Can I get Scabies over my tattoo?


Scabies is a skin infection caused by the scabies mite ‘Sarcoptes scabiei which results into rashes and itching all over the body. The scabies mite is microscopic in nature and creates burrows in the uppermost layer of the skin for its growth and survival. Scabies is usually spread through direct and prolonged contact with a patient of scabies or through sharing his/ her belongings.

Any type of contact with a patient of scabies can transfer the scabies mites to your body. The answer to the question: Can I get scabies over my tattoo is a big yes.

There are two possibilities of developing scabbing over your tattoo.

  • If you get yourself tattooed with the same needle with which the scabies patient got the tattoo over his body, you are likely to get infested. That’s why you need to ensure that your tattoo artist uses fresh needle and equipments to make tattoos. Otherwise the infection can continue to spread endlessly. In some cases you may experience an itch after getting tattooed and that can definitely be scabies.
  • The second case is if you come in contact with a person suffering from scabies, it is very definite that you can get scabies. Whether you are having tattoo over your body or not, your skin is always prone to develop scabies if you come in contact with a person suffering from it. 

If you experience some itch or rash after getting your skin tattooed, its best to run to the doctor and start the treatment right away. 

If you experience any of the following symptoms then you might have developed scabies.

Symptoms of scabies

Scabies can affect people from any age, race or social class throughout the world. It spreads swiftly in crowded conditions as close skin contact takes place there easily. Nursing homes, child day care facilities and prisons are often most vulnerable to scabies.

Even living in a house with the person infested with scabies increase chances of getting infected with it. 


This is the most common and easily identified symptom of scabies. This gets severe as the infection spreads starting from hands to other parts of the body. The itch gets worse during the night time and especially after a hot water bath. You can experience itch all over even if the mites are present at that part or not with just few of them present on your body.


The rashes appear after the itching starts.  Rashes are like blotchy, lumpy red colored that can emerge at any part of the body. It initially appears on the inside of the thighs, parts of the abdomen, armpits, and the surrounding region of nipples in women. But check with your doctor for rashes because it can be signs of other skin allergies as well. 

Mite tunnels

These are the burrows created by mites to lay eggs. They look like dark or silvery lines which are approximately 2-10 mm long. Most commonly they appear in the between the fingers and the inner sides of the wrists and the hands. They are noticeable only after you experience an itch or rash. And they may appear in any part of the body.


Scratching is a result of intense itching which can sometimes damage the skin. In some cases the damaged skin may get affected with other bacteria and result in a more detrimental skin infection. In this case skin becomes red, swollen and hot.

Exasperation of other skin conditions

If you have eczema, or problems such as psoriasis, scabies can possibly worsen these skin conditions. In such cases it becomes too complicated to diagnose scabies and treat it.

Thus, if you experience any of the above symptoms after you get your body tattooed, then just start away the treatment right away. Do not wait for itching and rashes to get worse.

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