Most minor swelling and redness
(inflammation) from a tattoo can be treated at home. If your tattoo artist gave
you instructions, follow them carefully.
If you did not receive
instructions for skin care of the tattoo site, try the following:
Stop any bleeding. Minimal bleeding can be
stopped by applying direct pressure to the wound. It is normal for the tattoo
site to ooze small amounts of blood for up to 24 hours and clear, yellow, or
blood-tinged fluid for several days.
cold pack to help reduce the swelling, bruising, or
itching. Never apply ice directly to the skin. This can cause tissue damage.
Put a layer of fabric between the cold pack and the skin.
antihistamine, such as Benadryl or Chlor-Trimeton, to
hives and relieve itching. Be sure to read and follow
any warning on the label. Do not use strong soaps, detergents, and other
chemicals, which can make itching worse.
Protect your tattoo with a
bandage if it might become dirty or irritated.
Apply an antibiotic ointment, such as
Polysporin or Bacitracin, to a nonstick bandage, such as
Apply the nonstick bandage with the ointment on it to the
tattoo site. The ointment will prevent the irritated skin from sticking to the
bandage. Putting the ointment on the bandage first will be less painful. If a
skin rash or itching under the bandage starts, wash the ointment off and don't
use that type of ointment again. The rash may mean an allergic
Apply a clean bandage once a day and change the bandage
if it gets wet. If the bandage does stick, soak the tattoo area in warm water
for a few minutes or take the bandage off under running water in the
Leave the bandage off with the skin open to air whenever
Medicine you can buy without a prescription
Try a nonprescription
medicine to help treat your pain: