Why Do Tattoos Bubble Up and How Do You Stop It?

Getting a tattoo is one of the best and exciting experiences you will ever have. Everything from choosing a design to prepping for your session and then finally getting it, provide you with varying levels of excitement.

Since getting a tattoo is creating a wound on your body, there are risks associated with getting fresh tattoos. These risks are significantly reduced if you listen to your tattoo artist and complete all the necessary steps they give you to help with the aftercare process.

Proper aftercare should begin on the first day of your new tattoo as this is when the wound is the freshest. Taking the aftercare process serious from the start will help decrease the risk of any infections developing.

A tattoo bubbling is a normal part of the healing process of a tattoo. This can be a bit unnerving if you have never experienced it before, but this condition is quite common.

Bubbling in tattoos occurs during the healing stage when water gets trapped in the scabs. Scabbing is a good sign that your tattoo is almost through the normal healing stage. The bubbling stage is not painful, though it can be itchy.

There are a few reasons as to why tattoo bubbling might occur, but most are preventable if you follow a few tips. So if you find yourself in a similar situation and are not sure what to do, you have come to the right place. Read this article as it will guide you on how to prevent tattoo bubbling and why it happens.

The Reason behind Tattoo Bubbling

As mentioned earlier, tattoo bubbling occurs during your tattoo’s healing stages. It is a part of your body’s immune response to healing the large open wound you have just endured.

During the healing phase, your tattoo will begin to scab, which is a sign that your tattoo is on its way to recovery. However, scabbing causes itchiness, and sometimes the itchiness gets bad. You tend to scratch it too hard and pick on it.

To avoid redness and itchiness, you have to keep moisturizing and clean the area with antibacterial soap and warm water. If you don’t dry off your tattoo after cleaning and showering, the water gets trapped in the scabs, which then forms bubbles. It’s highly recommend that you use a plastic wrap to cover your tattoo when showering. You can find plastic wrap on Amazon, by clicking here.

The same happens when you use an excessive moisture on your tattoo and don’t clean it. Larger tattoos will tend to bubble more.

When does Tattoo Bubbling go away?

The duration of tattoo bubbling usually depends on how severe the bubbling is. After you witness tattoo bubbling, you must let it dry without putting anything on it. This will take more than a few hours.

Once you leave it to dry, the scabs will start to fall off, and the bubbling may get better. But, leaving it dry is also a good way to prevent further tattoo bubbling.

Bubbling tends to go away once you continue with your normal tattoo aftercare steps. But make sure you keep your tattoo dry at all times, especially after showering. Plus, do not apply too much lotion. If you’re using a lotion, only apply it 24 hours after the bubbling takes place.

If you want it to go away faster, expose it to air, as this fastens the drying process. Avoid wearing tight clothes as that will block the air from getting to your tattoo. Dry-healing is also a good way to prevent the possibility of developing a tattoo infection or bacteria.

What Happens if You Don’t Immediately Care for It?

As soon as you notice your tattoo bubbling up, you must immediately take action and let it dry out. If you don’t act promptly and avoid proper aftercare, the bubbling is likely to get worsen.

It’s also possible that the bubbling could develop into forming red ulcers with lymph fluid. This in turn will increase your risk of developing a skin infection. If the ulcers worsen and the skin gets more inflamed, you may have to seek medical attention. Typically this will be treated using antibiotics.

How Can You Prevent It?

Tattoo bubbling is part of the tattoo  process, but you can avoid this by carefully doing a few things during the aftercare of your tattoo. Tattoo aftercare is easy, but can be overwhelming if it’s your first tattoo. This is another reason why it is important to only get a tattoo done by experienced tattoo artists at a reputable tattoo studio. A professional artist knows the importance of aftercare and will know exactly how you should care for your new ink. A good tattoo artist will make sure you fully understand the steps to aftercare and answer any questions you may have.

Not properly caring for your new tattoo is dangerous, but it’s also possible to over care for your fresh tattoo. Overdoing your tattoo aftercare may sometimes slow down the healing process and cause different issues. One of the primary reasons for tattoo bubbling is using too much ointment or moisturizer as it heals.

But, applying an excessive amount of lotion to your tattoo may lead to water particles getting trapped inside the scabs, which then form into bubbles.

When applying your moisturizer or ointment, make sure your tattoo is fully dry as you don’t want to apply moisturizer on damp skin. It would just make the bubbling and scabbing worse.

The other way you can prevent tattoo bubbling is by drying your tattoo as soon as you get out of the shower. Not drying your tattoo area properly will cause the water to get clogged within parts of the scab, leading to a bubbled tattoo. Water remains one of the main reasons for a bubbled tattoo; hence, you must properly clean and dry the areas whenever you contact water.

Plus, whenever you shower with fresh tattoos, make every effort to keep them as dry as possible.

Keeping your tattoo away from the water, as this will prevent the tattoo from getting soaked in water and reduce the chances of tattoo bubbles. If you notice tattoo bubbling, it’s best to avoid taking a shower for a few days. Even if you take a shower, don’t stand underneath it for hours. It’s best to limit your water exposure as much as possible during your new tat’s healing period.

Scabbing causes severe itchiness, and, at times, it gets so bad that it’s hard to resist. You may scratch a bit slightly if you want to, but that will eventually lead to more excessive itching and picking. The more you do this, the more you ruin your tattoo’s outlook and invite the formation of a bubbled tattoo. Even if you slightly pick it, the gooey scabs will come off, which will lead to even a bigger mess.

Can it Happen Years after Getting Your Tattoo?

There is no evidence to suggest tattoo bubbling can take place years after getting your tattoo. Usually, tattoo bubbling happens during your tattoo’s healing stages, especially when your tattoo begins to scab. Once your tattoo completely dries off, there’s no chance of tattoo bubbling to happen again or at all. However, your tattoo can get infected, causing different illnesses.

Tattoo bubbling makes you prone to different infections, as, during the bubbling, the scabs also get bubbled and fall off once they dry up. These scabs help protect your tattoo from catching bacteria, so without the scabs, you became prone to an infection that may appear a bit later.

There are a few common symptoms you can be on the lookout to indicate signs of infection. These signs include: fever, chills, redness around the tattoo, rash and itchiness on the tattoo, pus coming out from your tat, open sores, and pain around the tattoo area.

If you begin to experience any of these symptoms, it’s important that you seek professional medical advice from a physician.

Does your Tattoo Get Ruined with Bubbling?

You can easily get through tattoo bubbling without your tattoo outlook getting ruined only if you continue to practice tattoo aftercare effectively. If you manage to get rid of the bubbling by keeping it dry before you scratch or rub the scabs off, there is a higher chance that your tattoo will remain in top-notch condition.

Sometimes the scabs get really gooey containing tattoo ink and tend to stick on your clothes or different surfaces. Even the slightest touch or itch on the bubble will cause the ink to explode, ruining your tattoo.

So, whenever you lift the area where your tattoo appears, the tattoo ink sticks to the surfaces or your clothes, causing a slight peel off and ruining your tattoo’s whole outlook. To prevent this from happening, you should avoid wearing thick clothing or accessories that may rub off against your tattoo.

Bottom Line

Getting a new tattoo is an exciting decision. However, it’s important to remember to take ensure you take proper care of your new tattoo to not only protect the tattoo itself, but to also protect your body from developing an infection.

If you see that your new tattoo is beginning to develop bubbles, it’s important to evaluate your aftercare process and make the necessary changes to ensure the bubbling does not continue to get worse.