accidentally scratched tattoo

Accidentally Scratched Your Tattoo? Here’s What to Do!

Discover the unexpected tale of an accidentally scratched tattoo.

Dive into a captivating journey of ink and imperfections, where stories unfold with every scar. Embrace the beauty in accidental artistry.

Accidentally scratching a new tattoo is a common occurrence.

It can happen when you’re not paying attention or trying to scratch an itch. While it’s not the end of the world, taking steps to prevent infection and scarring is essential.

Accidentally Scratched Your Tattoo

Scratching Tattoo In Sleep: Possibility & Damages It Does

Tattoos have become increasingly popular as a form of self-expression, allowing individuals to showcase their unique personalities and style.

However, it’s essential to understand the potential risks and challenges of getting a tattoo, including the possibility of scratching it while you sleep.

In this article, we will delve into the various reasons you may scratch your tattoo in your sleep, the damages it can cause, and provide practical steps to prevent and fix accidentally scratched tattoos.

Exposing Sensitive Skin

One of the reasons why you might scratch your tattoo in your sleep is the presence of sensitive skin.

Freshly tattooed skin is often more sensitive and prone to irritation.

When you sleep, you may unknowingly scratch or rub the tattooed area due to movement, leading to potential damage.

Distorting Tattoo

Repeatedly scratching your tattoo, especially during healing, can distort the design and overall appearance.

The constant friction and pressure can cause the ink to spread unevenly or become patchy, resulting in a less defined and vibrant tattoo.


Scratching your tattoo, consciously or during sleep, can introduce bacteria and other harmful microorganisms into the open wound.

This can lead to infection, characterized by redness, swelling, pain, and even discharge.

An infected tattoo may require medical attention or even removal in severe cases.

Delayed Healing

Proper healing is crucial for the longevity and quality of your tattoo.

Scratching the area can disrupt the healing process by removing scabs and exposing the vulnerable layers of skin.

This can result in delayed healing, potentially leading to an increased risk of infection and compromised tattoo appearance.


Scratching your tattoo can cause inflammation, as the skin becomes irritated and agitated. Inflammation can make the tattooed area appear red, swollen, and uncomfortable. It may also prolong the healing process and affect the overall aesthetic of the tattoo.


When you scratch your tattoo, you risk causing it to ooze or weep. The oozing can include blood, ink, and lymph fluid. This can not only make a mess but also increase the chances of infection and hinder healing.


Accidentally scratching your tattoo can contribute to ink fading over time. Scratching can cause the top layer of skin to slough off prematurely, taking some of the tattoo ink with it. Consequently, the colors may appear less vibrant, and the tattoo may lose its initial allure.

Financial Loss

While the damages caused by scratching a tattoo in sleep are primarily concerning for your health and the tattoo’s appearance, it’s worth mentioning that fixing a botched or damaged tattoo can be costly. Tattoo touch-ups or even cover-ups can require additional time, effort, and money to restore the desired result.

7 Reasons Why You May Scratch Your Tattoo In Sleep

Itchy Scabs & Crust

During the healing process, tattoos form scabs and crusts as part of the skin’s natural regeneration. These scabs can become itchy, leading to the urge to scratch. However, scratching the scabs can cause them to fall off prematurely, hindering healing.


Dry skin can exacerbate the itching sensation, making you more prone to scratching your tattoo while asleep. Keeping the tattooed area adequately moisturized is essential to minimize dryness and subsequent itching.

Allergic Reaction

In some cases, individuals may develop an allergic reaction to tattoo ink. This allergic reaction can manifest as itching, redness, or swelling in and around the tattooed area. Scratching the tattoo during sleep can worsen the allergic reaction and lead to further discomfort.


Eczema is a skin condition characterized by dry, itchy, and inflamed patches of skin. If you have eczema-prone skin, taking extra precautions is crucial to prevent scratching your tattoo during sleep. Scratching can trigger eczema flare-ups, causing potential damage to the tattoo.

Sun Allergy

Exposure to sunlight can sometimes cause an allergic reaction known as photosensitivity or sun allergy. If your tattooed skin is sensitive to sunlight, scratching the tattoo in your sleep can aggravate the sun allergy symptoms and affect the healing process.

Blisters or Bubbling

Occasionally, tattoos may develop blisters or form tiny bubbles during the healing phase. These blisters can be itchy and uncomfortable, tempting you to scratch them. However, scratching can cause the blisters to rupture or worsen, leading to potential complications and prolonging the healing time.

Ink Contamination

Scratching your tattoo with dirty hands or nails can introduce bacteria, dirt, or other contaminants into the tattooed skin. This can lead to infection, discoloration, or adverse reactions. Maintaining good hygiene practices and avoiding scratching your tattoo is crucial to minimize the risk of ink contamination.

How long Accidentally scratched tattoo scab

When it comes to accidentally scratching a tattoo scab, you may wonder how long it takes to heal and disappear. Well, the healing time can vary from person to person and depends on different factors like the size and location of the tattoo, your skin type, and overall health. On average, a tattoo scab usually takes one to two weeks to heal fully and naturally fall off.

3 Steps You Can Take to Prevent Accidentally Scratching Your Tattoo

Moisturize Your Tattoo

Keeping your tattoo moisturized is essential for minimizing dryness and itchiness. Apply a thin layer of a fragrance-free and tattoo-friendly moisturizer to the tattooed area multiple times daily. This will help keep the skin hydrated and reduce the urge to scratch.

Wrap the Tattoo Before Sleep

Before bed, consider wrapping your tattoo with clean, breathable, and hypoallergenic material. This can act as a barrier between your tattoo and potential scratching, reducing the likelihood of accidental damage while you sleep.

Apply Soothing Lotion/Ointment

Using a tattoo-specific soothing lotion or ointment can help alleviate itchiness and discomfort.

These products are formulated to nourish the skin, promote healing, and reduce the urge to scratch.

Consult your tattoo artist or dermatologist for recommended products suitable for your tattoo.

3 Ways You Can Fix Accidentally Scratched Tattoos

  1. Keep the area clean and moisturized. This will help to prevent infection and keep the skin hydrated, which can help to reduce itching. You can use mild soap and water to clean the area and apply a fragrance-free and oil-free moisturizer.
  2. Apply a bandage or gauze. This will help to protect the area from further scratching and keep it clean. That is the best option if you have an application specifically designed for tattoos. Otherwise, you can use a regular bandage or gauze pad.
  3. Avoid scratching. This is the most important thing you can do to help your tattoo heal. If you feel the urge to scratch, try to resist. You can distract yourself by doing something else, such as walking or listening to music.

If you have a scratched tattoo, it is essential to act quickly. The sooner you care for the area, the less likely you will experience any long-term damage.

How to protect a new tattoo while it’s healing

Protecting a new tattoo during the healing process is essential.

Saniderm Tattoo Aftercare Bandage offers adequate protection by creating a sterile barrier against dirt, bacteria, and friction.

It prevents infections and rubbing and allows for easy monitoring of healing—the bandage locks in moisture, promoting optimal healing conditions.

Use Saniderm to ensure your new tattoo heals beautifully and reduces the risk of complications.

Follow your tattoo artist’s instructions for application and duration.

Can I scratch my tattoo after it’s peeled?

You may wonder if you can scratch your tattoo after peeling. No, you should not scrape your tattoo after it’s peeled. Scratching can damage the tattoo and cause it to heal improperly.

When you get a tattoo, the skin is punctured with needles, which creates a wound.

The body’s natural healing process begins, and the skin forms a scab over the damage.

As the scab heals, it starts to peel off. This is a normal part of the healing process.

However, scratching the tattoo can disrupt healing and cause the scab to come off prematurely.

This can expose the tattoo to bacteria, which can lead to infection. It can also cause the ink to bleed, distorting the tattoo.

If your tattoo is itchy, other ways exist to relieve the itchiness without scratching.

You can apply a cool compress, take an over-the-counter antihistamine, or take a warm bath.

Try gently patting the tattoo with a clean, dry cloth.

If you can’t resist the urge to scratch, try to scratch a different body part.

This will help to relieve the itchiness without damaging the tattoo.

It’s essential to be patient and let the tattoo heal properly.

If you scratch the tattoo, it could take longer to heal and may not look as good as it could. So, resist the urge to scratch and let your tattoo heal naturally.

Is it bad to scratch your healing tattoo?

Yes, it is terrible to scratch your healing tattoo.

Scratching can introduce bacteria into the fresh wound, leading to infection.

It can also remove ink from the tattoo, which can cause it to fade or become distorted.

If you find yourself itching, you can do a few things to relieve the itch without scratching.

You can apply a cool compress to the area, take an over-the-counter antihistamine, or wear loose-fitting clothing that won’t rub against your tattoo.

If you accidentally scratch your tattoo, it is essential to clean the area with soap and water and apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment.

It would help to keep the area covered with a bandage to prevent further scarring.


Will Accidentally Scratching a Tattoo in Sleep Ruin It?

Accidentally scratching a tattoo in sleep can ruin it, depending on the extent of the damage. Scratching can cause distortion, fading, infection, and delayed healing. It’s essential to take preventative measures to avoid scratching your tattoo during sleep.

What Happens if I Accidentally Scratched My Tattoo in My Sleep?

Accidentally scratching your tattoo in your sleep can lead to various issues, such as distorted design, delayed healing, infection, fading, and financial loss. It’s crucial to address any accidental scratches promptly and follow proper aftercare guidelines to minimize the impact.

Can I Mess Up a Tattoo by Sleeping On It?

Sleeping directly on a fresh tattoo can cause damage, including accidental scratching, smudging, or sticking to bedding. It’s recommended to avoid sleeping on the tattooed area and follow the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist.

Should I Cover My New Tattoo When I Sleep?

Covering your new tattoo with a clean and breathable material, such as a non-stick bandage or cotton cloth, can protect against accidental scratching while you sleep. Consult your tattoo artist for specific instructions on how to cover your tattoo during the healing process.

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