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Bumps on tattoo: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Home Remedies – Overview

Many people are fascinated by the art of tattooing and the majority of them choose to ink a part of their body in order to symbolize a memory of someone or something.

by the way,

These tattoos take a period to heal. In some unfortunate occasions develop an infection which causes bumps on tattoo or around it.

What causes bumps on tattoo?

People develop bumps on their tattoos for various reasons.bumps on tattoo

The reason behind the bump can differ from a person to another based on the skin type and environment.

  • Infection

    Majority of times tattoos do not get infected due to the safety measures the tattoo artist takes. However, in other cases, the tattoo can get infected with bacteria during the healing process.

    If it’s the case:

    You must take good care of your tattoo during the healing process by sanitize it and protect it from any polluting factor.

    What you need to do is:

    • Make sure your wounds are not open and exposed to bacteria.
    • The infection may lead to redness on the tattoo and the area surrounding it.
    • The infection can cause itchiness and stinginess sensation which can leave you feeling uncomfortable. Although some infections are totally harmless and disappear in a short period on their own.
    If you notice any delay in the process of healing or spread of infection, you must contact your doctor for a checkup.
  • Weather

    Improper exposure to the sun may cause you a damaged skin. If your tattoo is new you might want to keep it away from the sunlight.

    The rays of the sun may cause skin burns and lead to skin infection and a rash for all you know.

    The wound from the needles can sometimes be slightly open and any UV rays can cause annoying infection on the tattoo area which may take a long period to heal.

    In such case,

    You might want to clean and cover the tattoo until it is completely healed or every time you go out in the sunlight.

    This way you can avoid skin damage and let your tattoo heal properly instead of an additional healing process of the sun damage [1].

  • Acne

    If you have a sensitive skin or an acne prone skin you might get pimples on your tattoo area. Whenever you start noticing the appearance of pimples due to acne do not panic.

    The probability of the disappearance of such pimples is very high. The pimples will go on their own like any other common pimple.

    One very important factor you must keep in mind is that you must never ever pop the pimples or else they will get infected and lead to a serious skin irritation.

    Let your tattoo heal naturally as well as those pimples because they will go away after a while and will not affect the appearance of your tattoo [2].

  • Chemicals

    Human skin needs constant attention along with different products in order to keep it refreshed and healthy.

    However, too many products may lead to a negative skin reaction that can be uncomfortable.

    This can lead to the formation of bumps and red or white spots. Do not put too many moisturizers or medical lotion at once to avoid chemicals build up.

    Make sure to put on the proper amount prescribed by the tattoo artist or dermatologist to prevent any chemical irritation.
  • Eczema

    Eczema is a rather serious skin condition, which most people suffer from. This phenomenon may be the reason for your bump if your tattoo is ever near it.

    Eczema tends to flare up at any time and a tattoo can add up to its severity.

    If the bumps of your tattoo are caused by eczema you probably will worsen your skin damage and need to visit a doctor as soon as possible. It will be painful and extremely itchy in addition to that it takes a long time to heal [3].

  • Tattoo removal

    There are cases where some people want their tattoo removed. In order to remove a tattoo, you need to go through several laser removal session.

    These sessions may leave you with bumps on your tattoo or a totally raised tattoo. This is very normal in some cases as it is part of the healing process.

    however, in other cases, it may develop into scarring which needs to be checked by a doctor for proper treatment [4].

  • Allergy

    Having sensitive skin may cause discomfort and minimize the chance of trying out different skin products as well as getting a tattoo.

    If you ever proceeded to have a tattoo and ended up having a bad reaction this means one thing.

    You had an allergic reaction either from the needles or the ink used. Since the ink contains a different chemical ingredient you might not aware you are allergic to.

    The ink may cause different reactions such as swelling, redness, and sometimes even a severe rash. If you face such a case you need to contact your doctor for a professional medical supervision to prevent any serious health risk [5].

    Colored tattoo especially the red one is the most common ones for allergy.

bumps on tattoo Symptoms

The most common symptoms for bumps, pimples or colored spots on tattoos have the same characteristics.

Down below is a list of the symptoms you most likely notice on the infected area:

  • Redness

    Redness is the first sign of bumps and pimples on tattoos, it usually appears at first in one spot than starts to spread to larger areas and sometimes gets painful and very itchy depending on the severity of the skin rash you have otherwise it can take weeks to heal, but if you do not know the source of it contact your doctor.

  • Itchiness

    Any area that is infected with bacteria will probably lead to itchiness. This means the bacteria is actively spreading, and you must not reach your wound in order not to transfer the bacteria or cause any severe skin damage.

    If your tattoo gets infected and starts to each go to a dermatologist and ask him to prescribe the appropriate treatment for you.

  • Puss

    The cause of puss is mainly a rash that starts with redness and ends in the shape of a pimple.

    Please refrain yourself from popping any a pimple your have on the tattoo area especially if your tattoo is new and in the process of healing.

    If you do that the area would get irritated and develop a dangerous infection which needs careful medical care.

  • Swelling

    Special parts of the body tend to increase the chance of swelling. If you choose to get a tattoo on your legs, for instance, this will result in some swelling of your tattoo area.

    It usually happens due to the blood circulation at the level of that particular body part. The swelling is totally normal and will go away after a while.

Difference between a Bump on new tattoo and old tattoo

Bumps on an old tattoo mean the same thing on a new one. There is a high possibility that the reason which caused the bumps on a new tattoo is the same to cause it on an old tattoo.

On another note,

There is less probability of getting a bump on an older tattoo than a new one. This is mainly due to the fact that your immune system developed a defense mechanism against the bacteria during the first time.

Does the color of the bump on the tattoo mean something?

The color of the bump on your tattoo means different things. sometimes it means that your infection is getting worst if the color turns from red to purple or dark.

basically, the progress of the color on your tattoo indicates to the reason or source of infection.

Red color means you are developing a rash which can go away soon, but if it spreads and turns dark means you need to see a doctor. while bump sometimes means pimples which they heal on their own by time.

White bumps on tattooWhite bumps on tattoo

if you have an already existing acne condition you might develop white pimples. this is not a reason for you to pop them.

This case will worsen your infection and lead to a further spread of bacteria instead of a natural healing process.

Red bumps around a tattoo

red color on a tattoo indicates to several things.

The first one is skin sensitivity from the needles may cause some red spots but eventually fade away during the healing process so it is normal.

Second, if the red color starts to darken and spread please contact your doctor for proper treatment.

Little bumps on tattoo

Some people tend to have several reactions to new tattoos. little bumps are one of those reactions. the reason for their appearance is mainly due to ink allergy or at least to one of its ingredients.

Small itchy pimples will appear and will cause a lot of discomforts and you have to consult a doctor for suitable treatment

Itchy bumps on tattoobumps on tattoo

Any skin irritation results in itching sensation that can get very painful and annoying. itching means that your bump is getting infected by active bacteria that might be already spreading.

Please try to avoid itching in order to prevent any scratch on your tattoo especially if it is new because it may cause another severe infection that takes a lot of time and medical care to heal.

Bumps on tattoo Treatment

Several solutions can be suggested in order to cure a tattoo bump. The elements mentioned below will give you some guidelines and form an understanding of how you can cure your tattoo bump.

  • Good hygiene

    • Your personal tattoo artist will make sure to tell you about the importance of keeping your tattoo area properly cleaned.
    • You must make sure to keep your needle wounds away from any source of infection.
    • You also have to make sure to apply ointment and a moisturizer on the area in order to guarantee proper healing process.

    Cover the area at the beginning until the wounds are closed up in order to avoid the development of bacteria.

  • Infection cream

    your personal dermatologist will give you a good consultation about the different ointment. Your doctor wants to prevent infection or stop it from spreading.

    Do not apply any random product, for safe results you must visit your doctor for an appropriate one which is suitable for your skin and situation.

Bumps on tattoo Home remedies

Home remedies help in relieving the symptoms of your skin condition.

But sometimes it cannot help heal completely depending on the skin type of the person and the severity of their condition. So you need to seek other medical solutions if you have to.

  • Cold packs

    This solution is very easy and has an immediate effect. It works as a pain reliever as well as it minimizes the swelling.

    If you have an itching sensation cold packs help reduce such feeling as well. All that you need to do is the following:

    1. Put on a clean cloth on your tattoo.
    2. Apply the cold pack on top of the cloth for several minutes.
    3. Repeat the process whenever you feel a discomfort.
    Note: Do not apply the ice pack directly on the skin it may cause skin damage.
  • Honey

    This ingredient is very useful as antibiotic due to its antibacterial elements. It helps reduce inflammation as well as fight the spread of bacteria.

    It also contains hydrating essences which help the healing process of your tattoo if it is a new one.

    1. Take a cotton swab and dab it in honey.
    2. Apply it directly and gently on the wanted area.
    3. Leave it for at least 10 minutes.
    4. Rinse it off gently with a small amount of lukewarm water.
    5. Repeat the process daily if you see good results.
  • Ointments/Creams

    The only ointments you can use on an inflamed or bumpy tattoo are antibiotics. They help heal your needle wounds in a safe and clean manner.

    They also make sure to stop the active spread of the bacteria during and after the healing process of your tattoo. You must apply thin layers in order to avoid any substance build up on your tattoo.

    Note: if you can’t use lukewarm water, take a clean wet cloth and clean the area very gently.

bumps on tattoo Prevention

  • Avoid washing your tattoo area too much.
  • Avoid swimming to prevent inflammation.
  • Use very light layers of lotion, sunscreen or moisturizer.
  • Do not scratch your irritated tattoo to avoid cuts and inflamed wounds.
  • Make sure to know about any skin allergies towards ink ingredients before getting a tattoo.
  • Cover your tattoo at early healing stages to avoid infection.


Bumpy tattoos either new or old are usually not harmful. The bumps are often a reaction to some trigger and eventually heal on their own.

If you have the usual symptoms at a normal level of discomfort, do not worry about any skin or health complications. However, if these symptoms take a long period to heal or do not go away you must contact your doctor for proper consultation and treatment.

The bumps may reappear from time to time due to some reason such as allergy or bacteria it depends on the causes mentioned in the article above.


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  1. When the tattoo was designed it was good…. but after 8 months … now I am ineffected bye bumps on the tattoo…. the area on tattoo is fully affected ….with…itching …. went to doctor they gave ointment but only for few minutes it will control ….. again same itching ..


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