What Happens If You Get A Cut On A Tattoo?

When it comes to a tattoo, typically, quite a bit of planning, thought, money, and creativity goes into your tattoo. After you’ve endured the pain of getting your tattoo, you have to go through the healing process. Typically, the healing process takes about 2-3 weeks for the outer layer of the skin to heal. However, trying not to scrape your freshly done tattoo before and after it heals can pose a challenge. 

Do you have a cut on your tattoo? Are you scared that it will permanently ruin your tattoo? Below, we will discuss what happens if you get a cut on your tattoo.

Can a Scratch or Cut Damage a Tattoo?

Getting a tattoo is exciting, and seeing your vision come to life on your skin is an incredible experience. All of that time spent in the tattoo chair paid off. However, when life happens and you accidentally get a cut on your tattoo, it can be frustrating. You put a lot of thought and money into your tattoo, you don’t want it to be permanently scarred.

Luckily, just because you have a cut or scratch doesn’t necessarily mean your tattoo will be forever blemished. Many different variables come into play when it comes to how much damage the cut will cause to your tattoo. 

Getting a cut on a recent tattoo will likely cause lasting damage. When you first get a tattoo, your skin is trying to heal itself from the trauma caused by the needles. Throughout the healing process, the ink slowly settles into the lower layers of the skin. The more it heals, the less likely a scratch will reach the layers of where your tattoo is and cause damage.

If your tattoo is already healed or is a few months old when you get a scratch or cut on it, more than likely, a surface scratch won’t even touch it. The skin over the top of it will regenerate itself, and it will be as if you never scratched it. Typically, a cut on an older tattoo will not cause any significant damage and will usually heal without any trace of a scar. However, one thing that determines if a scratch or cut will damage your tattoo is how deep the cut is. 

Where Does The Ink Of a Tattoo Reside?

In the human body, there are three layers of skin: epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous. The outermost layer of the skin is the epidermis. This is the top layer and is what creates our skin tone. The second layer is the dermis. This layer is right under the epidermis and contains sweat glands and hair follicles. The third layer is the subcutaneous tissue and it’s the deepest layer. This layer is made of connective and fat tissue.

If done properly, the ink of a tattoo resides in the dermis. The needle has to penetrate the epidermis so it can settle in the dermis. If the tattoo were to be executed on the epidermis, it would disappear within weeks. The epidermis is always changing, so the tattoo wouldn’t last long.

Also, if the tattoo were to be done in the subcutaneous layer, the needle would cause scarring, and it would create a tattoo blowout. A tattoo blowout is when the tattoo artist presses too deep with the needle, and the ink goes into the fat layer of the skin, causing a blur effect with the ink. The ink will begin to look like it was smudged, and this is not the look you want.

Unfortunately, when getting a tattoo, having a tattoo blowout is a risk you have to take. Every person is different, and there’s no clear way of knowing exactly where the subcutaneous layer is; however, it’s important to find an experienced tattoo artist. By finding an established and experienced artist, you will minimize the risk of getting a tattoo blowout.

What’s The Best Way To Care For a Cut On a Tattoo

When it comes to getting a cut on a tattoo, taking care of it right away is important. Avoiding infection is key. Clean the area gently with antimicrobial soap, and make sure you carefully pat it dry. Once completely dry, apply a high-quality ointment or vaseline onto the cut approximately twice a day, as it’s essential to keep the area moisturized so it can heal quickly.

Also, while your tattoo is healing, make sure you allow it to properly heal. If there’s a scab on your tattoo, you should never pick at it, no matter how tempting or how itchy the scab may be. It’s never okay to pick a scab in general, but by picking a scab prematurely on a tattoo, you can risk permanent scarring, infection, and if your tattoo is new and you pick at the scab, it can leave your tattoo blotchy. Keeping your scab moist with Vaseline will keep it from getting extremely itchy. Just make sure you don’t overdo it

If you are concerned that your cut may become infected, make sure you consult a doctor. It’s always best to seek medical advice sooner rather than later. The sooner you get treatment for your infection, the less likely your tattoo will scar or cause permanent damage to your tattoo.

If the cut on your tattoo is infected, your doctor may prescribe a certain type of ointment or even antibiotics. If you suspect your cut may be infected, it’s better to be safe than sorry and seek advice from a medical professional.

If Your Tattoo is Damaged, Can an Artist Repair It?

If your tattoo is damaged, it can be incredibly frustrating. You may not know what to do about it, but typically a tattoo artist can repair it. It’s essential to find an artist who is capable of accessing the damage to your tattoo and one who can confidently repair it. If the color in the tattoo is just discolored, the artist can easily repair it by touching the tattoo up. If your tattoo has a blowout, an experienced artist can either cover up the tattoo or they can fix the blurred lines. If your tattoo has a scar, the artist will have to access the scar, but it can typically be retouched. 

Can You Get a Tattoo Over Scars?

Do you have a scar that you want to hide? Some people choose to hide their scars with a tattoo. This method can be used to hide the scar or to incorporate the scar into the tattoo to tell a story. Tattooing over scars is possible; however, doing so can be challenging. 

You may be wondering if tattooing a scar is painful, and unfortunately, it can be quite an uncomfortable experience. Tattooing over scars is typically more painful than tattooing skin that is not scarred unless there’s nerve damage to the area. This is why it’s important for your scar to be fully healed. The process for a scar to heal can take anywhere from months to even years.

On average, it takes a scar six months to be fully healed, but it depends on how much trauma was done to the skin and the severity of the scar.

Tattooing scars can be difficult, so it’s important to find an artist who can properly achieve your goal. The artist will normally consult with you first and access the size, placement, color, if it’s raised, and age of the scar. These criteria will determine how difficult it will be to cover up the scar and if they can achieve this cover-up.

Some scars will be able to be incorporated into the tattoo, but they will not be fully covered up. Your tattoo artist will be able to discuss the right course of action when it comes to covering up a scar with a tattoo.