How to Get Rid of a Tattoo Scab

Tattoos will scab before they heal.
Tattoos will scab before they heal. (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Tattoo scabs are expected in the aftermath of getting inked. The piercing sensation of the needle causes the skin to break and bleed -- thus resulting in a temporary scab. The most important rule is not to overly disturb or pick at the healing wound. Doing so can cause additional damage to your skin and even manipulate the tattoo. Get rid of your tattoo scab in a straightforward manner with the following steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Body lotion
  • Galls bandage
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Warm water
  • Soap

Keep the tattoo scab covered with galls bandage and adhesive bandages for at least two days after the initial tattooing to allow a scab to form.

Soak the bandaged area in a bath of tepid water. Remove the adhesive bandages and gall bandages. Soak the bandages every time you remove them to prevent the skin or scab from being damaged.

Apply mild soap to your fingers and gently massage the scabbed area. Apply only light pressure. Dip your arm back into the water to rinse the scab off. This step helps to eliminate flaky or semi-attached scabbed skin.

Remove your arm from the water and dab the scabbed area dry with a clean, soft cloth. Do not rub or scrub the area with a washcloth or towel — ever.

Gently massage the scabbed area with a non-petroleum based skin lotion. Reapply covering with a clean bandage. Keeping the tattooed area clean and moisturized will expedite the elimination of the scab to within a few days.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't use anti-bacterial soap or cream on your tattoo as these products will actually take the color out of your tattoo.

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