Home Tattoo Can You Tattoo Over a Cut: 7 Factors & 10 Risks [3 Precautions]

Can You Tattoo Over a Cut: 7 Factors & 10 Risks [3 Precautions]

7 Factors and 11 Risks of Tattooing Over a Cut With 3 Precautions
Our recommended Product - Dr. Numb® 5% Lidocaine Cream - 30g

Tattooing over a cut can pose significant risks and increase the chances of infection. The healing process may be longer, and extra precautions should be taken to protect the tattoo. It's essential to consult with a professional tattoo artist and doctor before deciding. Prioritizing skin health and safety is vital.

Yes, experienced artists can usually handle it. To get a tattoo over a scar, your spots must be completely healed, which can take up to a year.

To minimize tattoo pain, use a numbing cream like Dr. Numb®. Follow aftercare instructions for proper healing and reduced discomfort.

In this blog post, we will explore whether one can get a tattoo over a cut, factors to consider before tattooing over cuts, the effects and risks, and the preparations and precautions that should be taken.

Can You Tattoo Over a Cut: 6 Factors to Consider

Cut Healed & Tattoo Time? Minimize Discomfort with Dr. Numb®
Once your cut heals completely, Dr. Numb® numbing cream may help minimize discomfort during your tattoo.

Getting a tattoo over a cut may seem like a good idea at first, but there are several factors to consider before proceeding with the procedure. Here are some essential things to remember:

Severity of Cut

When deciding whether to tattoo over a cut, the severity of the cut is crucial. If the cut is severe and needs medical attention, let it heal before considering a tattoo. Severe cuts take time to heal and can become infected if not treated properly. Getting a tattoo over a severe cut can prolong healing and cause complications. Wait for the cut to heal entirely before attempting to get a tattoo.

Size of the Cut

It is also essential to consider the size when choosing to tattoo over it. Minor cuts that have healed completely can be tattooed over, while significant cuts may take longer to heal and increase the risk of infection.

Infection Risk

Over tattooing a cut can lead to infection and disease, and it is vital to ensure that the wound has completely healed before getting inked. Tattoo artists should follow proper hygiene practices and procedures to minimize the risk of infection.

You can tattoo over a scratch or cut if it's not too deep. It might sting a bit if it's fresh, but there are no risks. Just ensure the tattoo artist uses sterile needles and fresh ink. Avoid tattooing over a scab to prevent ink from dropping out, infection, and scarring.

Tattoo Over Healed Scar? Dr. Numb® May Help Soothe
Dr. Numb® numbing cream may help alleviate discomfort when tattooing over a fully healed scar.

Healing Time

The healing time for a cut varies depending on the severity, size, depth, and location of the injury. It is crucial to wait until the wound has fully healed before getting a tattoo to avoid complications.

Age of the Cut

The age of the cut is an essential factor to consider when getting a tattoo. When tattooing over a fresh cut, further injury can occur, and the healing process may take longer. However, cuts or grazes shouldn't affect an older tattoo, as the ink is deeply ingrained in the dermis, and the skin has fully recovered. Waiting until the cut has fully healed is the best approach to avoid complications.

Depth of the Cut

The depth of the cut is a crucial factor in determining whether it is safe to tattoo over it. If the cut has reached the dermis layer of the skin, it is best to wait until it has fully healed. Tattooing over a deep cut can lead to infection and further complications.

Tattooing can be painful as artists use needles to inject ink into the skin's dermis layer, causing swelling and skin damage. The area may remain sore for about a week post-procedure until the swelling subsides.

Location of the Cut

The location of the cut is another crucial thing to consider before getting a tattoo. Areas that are prone to movement, such as joints, heal more slowly and are more susceptible to infection.

10 Risks of Tattooing Over a Cut

There are 11 risks associated with tattooing over a cut

It may tempt you to cover up a fresh wound with a new tattoo, but this can cause more harm than good. Before considering getting an over-cut tattoo, consider the risks.

  • Increased Pain: Tattooing over small cuts or scabs is ‌more painful than getting a tattoo on healthy skin. The skin's sensitivity, besides the needle's contact with the wound, can cause significant discomfort during the process.
  • Impaired Healing: A fresh cut is still in the healing process, and tattooing can delay or impair it. The tattoo needle may affect the wound's scab or crust, leading to slower healing or potential complications that interfere with the tattoo's outcome.
  • Blood Poisoning: During the tattooing process, the needle penetrating a cut can draw blood, leading to blood poisoning. Blood poisoning, also known as sepsis, causes severe illness and even death. But you can donate blood if you have tattoos.
  • Allergic Reaction: Tattoo inks could cause allergic reactions in some people, leading to swelling, itching, and other symptoms.
  • Scarring: Over-tattooing a cut may leave deep scars, affecting the tattoo's outcome and appearance. Additionally, scarring may result if a tattoo is placed on improperly healed skin, causing the injury to become permanent.
  • Bleeding: The skin over the cut is sensitive and may bleed more than usual, leading to a lengthier and more challenging tattooing process.
  • Blood-Borne Diseases: Tattooing over a cut can increase your risk of contracting blood borne diseases such as hepatitis B or C and HIV. This risk increases if the equipment used isn't sterile.
  • Skin Cancer: Although rare, tattooing over a cut increases the risk of developing skin cancer, primarily if the tattoo artist uses cheap ink or performs the procedure in unsterile conditions.
  • Swelling: If you have a cut, the skin around the cut may swell when tattooed over. This can be incredibly uncomfortable if the cut is in a sensitive body area.
  • Infection Risk: Tattooing over a cut may increase the risk of infection. The combination of ink, blood, and damaged skin may create an environment conducive to bacterial or fungal infections.
Numb the Sting of Your Tattoo (Healed Cut): Dr. Numb® Helps
For a more comfortable tattoo experience over a healed cut, consider Dr. Numb® numbing cream.

If you are currently on blood thinners, be aware that they can heighten the chances of bruising. It's not recommended to get a tattoo while using these medications. If workable, refrain from taking these medications for a week before and after your tattoo appointment.

3 Precautions and Preparations Before Getting a Tattoo Over a Cut

Certain precautions must ensure a safe and successful tattooing experience. We will discuss the steps you must take before, during, and after your tattoo session if you have a cut on your skin.

Preparing for Tattooing Over Cuts

When getting a tattoo after a cut, it's essential to ensure that your skin is as healthy as possible. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Clean the Cut: Shaving before getting a tattoo is crucial. Ensuring no hairs are in the way is key to achieving a flawless finish and reducing the risk of infection. Clean it and keep it dry and infection-free.
  • Consult with a Tattoo Artist: Not all tattoo artists will be willing or able to perform a tattoo over a cut. It's essential to find a reputable artist who specializes in this type of tattoo and will discuss any concerns you may have.
  • Discuss any Concerns with the Tattoo Artist: Be honest with your tattoo artist about your concerns, fears, and expectations. They can advise on how to best prepare for your tattoo session and what to expect during and after the procedure.

During the Tattooing Session

During the Tattooing Session 3 Precautions and Preparations

Once you've found a reputable tattoo artist and have followed the proper precautions to prepare for your session, taking care of your skin during the tattooing process is essential. Here's what you should remember:

  • Numbing Options: If you're concerned about pain, talk to your tattoo artist about numbing options. Many artists offer topical strongest numbing creams or sprays that can help ease discomfort.
  • Special Care for the Cut: During the tattooing process, your artist must work carefully around the cut to avoid causing further damage. Be prepared to take breaks during the session to allow your skin to heal.
  • Tattoo Shading: you should not finish a tattoo the next day. Because when you get a tattoo, your skin is essentially wounded. And like any wound, it needs time to heal.

Taking Precautions After Tattooing Session

After the tattooing session, it's essential to take proper care of your tattoo and the cut in order to keep your skin healthy and to ensure it remains infection-free. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Follow Aftercare Instructions: Do not wipe with alcohol, Vaseline, Neosporin, or petroleum jelly (they trap dirt and germs and can cause infection). Also, it's recommended to wait at least 24-48 hours before drinking alcohol. You can shower for 3-4 hours after getting a tattoo using a Saniderm bandage. Wait 24 hours before unwrapping your tattoo and showering if it is wrapped in plastic.
  • Monitor the Cut for any Signs of Infection: Removing the bandage and washing the tattoo is usually safe within 5 hours. Monitor the cut and the surrounding skin closely to detect infection-related signs, such as swelling, redness, or oozing pus. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
  • Safety: To prevent skin abrasions, use antibiotic ointments as your wound heals to stave off infections. Though topical lidocaine is ‌safe and efficient, it can trigger side effects like a red rash, itching, tingling, and mild swelling. These effects are typical and typically subside upon discontinuation of the cream. If they persist or cause considerable discomfort, consult your healthcare provider for guidance.
  • Contact a Healthcare Provider If Necessary: If you are concerned about the healing process of your cut after getting a tattoo, ‌contact a healthcare provider. Your condition can be evaluated by them, and they can recommend a treatment.
Tattooing a Healed Scar? Enhance Comfort with Dr. Numb®
Ask your tattoo artist if Dr. Numb® numbing cream can help enhance comfort during your tattoo over a healed scar.

Tattoos typically take around 2 weeks to heal, though full skin recovery may extend beyond that timeframe. Peeling commonly starts a few days after tattooing as the skin embarks on its healing and regeneration process.


It's essential to ensure that a cut is completely healed before tattooing over it. This will prevent any significant health-related issues and ensure that the tattooing process does not interfere with the healing of the cut.

If you are unsure about the healing status of your cut, it's better to wait until it's entirely healed before getting a tattoo. It's essential to trust a professional and experienced tattoo artist to avoid infection and any other underlying health complications.

Our recommended Product - Dr. Numb® 5% Lidocaine Cream - 30g
Matt Callard
I am a passionate traveler, as if traveling were my full-time job. I like to change my surroundings and environment, like changing desktop wallpaper. Nature increases the concentration in my writing, which helps brainstorming flow in my blood. I have a cat named Kitana. She is the most desperate about traveling, more than any other cat. How do I know? If I miss any tour in any week, she literally destroys my clothing with her wolverine nails.

I and my cat also participate in extreme activities like surfing, biking, hill tracking, paragliding, boating, etc. She was always there in my accidents, injuries, and stitches. She always sits on my lap when it hurts me most. The funniest part is that she has experienced all my tattoos. She sleeps on my blanket when I go through any painful experience.

My hobbies and lifestyle added many pain and injuries to my life. That is why I have a lot of experience in dealing with different levels of pain and burn. It influenced me to become a pain expert and share primary suggestions to handle any unwanted situations that hurt.


  • How Long Should I Wait Until I Can Tattoo Over a Cut?

    It is recommended to wait at least 6-8 weeks for a cut to fully heal before getting a tattoo. In this way, the skin is able to regenerate and heal properly, minimizing the risk of infection or complications during the tattooing process.

  • Will A Cut Ruin A Tattoo?

    A cut on a tattoo can permanently damage it. A deep cut or graze can pull ink away, causing patchiness, fading, and scarring. When a cut happens on tattooed skin, it risks ink integrity because of excessive scabbing from bleeding. It can also lead to infection, tattoo distortion, complex scabbing, and slow healing. Improperly cared-for tattoos may cause scarring.

  • Can I Get A Tattoo Over a Fresh Cut?

    No, it is not recommended to tattoo over a wound that is still healing, as infection can occur and there will be poor healing of both the cut and the tattoo.

  • Can We Make Tattoos On Stitches?

    Stitches tattoos replicate the appearance of stitches on the skin. People often opt for these tattoos as a form of body art or to commemorate medical procedures or injuries. They can be designed in various styles, such as realistic, cartoonish, or abstract representations of stitches.

Back to blog
More Content