You just got a new tattoo and everything seems to be going well. But, one day, you notice your tattoo cracking and drying out, and you can’t help but panic. Chances are you googled the problem and it led you here. Well, if that’s you, then you’ve come to the right place.
Tattoo cracking is completely normal and quite common when it comes to fresh ink. Although it may be an alarming occurrence at first, you will learn in the following paragraphs that tattoo cracking can be easily prevented and treated.
So we’ll cover the problem of tattoo cracking, why it happens, how you can treat it, and most importantly, how you can avoid it in the first place. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Tattoo cracking: everything you need to know
Why is the tattoo cracking?
Cracking of tattoos, like almost everything in the world, occurs due to a number of contributing factors. So, to understand its occurrence, we need to understand the causes of cracking. Here are the most common reasons for tattoos cracking;
- Skin feels dry or your skin is generally dry – this is one of the most common reasons for tattoos to crack. Either your skin is naturally dry, which means that your daily water intake does not reach the recommended amount of a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day. Or, your tattooed skin is not properly hydrated. Keeping a tattoo hydrated and hydrated is essential when following up; which promotes proper healing and ensures that the tattoo does not crack.
- Formation of scabs during healing – as the tattoo heals, it begins to lift and form scabs. Now the scabs shouldn’t be a major problem, as they usually dry out and fall off on their own. However, with a lack of hydration and hydration, the scabs can become severe and larger or thicker than usual, which contributes to the cracking of the scabs and, consequently, the cracking of the tattoo.
- Infection or allergic reaction – although rare, a tattoo infection or an allergic reaction to tattoo ink can cause tattoo cracking. This means that bacteria or germs have invaded the tattoo, which is initially considered an open wound. This required immediate medical attention and proper treatment to prevent further tattoo damage and health issues.
- You are clean your dry tattoo with lukewarm water – now that’s a major no-no. By washing a dry tattoo with warm water, you remove all the moisture from the skin. This will promote dryness and promote cracking of the tattoo, especially if you don’t apply lotion or ointment afterwards.
Don’t worry about crusting on the tattoo. This is a normal phenomenon because the tattoo is an open wound that needs to heal. One part of the healing process is the regeneration of damaged skin which can only heal by creating a protective barrier, which in this case is scabs,
Now the scabs will crack normally. However, if you don’t moisturize the skin, the scabs will grow and thicken, causing the tattoo to crack. So be sure to keep your tattoo hydrated and nourished, and if the scabs begin to bleed or cause pain or discomfort, see a doctor.
How can I treat tattoo cracking?
If your tattoo cracks, there are things you can do in an emergency. For instance;
- Observe your tattoo and determine if it is just dry or infected!
Sometimes self-diagnosis can be wrong quite easily, but before you do anything to treat cracking, you need to analyze your tattoo. Now, if the tattoo is just cracked and visibly dry, or has a slight crust, then you’re good to go. However, if the cracking of the tattoo is accompanied by thicker, bleeding scabs, pain, itching or swelling, it is a tattoo infection. In such a case, all you can do is consult a doctor and take the appropriate medication.
- Do more to keep you and your skin hydrated!
Now, if you’re not dealing with an infection, chances are you’re dealing with skin dehydration. This means that you will need to increase the hydration of your skin. You can do this by starting to moisturize your tattoo twice a day, and additionally once after taking a shower. The best moisturizers for this occasion would be those that are gentle, fragrance-free, organic, vegan, and made with shea or cocoa butter.
Also make sure to stay hydrated overall. Take at least 8 glasses of water a day and eat plenty of fruit to stay hydrated. It will also make your skin hydrated, and not to mention more resilient and stronger in the tattoo healing process.
- Don’t touch the scabs, and don’t even think about peeling them!
If you think removing the scabs will make your tattoo smooth and shiny, you’re wrong. Forcibly removing the scabs can cause more harm than good. First, you can introduce additional bacteria from your nails, causing infection. Then you can activate the severe cracking of the tattoo by removing the protective barrier of the skin, which is the scabs.
- Do not shower with hot water!
As we mentioned, showering with hot or lukewarm water can dehydrate the skin and strip it of its natural oils. As a result, your tattoo may start to crack, and it’s not a pretty sight. To avoid this, be sure to shower with lukewarm water. After showering, don’t forget to apply a thin layer of moisturizer to hydrate and nourish the skin.
How can I prevent tattoo cracking?
To prevent cracking of the tattoo is quite easy. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to help your tattoo heal smoothly without cracking.
- Before the tattoo appointment, make sure your skin is well cared for. Make sure he is well hydrated, shaved and hydrated. You will improve the hydration of your skin by respecting the recommended daily fluid intake and by maintaining nourishing and healthy foods.
- Follow the right aftercare routine, recommended by your tattoo artist. By doing this, you will minimize the healing problems of the tattoo, including cracking and large scabs. Some of the tattoo aftercare rules include proper tattoo cleaning, moisturizing, and refraining from touching, scratching, or peeling the tattoo.
- Keep your tattoo well hydrated. To do this, apply a thin layer of fragrance-free lotion or ointment to the tattoo twice a day. You can add an extra layer of lotion after showering to help skin rehydrate faster. This will prevent cracks, thick scabs, and even minimize itching and discomfort. However, be careful not to over-moisturize the tattoo, as this can also lead to infection and rash.
Tattoo Cracking FAQ
Why does my tattoo crack and bleed simultaneously?
There are several reasons why the cracking of your tattoo is accompanied by blood. First of all, blood may appear if your skin is dehydrated and too dry. In such cases, the scabs can stretch the already damaged skin, which can cause them to rupture, open the healing skin and cause bleeding.
The scabs act as a protective barrier over the healing skin. So when they break, they can cause bleeding.
Infection of the tattoo can also be the reason for it to crack and bleed. However, an infection is also accompanied by swelling, itching, pain, redness, skin irritation, etc.
When should cracking tattoos worry me?
If your tattoo cracks, but also bleeds, oozes, swells, and reddens, you should be concerned because it’s an infection or an allergic reaction. Either way, you should seek proper medical help, diagnosis, and treatment. Otherwise, you risk serious health problems.
Apart from this scenario, the cracking of tattoos should not worry you. Just keep your tattoo hydrated and your body hydrated. If the cracking does not resolve, talk to your tattoo artist about a possible solution.
Why is my old tattoo cracking?
The only time a tattoo cracks is when it is still new and healing. then, it is quite rare for an old tattoo to start to crack. The only explanation we have for such an occurrence is excessive sun exposure of the tattoo. If you don’t protect your tattoo by applying sunscreen, chances are it will start to fade and age faster, which is manifested by the cracking of the tattooed skin. To avoid this, be sure to apply sunscreen whenever your tattoo is exposed to UV rays.
Cracking of a tattoo is a completely normal phenomenon during the healing process of a tattoo. Cracking almost exclusively occurs only in cases of new tattoos, so old tattoos cannot crack. Plus, it’s fairly easy to treat, and even easier to avoid. However, if the cracking is accompanied by bleeding, oozing, swelling, pain, and other signs of infection or allergic reaction, it’s time to see a doctor. Other than that, you should be fine; just keep moisturizing this tattoo.
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