Can I Slap My Itchy Tattoo?

Having a new tattoo comes with a lot of different complications. The healing process is especially tricky. It is quite normal to feel a lot of itching around your new tattoo. So, you might ask if you can slap your new tattoo.

If it continues to upset you, by all means, give it a slap (without using your nails, of course). However, doing so is not a good idea since the skin that surrounds a tattoo is often quite delicate, and being struck by anything might cause the skin to get damaged.

This article also covers why a new tattoo does itch, how to take care of itchy tattoos, and every question that might cross your mind. Let’s dive in!

Why Do People Want To Slap Tattoos?

When tattoos get itchy, people often scratch them. The tattoo itches because the skin around it is irritated. Rather than scratching it, some people prefer to lightly tap it because it changes how the nerve reacts in the wounded area.

Some people think that if the tattoo artist slaps the tattoo after finishing it, it will bring good luck.

If the tattoo starts to itch, the artist might slap it to show you how to lightly tap it.

Why Does It Itch On New Tattoo?

Dermatologists say that tattoos are technically a type of skin injury. When the skin starts to heal after being hurt, a lot of mast cells start to show up in the hurt area. Histamine is a chemical that is made by these cells. It can cause hives, allergies, and itching.

In other words, itching is a normal thing. Think of it like the itch you get when a cut on your hand starts to heal, or the urge to pick at a scab because it hurts your skin so much.

Histamine is one of the few things that cause the itch. The other is how sensitive tattooed skin is in general.

Because ink particles stop the skin from healing as quickly as it would normally, the area where the tattoo is is more sensitive to outside stimuli than normal skin.

Can I Slap My New Tattoo?

It would appear to make sense to just slap on an itchy tattoo. Moreover, if you can’t stand the intense itching, feel free to slap your tattoo. Furthermore, make sure you don’t scratch the tattoo, using only an open palm to slap the tattoo is okay but scratching is not, sorry.

But does it really work to relieve the discomfort of a tattoo? As it turns out, this may not be the smartest move.

For this reason, it’s best to avoid slapping the area surrounding the tattoo until it has fully healed since this might cause harm to the already delicate skin and lengthen the healing process.

Tattoos have the same care requirements as any other wound on the body, yet one of the most prevalent issues is that people forget they are wounds.

In addition to putting germs into the wound every time you touch it, slapping the tattoo regularly may also lead to infections.

When Can I Slap My Itchy Tattoo?

Once the tattoo begins to itch, which should be a few days after getting it done, you may begin lightly slapping it. Wait until the tattoo is completely healed if you can stand the itching.

 Healing and restoration of the skin need a period of time. About two to three months is the average time required for this to recover.

Slapping Or Scratching Which One Is Better?

Just slapping on a tattoo will make you feel better and less itchy. Just what mechanism causes this to take place? What we know from science is as follows:

When you slap an irritating area of skin, you disrupt the constant flow of nerve impulses to the brain that informs the brain that the area of skin is bothersome.

And slapping is always far better than directly itching or scratching your new tattoo.

Scratching a tattoo will just make the itching worse and might even spread infection. Because a new tattoo is always a very sensitive area and any touch exterior could introduce germs into the tattoo wound.

In addition, it will definitely scrape off the (wound) scabs that are distorting the tattoo ink and ruining the design. Tattoo scarring and skin injury from scratching are also possible.

On the other hand, a little slap or tap will not do any serious harm. However, it will hurt since you are slapping an open wound.

Slapping, if not done appropriately, may also cause discomfort and infections and even blow out the tattoo lines.

How Long Does Itching Last For New Tattoos?

The itch will last until the tattoo has fully healed. The question is how to tell whether it has fully recovered.

When no scabs remain, the skin has returned to its usual appearance, and the colors in your tattoo have not faded, it is considered healed.

The time to recovery varies from patient to patient and is dependent on factors like medical history, age, etc. Below, we’ll go through three of the various methods available for determining whether or not your tattoo is fully healed.


If you don’t have a disease, such as diabetes, that slows wound healing, your tattoo should be entirely healed in around 5-6 weeks.

The time it takes for an individual to recover varies greatly; some individuals heal in less than 6 weeks, while others take much longer.


Your tattoo is not healed if it is still painful. A significant indicator that the healing process is still active in the presence of pain. Your tattoo is a fresh wound, and as such, it is natural to feel some discomfort there for the first several weeks.

During these first few weeks, it is also common for the tattoo to be sensitive to sunlight. Your tattoo is fully healed when it no longer causes you any discomfort.


The tattoo is fully healed after the peeling stops. Your tattoo isn’t fully healed if it still has scabs on it. You may also discover that your tattoo scab peeled off but that there was no ink below.

How To Take Care Of an Itchy New Tattoo?

Itchy new tattoos are always a big headache. But following these tips down will help you to not make a mess of your new tattoo.

Do Not Rub Your Tattoo 

Similar to how slapping may cause visible harm to a tattoo, even mild stroking can induce internal bleeding. Light taps are the best course of action, but only after many weeks have passed and only lightly.

Applying Lotion

The top tattoo artists will tell you to use lotions and creams to keep your skin supple and hydrated after you get a tattoo. In doing so, vitamins and minerals will be restored to the skin, preventing it from becoming dry.

Stop Exposing It To Water

While the tattoo is healing, you shouldn’t go swimming, diving, or immersing it in water. However, you should avoid spending too much time in the shower while your tattoo is healing.

Don’t cover up your tattoo while it’s still wet, either. It may be smudged or washed off until it completely heals, so the ink will stay on your clothing until then. Instead, be sure the tattooed region is completely dry before covering it with baggy clothing.

Ice Packs

Applying a cold pack can help alleviate skin irritation of any sort. However, you should not place an ice pack directly on the tattoo.

For best results, wrap the pack in a clean, dry towel and hold it on the affected area for around 30 minutes. Once you’re finished, you may restore normal blood flow to the tattoo by gently patting it with a warm towel.

Long Term Itching

Very infrequently, tattoos may cause itching that lasts up to two years. Redness and swelling may also occur. A topical steroid cream may be applied to the affected area if this occurs. Also seek professionals at that point.

Sleeping With Itchy Tattoo

Many tattoo artists advise leaving the wrap on overnight to protect the tattoo. It is also possible to use a healing ointment and maintain a sanitary environment for the tattoo. Precaution is the best defense against illness.


What Happens If I Accidentally Hit My New Tattoo?

If you hit it, massage it, or put it in hot water, it won’t break. Do not expose any open wounds or pick at scabs, and definitely don’t handle any form of filth or dirt.
 Pets like dogs and cats should be kept away from it lest they lick or rub against it. As long as you wash your hands often, use lotion, and keep box cutters well away from your face, your skin will be OK.

Can You Itch A Tattoo Without Scratching It?

How to scratch a tattoo: a few options. Method one involves using a frozen cube of water or a cotton ball that has been doused in cream or vaseline.
 Hold the ice cube or cotton ball against the tattooed skin for a few minutes after applying the cream or vaseline. Utilizing alcohol wipes is just another option. To clean a tattoo, wet a wipe and apply it to the ink. Use a dry wipe to remove any remaining moisture.

Closing Words

Having the urge to itch your new tattoo is always going to bug you but you must be very careful and not ruin the whole process. So, instead of itching can you slap your itchy tattoo?

If your tattoo bothers you enough, you can smack it. Slapping the area surrounding a tattoo is not advised, since the skin there is very delicate. Follow proper aftercare instead, the tattoo will shine without any damage. Happy tattooing!

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