A person applies cream to their arm with eczema patches and a rose tattoo.

Eczema and Tattoos: The Healing Process

Normal tattoos take a little time to heal. I understand they peel and become uncomfortable, but this wasn't that. The tattoo I’d gotten was not only peeling; it was flaky and dried out. It almost appeared cracked in many different ways. After the first week, I began wondering if getting the tattoo was the right decision in the first place. I loved the concept, and I loved the work, but I began to realize that maybe I’m just not a “tattoo person.” Maybe the condition of my skin will always prevent me from doing anything remotely related to it.

How was my tattoo healing?

A few days into the second week after getting the tattoo, it didn’t appear to be healing much better than before. It was still extremely dry but didn’t appear to be cracking as much. Although it had taken on a new, more flaky vibe. Although it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to see at the time, it did give me hope that it wouldn’t be so terrible forever. The first week made not only the tattoo, but my entire hand look almost infected.

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The second week was also when the swelling went down. Just as with my first tattoo, the area appears raised/swollen for a while. From what I know, this is normal. But it did cause an extra awkward appearance and discomfort in addition to the eczema symptoms I’d experienced at that time.

By the end of the second week, things were looking up. Things were looking clear. The dryness, I strongly believe I will always have an issue with. My hand has been much itchier since I’ve gotten the tattoo, but I often question if that is because my attention is drawn more to it now. My wrists have always been a problem area too, so maybe it’s just a spread that was oddly triggered by the change.

Was the tattoo worth it?

Either way, I love the tattoo. I believe the artist did great work, and I’m honestly much more comfortable with it as time goes on. The flakes have completely gone. This was an issue I’ve had in the past with other areas, but never for long periods of time. Hopefully, it was just a temporary glitch in my story. I continue to moisturize my skin once a day but could honestly go for 5 or 6 times, to be honest. With consistent treatment, I think it will continue to look good and fresh. I have small worries about how fast my skin dries out. Making the tattoo appear a bit distorted/shaky at times (if that makes sense), but I think it should be okay.

Eczema shouldn't stop you

For anyone considering getting a tattoo with my condition, I encourage it! We shouldn’t let this hold us back or prevent us from doing what we want to do with our bodies. I also feel tattoos are an art form in their own right. They turn our bodies into beautiful collages of work, and it enhances the glow of our skin. We need to be confident and understand that although things may never be perfect, it’s perfectly fine to be unique.

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