Skip to content

Can You Tattoo Over A Scratch Or Small Cut?

Can You Tattoo Over A Scratch

You are just a day away from your appointment, and you get scratched (or maybe a small cut)! 

You might now be wondering if you would have to reschedule, wait till it heals and pay extra, or just get the tattoo over the scratch.  

But is it safe? Can you tattoo over scratches or small cuts?

The good news is, YOU CAN tattoo over scratches and you don’t need to reschedule for most cases. 

And in this post, I’ll go through everything you need to know about tattooing over a scratch or small cut.  

Also, check out our guide on if you can tattoo your balls.

Can You Tattoo Over A Scratch?

Yes, you can get a tattoo over a scratch or small cut, and most tattoo artists are okay with tattooing over scratches. 

The area may be slightly more sensitive since it is still a wound and tattooing over a scratch will be a little painful. This is because the needle will go over the area where the scratch is, irritating the wound.

tattoo over small cut

However, if the scratch or cut is large or deep, then it is not advisable to tattoo over it and your artist will probably ask you to wait till it heals as well.

If the scratch is small and not too deep, you should be fine. 

Science Part 

A scratch is a surface-level injury to the skin that does not penetrate the dermis. It just penetrates the epidermis.

If you read some of our previous posts, you’ll know that a tattoo is a partial thickness injury and ink is inserted into the dermis.

So there won’t be any issue tattooing over a scratch because the tattoo will penetrate even deeper going through the scratch.

But deep scratches or cuts can penetrate the dermis or even further and can be painful. They can also lead to infection if they are not properly cleaned and covered. 

tattoo on scratches

Deep scratches usually require medical attention and you will not be able to tattoo over these until they are healed.

Can You Tattoo Over A Shaving Cut?

In general, it’s best to avoid tattooing over shaving cuts as they tend to be long and larger, unlike scratches. They will form scabs and it’s difficult to tattoo over them.

Related: Do Shin Tattoos Hurt

These cuts are more susceptible to infection. If you were to get a tattoo over a shaving cut, there is a higher risk of infection and it would increase the healing time as well.

But some artists would still tattoo over shaving cuts. 

However, keep in mind that tattoos over shaving cuts can be more painful and will make the tattooing process more uncomfortable.

If you have a low pain tolerance, you may want to rethink getting a tattoo over a shaving cut.


Can You Tattoo Over Cuts?

Yes, you can tattoo over cuts, but you need to wait until it’s completely healed. Getting a tattoo a few hours after a cut is a HUGE NO-NO.

Can You Tattoo Over A Fresh Burn?

It is not recommended. You should NEVER tattoo over a fresh burn. Your artist won’t do it either.
The burn needs to heal first and the area needs to be clean before tattooing. Once the area is healed, you can talk to your tattoo artist about the best way to cover up the scar.

Can You Tattoo Over a Scab?

No, tattooing over a scab is not recommended. A scab is part of the body’s natural healing process, and tattooing over it can interfere with this process, leading to poor healing and potential infection.

It can also compromise the quality of the tattoo’s appearance, as the ink may not be retained properly in the healing skin.

What Happens If You Get a Cut on a Tattoo?

If you get a cut on a tattoo, it can potentially damage the tattoo’s appearance, depending on the depth and severity of the cut.

A superficial scratch may heal without much impact, but a deeper gash could distort the design by affecting the ink beneath the skin.

The body’s healing process will create new skin cells, but they may not contain the tattoo ink, leading to possible scarring or color loss within the tattoo’s artwork.

Prompt and proper wound care is essential to minimize damage and ensure the tattoo heals as smoothly as possible.


This is a rather common question that we get asked, and most of the time we accept the client. You can tattoo over a scratch or cut, as long as it is not too deep. 

If the scratch is still fresh, it might hurt a bit, but there are no risks involved. It is important to make sure the tattoo artist uses sterile needles and a fresh ink supply.

Send a pic to your artist and they will give you an exact answer depending on the size, depth, and location of the scratch.

Leave a Reply