Before we get into understanding the reaction that scented lotions have on tattoos in general, let’s first discuss the ingredients in the scented lotion. I’ll save you the trouble of reading complicated ingredient names because not all of them matter. What matters is the chemicals in the scented lotion that gives off the scent. This is the key difference between scented and unscented lotions.
The smell of the scented lotion comes from something known as ‘fragrance’. I know, it must be confusing why it is just called fragrance. But the fragrance is probably made from thousands of different chemical compounds. Just to be able to get that desired smell, the fragrance has to use various ketones, xylene, and a bunch of other chemical compounds.
You see, the problem with a healing tattoo is that it’s an open wound. The repeated process of being pierced by a tattoo needle is required to penetrate the dermis so that the tattoo ink can settle there and become permanent.
This tattooed section has been pierced so many times it takes a while before it is fully healed. And now imagine you introduce those thousands of chemicals from scented lotion to this area. Your skin will react like it’s being attacked!
That is why tattoo artists recommend using unscented lotion. They don’t have those fragrances that will react with the skin and tattoo ink and make it have an allergic reaction. Because of the nature of tattoos undergoing a healing process, you have to take care of them very strictly. Otherwise, you will have more than a ruined tattoo to deal with.
Now the answer you have been waiting for is, can you scented lotion on a healed tattoo? I can assure you that once your tattoo has completely healed, you will have no problems with any scented lotions. But remember, it has to be COMPLETELY healed. Any time before that, you risk allergic reactions if you use scented lotion.
It is a bit complicated to answer. Tattoo artists and those that get their tattoos will say it will take about 2 to 4 weeks for the tattoo to completely heal. Medical experts will say it will take about 6 months for it to completely heal! So who’s right? In reality, both are right! Just in different aspects of healing.
When tattoo artists say it is completely healed, they mean the top layer of the skin. Within 2 to 4 weeks, the top layer of the skin that had been pierced will have totally healed. What medical experts are referring to is the healing of the dermis layer where the tattoo ink is embedded.
You can use scented lotion after about 2 to 4 weeks no problem! Once it is fully healed, the scented lotion will only penetrate the top layer of the skin so your tattoo and the dermis are perfectly fine. So it will be just about a month before you are able to use your scented lotion on your tattoos.
Again, we are in dilemma once again about the aftercare of a tattoo. Different people will tell you different ways to make your tattoo heal properly. Even different tattoo artists will recommend different ways to take care of your tattoo. It must be frustrating that there are no clear guidelines to follow for tattoo aftercare. But don’t worry, let’s look at some different ways and figure it out.
Done by drying the skin in the open air
Covering the tattoo with a plastic wrap
Applying a thin layer of moisturizer, ointment, lotion, or sunscreen
All three methods have their ups and downsides. That is why you must follow the guideline that your tattoo artist suggests. They have been doing it for a while, and definitely have their own tattoos that they take care of.
No matter what the healing process will be, always listen to them. And also be mindful of the duration they suggest the aftercare of a new tattoo. That way it can properly heal and you can use your scented lotions once again on your tattooed skin.
On a fresh tattoo, you have to be super careful. I have laid out some precautions for a new tattoo, but you also have to worry about using products that have:
Along with these products, you also have to make sure whatever you are using on your tattoo is antibacterial and unscented. This protects the tattoo from infections and allergic reactions.
Can I use lotion over tattoo scabs?
Absolutely not! If you tattoo scabs, then you should wait for them to heal naturally. Do not scratch it either. It might feel very itchy but scratching it will damage the skin and tattoo even more.
Can healed tattoo be itchy?
As the dermis of the skin is still healing after a new tattoo; a healed tattoo might feel itchy for about 6 months. It is completely normal for it occasionally itches from time to time. But if the itching is persistent, then you should contact a dermatologist
Is it normal to have bumps on tattoos that are healed?
Yes, bumps on tattoos will occur from time to time. Even old tattoos will form little bumps from time to time. They will come and go. If the bumps become white or stay for a long time, you should contact your doctor to check if there is any underlying condition with your skin.
So, can you use scented lotion on a healed tattoo? Absolutely you can! But you have to make sure that your skin is completely healed. This waiting period of 2 to 4 weeks to heal must also be accompanied by careful care of the tattoo. The ingredients of scented lotion will cause skin irritation and allergic reaction, which will damage both your new tattoo and skin. However, rest assured that your healed tattoo is perfectly safe to use scented lotion on.
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