Why is my tattoo raised and itchy? Even after years
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Why Is My Tattoo Raised And Itchy : Even years later

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Why is My Tattoo Raised?

If you’ve recently gotten a tattoo and noticed that it’s raised, you might be wondering why. There are several reasons why a tattoo can become raised, and it’s important to understand what’s causing it so you can take the appropriate steps to address the issue. So if you are wondering, “why is my tattoo raised” here’s the info you need.

If you’ve recently gotten a tattoo and noticed that it’s raised, there are several reasons why this might be happening. Bad healing, allergic reactions, and scarring are all possible causes of a raised tattoo. A tattoo may also raise years after completion due to a reaction to the ink in the skin.

One common reason for a raised tattoo is bad healing. If you don’t take proper care of your tattoo in the days and weeks following the procedure, it can become infected or irritated, which can cause it to become raised.

In some cases, an allergic reaction to the tattoo pigment or the aftercare products you’re using can also cause your tattoo to become raised. Ink allergy is quite rare with modern inks.

Another possible reason for a raised tattoo is scarring. If the tattoo artist went too deep when creating your fresh tattoo, it can cause scarring, which can make the tattoo appear raised.

Additionally, some people are simply more prone to scarring than others, which can also cause a tattoo to become raised.

Read on to work out what is happening with your raised tattoo and how to fix it.

If you need more information about tattoo aftercare here’s a detailed post about what to do…
After Tattoo Care – Everything You Need To Know

What is a Raised Tattoo?

As someone who has gotten a tattoo, you may have noticed that the tattooed area can become raised or bumpy. This is a common occurrence and can happen for a variety of reasons. A raised tattoo is when the inked area of skin appears to be elevated or has a textured feel to it.

There are several reasons why a tattoo may become raised. We will go over these below but they include

  • Allergic reaction to ink
  • Infection 
  • Scarring from poor technique

It is important to note that a raised tattoo is not always a cause for concern.

However, if you are experiencing super itchy ink or pain and discomfort, it is important to consult with a medical professional to rule out any underlying issues.

Why is my tattoo raised years after having it done?

Importantly, your tattoo could become raised or itchy years after you have had it done and it has successfully healed.

I myself have one spot on my sleeve tattoo which can randomly become raised and intensely itchy along where the white highlights are. It’s just in one tiny spot. I notice this happens I am run down and my immune system is triggered, or if I get too much sun on it.

Theres a case where a man developed a raised and itchy tattoo 29 years after getting it. He was going through chemo and so his immune system was suppressed. Read about it here

So it makes sense that any disturbance in your immune system or an autoimmune disorder could trigger a reaction to the ink in your skin. 

Why is my tattoo raised?
This tattoo is still raised

What Causes a Raised Tattoo?

As someone who has experienced a raised tattoo, I understand how frustrating it can be. After some research, I have discovered that there are several reasons why tattoos can become raised. Here are some of the most common causes:

1 – Allergic reaction to tattoo ink

Some people may have an allergic reaction to the ink used in their tattoo. This can cause the skin to become raised, itchy, and irritated.

This used to be much more of an issue in the past when tattooists had their own secret ingredients for mixing their inks. Some of these ingredients may not have been of the best quality.

However in the modern age tattoo inks are formulated from extremely high quality ingredients to exacting hypo allergenic standards. An allergic reaction is much less likely to happen as long as you go to a reputable and professional tattooist.

However, I have heard several tales of people tattooing using the inks out of tattoo starter kits.

These inks, {which are often fake versions of well known brands} are not meant for use on human skin. They are only to be used on practice skin.

Do not use them on humans.

I heard from a local dermatologist that they were seeing a big rise in referrals for tattoo problems due to fake ink from kits being used. These bad inks are the common factor.

So make sure you go to a professional and reputable artist to avoid this problem.

If you suspect that you may be allergic to your tattoo ink, it’s important to speak with a Dermatologist or  your Tattoo artist to determine the best course of action.

Some people can have an allergic reaction to Saniderm. Take a look at this post to find out if this is happening to you. Saniderm Allergic Reaction And Tattooing. The Truth

The “Red Reaction”

The use of red ink can cause a reaction known as the “red reaction.” This occurs when the body responds to the pigment in the ink and causes the skin to become raised and itchy.

Of all the colours used to tattoo, red is then most likely to cause a skin reaction due to its ingredients. It can also happen with pigments containing red in the mix, for example pinks or purples.

However, again this was more of an issue in the past due to the poor quality ingredients used years ago.

I personally have never seen a case of the red reaction and it isn’t likely to happen with modern inks.

2 – Infection

If your tattoo becomes infected, it can cause the skin to become raised and inflamed.

You may find the tattoo raising around the shape of the design.

To tell if you have an infected tattoo, look for these common tattoo infection signs around the tattoo site.

  • Redness in the skin, 
  • Warmth in the skin
  • Pus or discharge – the tattoo may crack and seep
  • Feeling like you have a fever
  • Feeling ill

If you suspect that your tattoo has a bacterial infection, it’s important to seek medical attention right away to prevent any further complications.

An untreated tattoo infection can result in death or amputation so take it seriously.

3 – Scarring from poor tattooing technique

If your tattoo artist is inexperienced and uses poor technique, it can cause skin injury, scarring and raised skin in a hypertrophic scar.

This can happen if the artist goes too deep into the skin layers below the dermis layer  or uses too much pressure when applying the ink.

This results in a tattoo scarring in the shape of the tattoo which is tough and raised. Even if you laser off the tattoo ink the scar will remain.

You will probably have rough healing and a lot of scabbing if the tattooist has gone too deep. You may also have blow outs and issues with ink spreading under the skin

It’s important to choose a reputable tattoo artist in a professional tattoo parlor who has experience and uses proper technique to avoid scarring and other complications.

It’s important to note that people of African background are at more risk of getting a keloid scar from any skin tissue damage, which includes tattooing.

This is when the skin raises up in a scar which spreads outside of the outline. You really need to see a dermatologist if this is happening to you.

4 – Sun exposure and UV

Exposure to the sun and UV rays can cause tattoos to become raised and irritated.

This is because the UV {ultraviolet} rays in sunshine can activate an allergic reaction to the embedded ink.

If you have a tattoo, it’s important to protect it from the sun by wearing protective clothing or using sunscreen with a high SPF if your skin starts to feel itchy.

Not only will this help prevent allergy it will protect your tattoo from fading.

5 – The Weather

It is not uncommon for people to experience raised tattoos in hot and humid weather.

This is because high temperatures and humidity can mess with your body temperature and cause the skin to become swollen and irritated, which can lead to the tattoo becoming raised.

The heat can cause the skin to expand, which can cause the tattooed skin to raise up.

If you suffer from hives and heat rash in hot weather this is more likely to happen.

To prevent this from happening avoid exposing the tattoo to direct sunlight, and wear loose-fitting clothing that allows the skin to breathe in hot weather conditions.

6 – Health Conditions

Tattoos can sometimes cause unexpected reactions in people with certain health conditions.

For example, individuals with high blood pressure or autoimmune conditions {such as Sarcoidosis or Lupus} may experience raised tattoos.

This is because these health issues can cause the body to react differently to the tattoo ink, leading to an immune response that causes the skin to become inflamed and raised.

Additionally, certain medications used to treat these conditions may also increase the risk of an adverse reaction to tattoo ink.

To prevent this from happening, it is important to consult with your doctor before getting a tattoo, especially if you have a preexisting health condition or dry skin.

They can advise you on the potential risks and help you make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed. 

How to Treat a Raised Tattoo

Many causes of a raised tattoo will remedy themselves with time.

However, if you find that your tattoo continues to be raised and is uncomfortable or itchy you may need some more specialised help and proper treatment.

There are several treatment options available to you. Here are a few ways to treat a raised tattoo:

1. Consult with a Dermatologist

If your tattoo is severely raised or if it is accompanied by other severe symptoms like pain, itching, or redness, which don’t go away, you may want to consult with a board certified dermatologist.

A dermatologist can examine your tattoo and recommend a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs.

Contact your Doctor to be referred to a Dermatologist.

2. Use Topical Creams

There are several topical creams that can help reduce the appearance of a raised tattoo.

A topical ointment contains ingredients like hydrocortisone, which can help reduce inflammation and itching.

Topical steroid ointment is a strong preparation and will need to be prescribed by a Doctor.

Be sure to follow the instructions on the cream carefully and avoid over-applying the cream, as this can cause further irritation.topical steroid ointment

3. Take Oral Medications

In some cases, your Dermatologist may recommend oral medications to help reduce the appearance of a raised tattoo if it’s caused by an allergic reaction.

These medications may include antihistamines, which can help reduce itching and inflammation, or corticosteroids, which can help reduce swelling and redness.

Over the counter anti-histamines may help to calm down the allergic reaction and give you some relief.

Anti inflammatory medication may help too.

You can speak to your local Pharmacist for advice.

4 – Keep your tattoo out of the sun

The UV rays of the sun can often activate an allergy to your tattoo ink, even years after you got it done.

It’s a good idea to always wear high protective sun cream on your tattoo when outside. If nothing else it stops your tattoo fading.

However, it can protect the ink and stop you triggering an allergic reaction.

5 – The Old Fashioned Way of Blacking Out a Tattoo

Back in the day, before laser treatment or sun cream, the old fashioned way of dealing with “the Red Reaction” or itchiness was to black out the tattoo.

Covering the irritated skin with black ink, cut out the UV reaching the ink and so soothed the allergy to tattoo ink.

It’s a bit of an extreme answer but if you are suffering badly with a raised and itchy tattoo or skin condition it is a possible answer and may be easier than tattoo removal.

Keep in mind that this is a permanent solution and should only be done after careful consideration.

Remember, the best way to treat a raised tattoo is to take preventative measures before and after getting the tattoo. Be sure to follow proper aftercare instructions and avoid exposing your tattoo to harsh chemicals or sunlight.

Frequently asked questions about why is my tattoo raised and itchy?

Why is my tattoo raised after years?

A raised tattoo after years could be due to various reasons such as an allergic reaction, infection, or scarring. A tattoo can raise after years if your immune system is run down allowing an ink allergy to occur . Consult a dermatologist to determine the cause and possible treatment options.

Can a tattoo get infected years later?

Yes, a tattoo can get infected years later if proper aftercare was not taken during the healing process allowing bacteria into the tattoo which can lie dormant. If the immune system is suppressed at a later date – for example during chemo, the infection can reappear.

Conlusion – Why Is My Tattoo Raised & Itchy?

As someone who has gotten multiple tattoos, I know firsthand that the healing process can be a bit of a rollercoaster. One moment, your tattoo looks perfect, and the next, it’s raised and itchy. 

There are a variety of reasons why your tattoo may be raised, and it’s important to identify the cause in order to properly address it. Some common reasons for a lumpy tattoo include bad healing, infection, allergic reactions, scarring, and even high blood pressure. It’s also possible that your body chemistry or a pre-existing skin condition could be to blame.

If you’re experiencing a raised tattoo, don’t panic. While it can be frustrating, there are steps you can take to address the issue and get your tattoo looking its best.

From proper aftercare to seeking medical attention if necessary, there are a variety of solutions that can help you get your tattoo looking smooth and vibrant once again.

The information on the site is for entertainment only. Anything you do is at your own risk. Consult with your own Tattooist, Piercer or Doctor for advice.
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