Every prick of the tattoo needle that penetrates your skin and adds pigment can cause irritation. As a result, freshly tattooed skin may itch in the days and even weeks after you get your new ink. Rather than scratching and diminishing your tattoo artist’s hard work, you need to promote skin healing to relieve the itch.

The process of injecting tattoo ink is enough to trigger a skin reaction. In many cases, an itchy new tattoo is simply caused by your skin reacting to the process. There might be inflammation or irritation which is accompanied by itch. However, other factors may affect whether — or how much — your new tattoo itches.

Achieve at-home relief from an itchy tattoo before making a trip to your doctor. In most cases, you’ll be able to minimize itchiness until it subsides naturally, but you’ll have to stick to basic remedies to avoid irritating the sensitive skin with too many products.

If your tattooed skin is more than just a little itchy, see a doctor to rule out an infection. Signs of an infection include skin that’s swollen, red, tender and warm to the touch and painful.