Tattoo Scabbing

Is Tattoo Scabbing Normal? What to do if a Tattoo is Scabbing Badly

Are you freaking out? Tattoo scabbing can be something annoying after all. This is because you have invested a lot of money and time on your skin into a design that you want to appear gorgeous.

Are you concern on how the scabs will affect the look of your tattoo? Well, you should not get worried since scabbing is a normal thing after undergoing inking.

Therefore, it is pretty normal to notice scabbing tattoo. You are only expected to leave the scab alone and it will finally fall off on its own.

You can read one of my post about tattoo healing stages in order to understand the whole process of healing and scabbing is part of it.

In this post, you will get to know what not to do when tattooing scabs and how to prevent thick scabs from forming. Enjoy your reading and you can also leave a comment at the end.

Is Tattoo Scabbing Normal?

Just like any type of open wound on the skin, a brand new tattoo will develop a thin layer of scab on the open wound. This is pretty normal and you are not supposed to get concern at all.

Why do scabbing occur? Well, inking usually leaves the skin punctured by the needle in a single sitting and this is the reason behind scabbing.

The immune system in our body responds by initiating clotting in order to prevent excessive bleeding and also protect the open wound from bacterial infection.

The scabbing process only commences when the plasma is ooze out from the blood and it begins to harden so as to cover the affected area.

Several white blood cells will hover around the scabbed area in order to fight any form of infection as the skin tries to regenerate and repair. You can read more about skin repair mechanism.

Do All Tattoos Scab?

This is another funny question. Yes, all brand new tattoo scabs. I know the type of picture that is being formed in your mind. Scabs that are scaly, thick, and pus-filled or blood filled.

Well, you need to find the best tattoo studio with qualified and experienced artists. If you happen to get one then the skin layer will form a slight scab over the tattoo area.

The scabbed area on the skin will appear slightly raised as compared to other parts. The tattoo will appear cloudy and dull during the initial stages of scabbing.

However, this is pretty normal for any type of tattoo inked on the skin. You need not get freak at whatever cost. Just be patient since, after some days, all the scabs will fall off.

Are you wondering if all those dark scabs on tattoo are normal? Ooh, they do look disgusting at some point but much I can say is that they are normal.

These dark scabs are quite common among those people who have the tendency of inking the same point over and over. I recommend you locate another part of the body for inking in order to avoid the formation of unsightly dark scabs.

Detailed or large tattoos are susceptible to being scabbed since inking has caused a lot of trauma on the skin. Some parts of the tattoo will form thick scabs and other areas slight scabs. This is normal do not freak out.

In case you notice your tattoos are scabbed with dense and thick material, then this may be a sign of serious skin complications. You may be expected to consult your dermatologist for treatment.

Heavy scabbing is prone to skin dryness which may trigger itching and also tattoo cracking. This is common if your artist is less experienced or he is rough while inking.

Speak out to your artist in case you notice he is tattooing deeper into the skin or he is being rough generally. You need to shop out about the best tattoo studio in town before going for any sitting in a studio.

Heavy scabbing is usually link to tattoo infection but it is relatively rare in case the studio follows the right procedures and hygiene measures.

Infection on tattoos can result in a lot of symptoms and some can be disgusting. You need to consult your doctor immediately you notice any signs of infection.

When Do Tattoos Scab and How Long Does Scabbing Last

During day two or three in the healing stage of a brand new tattoo, it will begin to form a scab. The raw tattoo on the skin will ooze plasma in preparation of scabbing in the healing stage.

The scabs will also begin to harden and cover the whole tattoo design. The scabs will remain until the complete healing is achieved and the skin has regenerated again.

The scabs usually form on the upper layer of the skin where it can peel and flake off easily. The stage of flaking and peeling usually last for about seven days. However, in the case of thick scabs, peeling and flaking may go up to ten days.

It is good to keep in mind that thick scabs take long to heal so you need to be patient when flaking and peeling is taking place. You may experience itching sensation but make sure to apply a good thin layer of a moisturizer.

What NOT to do when a Tattoo Scabs

You need to strictly follow certain rules when you have scabbing tattoos. In case you opt not to follow these rules then be assured of the long healing process, loss of ink from tattoo and even infection.

Here are things you are not supposed to do when you have tattoo scabs:

Picking Scabs

This is the first thumb rule you should adhere to. Never shall you at whatever cost pick scabs from your tattoo. It is the common rule during tattoo aftercare routines.

No matter the size or the appearance, never should you pull the scabs on the tattoo. In case you pull the scab, it will tamper with the design of your tattoo.

Tattoo ink usually takes time before sinking to the deeper layer of the skin. Therefore, the healing process will give it plenty of time to sink in order to bring out that amazing appearance on your skin.

Tempering with your tattoo by pulling off the scabs will also force you to go for another sitting and this will be quite painful. You will also spend more money and waste time too.

Picking scabs that are deeper in the skin will also increase the healing time and cause permanent scars on the skin. Therefore, you need to be extra careful when dealing with scabbed tattoos.

Scratching Tattoos

This is a totally too bad idea to opt for. Scratching healing tattoos can have a bad impact on your skin and also your general health.

Scratching scabs on your tattoo make the area to be open again and this may form a channel for bacteria causing diseases to enter.

It will even be worse if you use your fingernails to scratch the region. Fingernails are the host of all types of bacteria. The infection will increase healing time and sometimes requires doctor’s intervention.

If your tattoo itches, try as much as possible to resist the urge of scratching or you can read my post on how to stop tattoo itching overnight.

Use of Lotion

I know it is recommended to keep the tattoo hydrated in order to prevent itching sensation. Therefore, you are expected not to apply a thick layer of lotion on the scabbed tattoo.

What happens when you smooth the tattoo with a thick layer of lotion? Well, the thick layer will make the tattoo unable to breathe and this will result in moisture being trapped in the scabs.

The moisture will make the scabs to become soak, soggy and gooey. This will later result in another problem known as tattoo bubbling.

Therefore, you need to do research about reputable lotions meant for tattoo only. This will help in the prevention of soaking scabs on tattoos in the future.

Submerging Healing Tattoos in Water

Never should you submerge your scabbed tattoos in water. Why? It will also soak up the scabs making them be sticky and gooey.

Some water bodies contain various types of bacteria and soaking the scabs in them will allow entry of these bacteria.

Therefore, during the healing process of your scabs, never should you go swimming and it is recommended to cover the area while taking shower.

How to Prevent Thick Scabs from Forming

Well, prevention is better than cure. But how will you prevent the formation of thick scabs? Wow, this is the most difficult thing to do.

Scabbing is inevitable, it is something that occurs on an open wound on the skin and it is considered to be normal.

Well, you cannot prevent scabbing from occurring but you can induce changes that may cause the scab to be thin and light. This implies that you can minimize the chances of thick and disgusting scabs on tattoo from appearing.

The tattooist will always clean the areas with antiseptic soap gently when done with the procedure and wrap it well in order to prevent entry of bacteria.

During the removal of the wrap cover, you will notice leaky ink, blood, and plasma. This is pretty normal and it will occur for a number of days before stopping.

The leaky fluid substance is used to help in the formation of scabs and in case of too much fluid, you will notice the formation of a thick layer of scab on the tattoo.

Wash the area gently with lukewarm water in order to reduce the size of scab being formed. You can try to scrape off the huge scab gently while washing.

You can read my article roundup about tattoo aftercare routine and this will help you know how to manage healing tattoo at whatever part of the body.

You should also be extra careful while sleeping in order to prevent your scabs from getting a stick on the bedsheets. Do not try to pull off the sheet since it will scrape off the scabs. Instead, just damp the area with water and get out the sheet gently.

This trick of damping the area with lukewarm water should always apply in case any other type of clothing get stuck on the tattoo scab.

What to do if a Tattoo is Scabbing Badly

Always keep in mind not to pull or pick the scabs on your tattoo. This should always be your number one rule after undergoing the inking process.

Picking and scratching is also another enemy of healing tattoos. Therefore, you not even think about picking or scratching the tattoo at whatever cost.

Scratching causes more damage and this may increase the healing process. Try to resist the urge of itching and premature picking of scabs.

Also, you need to be extra careful when dealing with scabs that have stuck on the bedsheets and any other type of clothing.

When taking shower, cover the tattoo in order to prevent any contact of the scabs with water. You will also be expected to stop going for hot tub bath until the tattoo is healed completely.

You need also to be extra careful when cleaning and drying the skin around the tattoo. Always pat the area to dry and try to check if the scab can stick on the towel.

In case of dry and cracking tattoo scabs, just apply a thin layer of moisturizer on it. This will help to rehydrate the area and do not apply a thick layer.

It is recommended to seek medical assistance in case the scabbed tattoo is accompanied by extreme redness and swellings. This could be a sign of something serious but do not freak out.

My Tattoo looks Faded after Scabbing

It usually takes several months for your tattoo to begin looking amazing and gorgeous. From my experience, it took me about two to three months for a clear tattoo design to appear after scabbing.

Your tattoo design will still appear dull despite the scabs falling down. You will need to practice a lot of patience until the dead skin disappears completely.

You will need to consult your tattooist for opinion in case you feel your tattoo design lost a lot of color during scabbing.

My Tattoo Scab is Bleeding – What Should I Do?

It is common to have tattoo scab that is bleeding. Why? You can accidentally get in contact with an object that pulls off the scab. Sometimes the healing scab can get stuck on the cloth or bed sheets while sleeping.

However, the bleeding will only occur if the scabs emerge deep from the skin and any contact can result in bleeding. Always be very careful after inking until the scabs completely fall off.

Extreme bleeding will require a visit to a doctor in order to determine the main cause. Therefore, you should never ignore when the bleeding becomes persistent.


Well, from the information provided above, it is normal to have a scabbing tattoo and there is nothing wrong about it.

I hope you are aware that apart from uncommon circumstances, it is pretty normal to have tattoo scabbing.

Therefore, do not freak out when you notice scabs that are ugly on your tattoo. This is part of the healing process. Congratulation for having tattoo spirit.