Why Does Tattoo Removal Itch?

Shallow focus of a tattoo artist giving a tattoo on someone's arm

There are several reasons that someone might want a tattoo removal. Maybe it seemed like a good idea at the time, or perhaps you were not of the clearest mind when you chose to get the tattoo. Sometimes tattoos give a bad allergic reaction, or a new job requires you to get rid of some ink. And sometimes, a beloved tattoo has turned into a massive regret. Fortunately, removing an unwanted tattoo is a common and simple process that is done right in-office. While we always aim for an excellent outcome during a procedure with no side effects, sometimes it’s unavoidable. Tattoo removal tends to have one common side effect for most people: itchiness. But why? Keep reading to learn why your skin is feeling really itchy after a tattoo removal:

Why Skin Itches After A Tattoo Removal

The short answer to why skin itches after a tattoo removal is because your skin is healing. You may not recall if you received the tattoo ages ago, but a tattoo itches after you get it, too, for precisely the same reason. A laser removal treatment involves a high-intensity beam of light to break up the pigment colors of the ink. Once the pigment is broken up, the immune system slowly clears the skin of the fractured ink over time, causing the tattoo to fade. While this process is rarely painful and often only requires a numbing cream if needed, the laser itself is a harsh component. As your skin reacts to the pigment breakage, your immune system immediately begins to knit it back together. This intricate process involves blood clotting, skin knitting, and sometimes scarring. Plus, because the tattoo removal treatment is done with a heat laser, all of the moisture in your skin dries out, leaving the area even more itchy. With all of these uncomfortable things happening in your very skin, it is natural to feel itchy and sensitive around the area. But because of this healing, it is crucial to avoid itching. 

How to Handle the Itching

Make sure to moisturize the tattoo removal area well with a cream or lotion approved by your doctor. We also recommend limiting hot showers. Hot water actually dries out your skin, causing the itchiness to get even worse. It’s important to always stay hydrated and keep the area moisturized. Despite all of this, itching is only temporary and your regretful tattoo will be lightened or removed in no time.
Want to book a tattoo removal appointment? Contact Abington Aesthetic & Laser Center today!

(*)Individual results may vary. Photos are examples of possible results. Please consult with our staff to find out what may work best for you.