew. :0)

October 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm
(183) pedro says:

I’m going to gym and pool too, my tottoo is all bumpy and swollen and the other covered with something like mosqito bites my scare on chest is swollen too, been to doctor but he said that I could be alergic to some suplements like proteins or so and i need further tests…how this is posible, I eat like a horse anythink and now suplements could cause my tattoo to swell ?? is there any doctor reading this to confirm what is happening to us ?

November 1, 2010 at 5:23 am
(184) Bee says:

Woo, thanks to all the answers. This is my second tattoo and I’ve had it for eight months, and I’d NEVER had one bump up and itch before this morning. Thanks for averting the freakout! :D

November 3, 2010 at 3:42 pm
(185) K says:

I have a full back piece, full sleeve on right arm, half sleeve on left arm, lower calf band, and script across my stomach. I started getting tattoos when I was 18. I’m now 33. My tattoos also raise and get itchy occasionally. My doctor said its from stress and I also have very sensitive skin. Its harmless but annoying. Hope this helps :)

November 5, 2010 at 2:06 am
(186) Nae nae boo says:

It just started happing to me(welting& itching) with my tat of over a year now on my shoulder. I was so going to freak out until I read all of these comments. Its good to know I’m okay& and not the only one going thru this.

November 8, 2010 at 11:02 am
(187) ellie says:

i’m full sleeved and NONE of my tattoos raise or itchy except for one on my inner, upper arm… it’s really annoying, and i worry that scratching will damage the tattoo – good to know i’m not hte only one!

November 11, 2010 at 10:01 am
(188) K says:

I got a white ink tattoo 2 weeks ago. A couple of nights ago, I woke up to find myself scratching my tattoo!! It was raised and irritated, and I hurriedly put some cream. Few days later it’s still a bit raised. I hope it’ll even out soon and that I didn’t permanently damage my tat. :(

November 18, 2010 at 3:25 pm
(189) page says:

ive had my tat for about a year now and bout 5 months ago it started to raise and swell…the bumbs were just on the tat now they have spread all around my tat..i have had the bumps and the bad itching for 5 months now…it sux..it never goes away..

November 28, 2010 at 1:52 am
(190) Shanna says:

Like everyone else, I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I’ve now had it happen to 4 of my 11 tattoos… and today I realized it’s only where I have black ink. (1 on my calf, 1 on my ankle, and 2 on my forearms.) So maybe it is just how your own body reacts to different inks. I dunno. It’s so weird!!

November 29, 2010 at 4:08 am
(191) Bob McDonnell says:

I had 2 tatoo’s removed by laser 15 yrs ago and sometimes they itch. The doctor told me it was a condition that can be caused by stress and worry etc among other things. No anti itch creams worked and the doctor gave me a steroid cream called Betnovate [its on perscription] and this is the only cream that I have found works.
The condition [the name escapes me] apparantly can start at any scarred tissue but is not limited to scars the itch can come up anywhere on the body.
Hope that helps.


December 3, 2010 at 8:55 am
(192) Ruby says:

Mine isn’t raised or anything…but itches a lot! Idk if its because I shave my legs and its by my ankle or what..but, none of my other tattoos itch..just this one..and funny thing, all my other tattoos except for the itchy one and a very small one havent been done in a shop..? so its weird that one that i got in a shop would itch lol….but this morning my tattoo was itching and i went to rub it and noticed a bump under the tattoo..idk if its a ingrown hair from shaving or what?

December 15, 2010 at 1:04 pm
(193) Eli says:

Omg, im so glad people get this too….i thought it was just me…..i honestly thought i had some kind of cancer, like it got in my lymph nodes and cause lymphoma……cause i do have other symptoms but the tattoo thing was freaky.

December 15, 2010 at 6:09 pm
(194) Dan says:

Its the weather that does it and it usually happens to anyone with a tat

December 22, 2010 at 6:28 am
(195) Bobby says:

I have 6 tattoos, I recently got 2 more on each of my arms and now all my tattoos(including the new ones) are itching up like crazy. I don’t understand it.

December 25, 2010 at 10:13 pm
(196) ITG09 says:

I’ve noticed that the outline of my tat becomes raised and slightly itchy during sudden weather changes. I think the ink and the procedure cause the skin to become more sensitive. Glad to know I’m not the only one experiencing this.

December 31, 2010 at 1:58 am


December 31, 2010 at 10:19 am
(198) Kristyn says:

MINE IS BUMPY ON THE BLUE AND IS ITCHY ONLY ON THE BLUE, AND its only the little hat thats blue, no where else

January 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm
(199) Mr1800of313 says:

I have 1800 on my chest I thought I was the only one because every one I asked didnt know whar I was talkin about very glad to see others with the same problem add reasons y it happen so im gonna get some sensitive skin lotion for the next time it happens

January 15, 2011 at 8:00 am
(200) hammy says:

I have several tattoo’s….
One sleeve and 8 on other arm…plus one on my back…one on my ankle…one on my ribs ….and one on my chest!

I clicked here to see what others think the cause of this is,and found the comments very interesting.
I personally also only suffer from this problem on my arms. No other area becomes so itchy. ie;my back,side,and leg.
I have been told by many tattoo artist that this occurs from scarring.
Many reasons have been explained to me for this,but basically in a lot of tattoo’s this occurs.
I find it on mostly my shaded areas. Not all,can be a simple yellow circle in the middle of a cherry blossom to a heavy dark tribal that gets raised and itchy.
I reckomend using a simple cream lotion to cool the skin down unless you have sensitive skin.

The blunt of it all is we cant do too much about it!


January 20, 2011 at 12:29 pm
(201) cassie says:

mine does the same thing i was pregnant when i got mine done i didnt know i was at the time but my doctor seems to think it has something to do with my salt intake and swelling to be the reason it might raise like i does witch irritates the skin hince itching now i guy not being pregnant lol it still could be sodium intake or retaining water i use neosporine at night and it seems to help the itch….

January 20, 2011 at 6:18 pm
(202) gillie says:

I have had my Tatt for about 10 yrs on the top of my right foot.

Just a coupla days ago my foot was sooooooooo itchy. I too usde baby bum cream for releif, but it was back tonight, it does seem like the black ink has swollen in 2 or 3 places.

I put ice on earlier and the itch has gone, but bit worrisome no?

January 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm
(203) didi says:

no – not worrisome – i think
i say we all resist the urge to scratch & instead lightly run our fingertips over the area in question…feels kinda groovy…
the whole thing is as cool as getting tattoos!

January 20, 2011 at 10:34 pm
(204) Phil says:

I have a huge tat on my left side all down my ribs and stretching from my back to my stomach. This one is still raised after 8 months and always itches so bad whenever I take a shower. It doesn’t matter if the shower is warm or cold, it always itches really bad. I have 2 other tats, one on my chest and one across my back up by my shoulders, and other than the first few weeks. those have never itched since then. Idk why the one itches but the rest don’t, but it’s very irritating ha.

January 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm
(205) rebecca says:

i have 8 tats ; one inbetween my shoulders on the top of my back then two more on my lower back another two more on my stomach by each hip and one on my right side from the bra line down to my panty line and the last two are on each side of that tattoo. the only one that raise up and itch so so bad and all the rest do not ever in the six years of having tattoos! its wierd because i have three in the same place and the same side and the two on the out side itch and not the one in the middle what the hell is that and why? it doesnt make sence?

January 28, 2011 at 7:00 am
(206) Roz says:

This has put my mind at ease. I’ve had a tattoo on my wrist for 2 years and this last week it had been very raised and itchy. Coincidentally, I have also had a nasty cold and my temperature has been up. The website below was really helpful. Panic over!


February 8, 2011 at 12:38 am
(207) Jacqueline says:

I’ve had my fiancee’s name tattooed on my inner wrist in binary code for nearly two years now and it got really itchy all of a sudden tonight. I noticed it’s puffy as well. I’m wondering if maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m 20 weeks pregnant?

February 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm
(208) ss says:

I had a tattoo done 2 yrs ago (cherry blossom on lower leg), and still have the silver looking skin over the top which will not come off, making flowers look a dirty white colour. If it itches and i scratch without thinking it becomes very painful!!! Do wonder if it will look like this forever!!!

February 14, 2011 at 9:15 pm
(209) Susan says:

I have two tattoos, both done at the same time by the same artist over ten years ago. I never had a problem with them until about a year ago. Now, for no apparent reason, they will periodically start to welt in one spot and within an hour the entire tattoo, both of them….will be completely welted. Sometimes they stay that way for a short time, sometimes a few days. I don’t notice any itching or other discomfort, just the welting effect. Very odd, but kind of good to see that it is a somewhat common situation and I’m hoping this means nothing to worry about.

February 15, 2011 at 5:25 pm
(210) Dave says:

I am feeling much better after reading some of the comments here. I have three very large tattoo’s one of which is nine years old and raised in places. No itching today, but there are times when all I want to do is scratch. Only started happening about a week ago. I though I was having a bad reaction or something at first. After some internet research this link has set my mind at ease.

February 18, 2011 at 6:30 am
(211) Axis says:

I have a portrait on my upper left shoulder that was done in August. I went with my daughter to the same artist in December when she got one. The artist wanted to do an hour touch up on mine while I was there also. It isn’t color, but my daughters is, except for some lettering.

Last week, mine started to itch like a bug bite on the outside edge. It has since spread across the entire tatt, but is beginning to heal now. Last night, my daughter called me, and hers has started raising and itching just like mine did. Weird thing is, it’s just the black lettering on her tatt. I also have another one on my left forearm that is a mix of black & color that was done 6 months before my portrait by a different artist, and I have had no problem with it. My doc had no clue, and the artist told me the same as the doc, put a topical ointment on it, and use non scented lotion to help with the weather and dry skin.

I will read more here to see if there are other ointments that help other than Benedril. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

February 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm
(212) CHristiana says:

wow that is crazy the same thing happens to me i just wish i could find out why. IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!! & yes it does feel like a bug bite or a really bad rash. My color & black ink does it. it crazy & a pain in the butt!

February 19, 2011 at 10:15 pm
(213) Chistiana says:

OMG i thought i was the ONLY one. Mine swells when it starts to get warm outside & sometimes it itches like there is no tomorrow! omg i wish i knew y!!!! & i have like 5 tattoos n they all do it

February 25, 2011 at 5:50 pm
(214) Skye says:

This happened to me today. I think it happens when the weather changes cause mine never itched or got swollen. But since it started raining today it started to itch alot and when it stopped the itching went away…

February 26, 2011 at 6:12 pm
(215) Main Event says:

Damn! So many of us that are having this means it is normal! Lol! I thought i have some kind of blood disease or something! Have 8 huge tattoos and only 3 are itching since last week, what i noticed is when i went to Vegas is when it all started and it was really really cold there last week.. So now im slapping the sh*t out of all my 3 tats (oh and FYI only part of the outlines!) So weeird

February 28, 2011 at 11:51 pm
(216) Anjelica says:

Its been about 3 years since i got my tattoo in the middle of my back. And it heal beautifully but if i scratch it or rub up against something, it will flair up and start itching like crazy. I have 14 other tattoo and none of them react like this. My greatest fear is that the ink the girl used may have been old or contaminated. I guess thats what i get for going to a tattoo party and not doing my research. My first and only time ever doin that! Never ever doing that again!
So im reading most of the comments but no clear answer to this problem. so what do we all do???

March 8, 2011 at 7:24 am
(217) Scott says:

This is hppening to my tattoo’s as well. It started 4 days ago. I have a full sleeve on my left arm and a tat on my right lower arm inside. Both have raised very itchy bumps on them that appear no where else on my body. It is mostly on the black outlines and reminds me of when I first had it done when it was raised and swollen for a good week or two afterwards.
It’s reassuring that so many others are experiencing this too and that no one seems to have had any really adverse effects from it. Sounds like it will come and go over time.

March 13, 2011 at 12:31 am
(218) Richard says:

I have that same problem the weired thing that if someone can explain to me please do they raise up and itch 2 to 3 days before something happens to me bealive it or not its true. does anyone have a logical explanation to this i would appreciate an answer.

March 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm
(219) Melissa says:

I have a many tattoos; my stomach, wrists, I am pretty much sleeved on one arm, and another on my upper other arm, behind my ear, upper back and behind my neck. I got my first one when I was 17 and my last one was about 3 years ago. The only ones that raise up are on my arms. I have leopard print that starts at my neck, goes to my back, down almost to my elbow. It is all color, with a lot of yellow. The yellow gets super raised in lines. It gets really warm, but It isn’t really itchy. I also have a large pin-up girl on my outer forearm and there is a lot of red and yellow in that too…and those parts get warm and raised too. I would say they raise a few times a week. At first I thought it just may be the color but I have a red heart behind my ear and that doesn’t raise at all. Confusing! LoL =/

March 22, 2011 at 12:46 am
(220) D. Pat says:

I little bit of relieve, knowing others experience this. Okay yall experience it wooo hoooo, WHAT CAN I USE TO STOP THE ITCHING? I have a back piece, that I have had for like a year…..man it feels like I laid in a bed of ants…horrible….u see me leaning on polls, and walls to scratch it. I play basketball and soon as its touch….the ants come out! Smh. I wanna finish back piece but the ants (itchy, stinging feeling) have me on stall! What can I do?

March 23, 2011 at 6:23 pm
(221) K says:

I have a lot of ink, but only 4 small tat’s that swell up, all of which are several years old. 3 of them were done by the same artist who totally botched them & went too deep with the needle. And the 4th one has been touched up several times. So the swelling for me only happens with the tattoos where there is scar tissue from the needle penetrating too many layers of skin, or where the skin has been overworked. All 4 of them will always flare up at the same time, but I only experience swelling (not itching), and can never figure out the trigger. And it lasts for weeks, even months sometimes! And then it will go away for awhile. It’s really weird, and really annoying.

March 23, 2011 at 10:03 pm
(222) kat says:

has anyone found out why this happens????

March 24, 2011 at 11:57 pm
(223) Eldee says:

I have in on my chest and arms. The outline swells and itches very bad when I wash it in the shower and it won’t stop until I moisturize it. But like I read earlier it comes from scratching or rubbing or even stress. But give it a minute to calm down it will go away. If not moisturize it real good

March 26, 2011 at 10:07 pm
(224) mskb2011 says:

I got a touch up on some of the black lines on my fourth tattoo about 3 weeks ago. I have never gotten a touch up before this one. I took care of it the same way I took care of all my other tattoos when they were new. I thought it was fully healed but I noticed a couple days ago that it was irving again so I looked at it and the black lines that were touched up had, what looked like, white dry skin over them. This tattoo is on my hip so of course my pants rub it, but this didn’t happen when it was new. Im not sure what is going on with it and I don’t know how to fix it. The only way it doesn’t look like that now is if I put lotion on it constantly. Please help.

March 27, 2011 at 4:37 am
(225) angela says:

the only one of my 7 or 8 tattoos that raises is the one with bold lines and color.. i was playing C.O.D black ops getting frustrated.. and it started happening, i’m also getting sick and i’m extremely tired lol. so idk what causes it, but i put A&D ointment on it, and it feels much better!!!!

March 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm
(226) JennL says:

Wow! Thank GOD I’m not the only one! I have 28 tattoos all done by 3 different people and every single one on my arms will itch and raise from time to time. I notice it especially when I get out of the shower. Maybe temperature change? But I also have one on my inner wrist which NEVER itches. Oh, so odd us humans are. Lol

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.