Tattoo Aftercare

Little Bumps on a Tattoo After It Is Healed - Is It Normal?

Even when you do everything right and follow your tattoo aftercare routine step by step, some pain and irritation can still happen. One of the most common side effect of getting a new tattoo is a set of itchy, red bumps on and around the skin.

While there is nothing dangerous about this rash, it can cause a lot of skin irritation and frustration for the person experiencing it.

Your skin requires time to adjust after receiving a tattoo, and sometimes bumps, rashes, or skin irritation are a part of the process.

tattoo with bumps

Why Does My Healed Tattoo Have Bumps?

There are several reasons as to why a tattoo may cause skin bumps or a skin rash.

  • First of all, if you have a history of skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, getting a tattoo is likely to exacerbate these conditions, especially if you have naturally dry skin. The best way to combat this is to make sure that the skin stays moisturized and doesn’t get too dry.
  • Secondly, your body considers the ink from a tattoo to be a foreign object. Therefore, your immune system will often try to “warn you” about this foreign object being under your skin. Most of the time, this warning manifests itself as a reddish, bumpy rash on the skin known as tattoo rash.

While there is nothing dangerous about tattoo rash, it is important to keep the tattoo and the skin sanitized and moisturized throughout the aftercare process to help combat the formation of any rashes.

Another possible explanation for a bumpy rash could be unsanitary conditions.

If your tattoo artist didn’t sanitize or use their equipment properly, it is possible to get a bacterial or fungal infection in the early days of your tattoo.

That’s why it’s also important to keep the area clean and to use tattoo artist-approved antibacterial ointments and lotions.

Bumps on Tattoos: Possible Reasons & Causes

- Naturally dry skin

If you’re the kind of person who has naturally dry skin, getting a tattoo can cause dry and irritated skin, especially if you’re someone who has had eczema or psoriasis.

The dryness of the kin in the area of the tattoo can lead to a bumpy, irritating rash. The best thing to do is to keep the area moisturized and clean.

dry skin tattoo

- Infection

If the tattoo artist didn’t appropriately sanitize their equipment, it could lead to an infection. However, if you don’t properly take care of your tattoo in the aftercare process, that can also lead to an infection, which can lead to a painful and irritating rash on the skin.

Read also: Professional Tattoo Aftercare Instructions

- Immune system response

Because your body considers tattoo ink a foreign object, your immune system will most likely have a reaction to it. This reaction typically manifests itself as a red, bumpy rash on the skin. While there is nothing dangerous about this rash, it’s important to keep the area clean and moisturized.

- Sun exposure

Exposure to the sun too early after getting a new tattoo can be detrimental to your skin.

The skin surrounding your tattoo is extremely sensitive in the days after, and it should always remain covered while in the sun. Sun exposure on sensitive skin can cause red, bumpy rashes.

The best way to protect your tattoo in the sun is to either keep it fully covered or use a strong, tattoo artist-approved sunblock.

tattoo sun exposure

- Allergic reactions

In the rare case that you are allergic to the dye in tattoo ink, it can cause a very irritating and painful trash, along with swelling.

If you have any allergies to dyes, it is crucial to speak with your tattoo artist about it, so that they can procure a hypoallergenic ink.

What to Do If You Have Bumps On Your Tattoos

The best treatment option for your tattoo rash will depend on the cause.

  • If you are experiencing a mild allergic reaction to the ink, taking an antihistamine and using a tattoo artist-approved anti-allergy ointment is a good solution.
  • If you think that you may have developed a skin infection, it’s important to reach out to your doctor immediately; they will likely prescribe some sort of antibacterial medication to help fight the infection. In the meantime, using a cold compress can help with the swelling and skin irritation.
  • If you suspect sun exposure to be the problem, a good treatment option would be using a cold compress, as well as an aloe vera-based cream or lotion to help ease the pain and keep the tattoo moisturized.
  • If you have an underlying skin condition that you believe is causing the discomfort, use a cold compress, take an antihistamine, and use a topical ointment that’s been approved by your tattoo artist to help with the irritation, swelling, and pain.

How to Prevent Bumps On Your Tattoos

While skin discomfort and irritation is almost certainly going to happen after you get your tattoo, there are certain things you can do to help combat the irritation.

Be sure to keep the area clean, sanitized, and moisturized. This will help keep away any infection and skin irritation.

Moisturize tattoo

If you do start to feel skin irritation or discomfort, use a cold compress to help with the pain, and use tattoo artist-approved ointments, gels, or lotions to help with the irritation.

White Bumps On Tattoos

If you develop white bumps on your tattoo, it’s most likely a sign of an underlying skin condition. These white bumps are typically a sign that your body is adjusting to having the ink underneath the skin, and they typically go away over time.

If your skin irritation and pain persists, it’s best to go see a medical professional.

Bumps On Tattoos After Years: What You Should Know

If you’re noticing bumps and irritated skin on an old tattoo, the most common explanation is sun exposure.

It can take a very long time for your skin to regain its original UV tolerance level after you get a tattoo. So, if you’re noticing a rash on your old tattoo, sun exposure could be the cause.

Since your skin stays sensitive to UV rays for so long after getting a tattoo, it’s important to use protective sunblock and different lotions to protect your skin and your tattoo.


The bottom line is that tattoo rashes are completely normal, and most of the time, they’re nothing to worry about.

The most important thing is to make sure that your tattoo stays moisturized, clean, and protected from the sun. If you follow your aftercare process step-by-step, you will have nothing to worry about.