So a couple of weeks ago I was mowing my grass and in the process of doing so I got into a fight with a mesquite bush and lost. In the process, I scratched the ever living shit out of my left forearm and my wrist; exactly where my Autism Speaks puzzle piece tattoo is. This was the result of that entanglement (sorry for the poor quality, but you get the idea):
The cut did go up into the green but it was much more visible in the yellow section. Anyway, after I saw that I was naturally freaking out thinking I was about to just totally fuck up the look of the tattoo. I wasn’t sure if it was going to start seeping ink, have a permanent scar or whatever over it. I asked my artist about it and she reassured me it should be OK but that if for whatever reason anything did wind up going awry she’d touch it up for me.
Well, as it turns out it healed up without issue and with the appearance of the tattoo completely intact. As it was a fairly superficial scratch and the tattoo had long healed up completely it was a low-risk thing. Upon cleaning the scratch I put a little triple antibiotic ointment on it and slapped some Saniderm over it for a few days and it closed right up and a week and a half later the tattoo looked totally normal again.
I was worried because I’d read stories of tattoos seeping ink after being cut but apparently it’s a rare phenomenon and you have to be cut pretty deeply to risk that (once healed the tattoo ink sits about mid-way into the dermis which is deeper than a vast majority of scrapes, scratches and cuts) . To risk permanent damage to the tattoo you really need to go at least as deep and probably deeper than the pigment. After all, you DO seep bodily fluids (lymph, plasma and some blood cells) while being tattooed yet somehow the pigment stays behind (well most of it anyway, the skin can only hold so much and any ink beyond what it can hold is seeped out as excess).
Again though, keep in mind my tattoo was completely healed and I’m not sure if the results would have been the same on a fresh tattoo and I have no desire to find out. Alas, I post this mainly to reassure everyone reading that if your tattoo is has been fully healed for some time things of this sort are little cause for concern. Chances are, it’ll heal up just fine. It did for me.