Stupid cat. Advice for quickly healing a scratch?

I’m getting another tattoo in about 10 days, across my schoulders.

Last night, my cat decided that he absolutely had to snuggle up with me across my shoulders, but he’s a fat klutz, and he slipped, and grabbed at me to keep from rolling off of me onto the bed.

So now I have a lovely foot long scab across my formerly pristine shoulders, EXACTLY where I want my tattoo in roughly 240 short hours. It’s really shallow, but goddamnit.

Advice on healing quickly? Hydrate, eat well…

Polysporin or no?
Exercise or no?
Wash it often, wash it less often?
Particular foods?

Goddamn cats.

And you say it’s already scabbed over. Tsk.

I am not a medical professional, just a multiple cat hotelier, but I would have suggested washing it before it scabbed, with 5-10% hydrogen peroxide and the same antibacterial soap you intend using on your fresh tattoo to prevent its infection. And then, yes, polysporin or “Triple Antibiotic Ointment” or some such to help your outer skin layer seal up.

Now it’s a matter of soaking the scab to soften it and let it slough off first…

Sorry, I should have clarified. I did get up and wash it with soap and water when it happened last night. I’m just wanting to speed the remainder of the process up. I’ve heard conflicting reports about topical antibiotic use, so I didn’t slather it up last night. I don’t tend to wash my cuts with peroxide or rubbing alcohol because I’ve heard it kills the good stuff along with the bad, and I’m not prone to infections (thank god, knock on wood, etc).

If you specifically want to avoid antibiotics (polysporin being one), plain Vaseline petroleum jelly will (a) keep the wound dry [which is what you want], and (b) encourage the subsurface cells exposed by the injury to transform into surface cells [and seal over the cut].

A gauze bandage taped over the wound will also protect it from further insult, such as outside dirt intruding before it seals.

The doc I work with uses Aquaphor under a band-aid to heal owies. I’ve tried it myself and they do heal faster than without.

Doc said Aquaphor is better than Vaseline because it doesn’t soak in as fast.

I’d be more worried about cat scratch fever than readiness for tattooing, and would definitely use antibiotic ointment.

I would suggest you consult a doctor.

My first thought would be to delay getting the tatoo by a month or so. Would that really be such a disaster?

Why not just wait for a month so that your shoulder can heal properly?

If you consider the pros and cons … you could suffer some very serious problems with infections and other things if you try it too soon. OTOH, what would be the downside to waiting a few weeks? Do you really need to have the tat done so quickly?

I know what you mean, but cats are filthy little beasts. They walk in the litter box with those feet and they never even use Purell, afterwards. Soap & Water is a good start but I would follow a cat scratch with something more.

As for healing fast, that’s mostly down to your own body’s quirks. Take your vitamins, I guess. It can’t hurt.

Y’all, I’ve lived with cats my whole life. They sleep with me, they rub all over my body, they lick me on the lips, they accidentally scratch me or puncture me at least once a week. I’m not worried about germs from them particularly. If I went to the doctor every time I got a scratch I’d get laughed out of the office.

Mainly I just want to speed things along as much as I can - it’s just particularly bad timing. And yes, I’ll be keeping an eye on it, and if it doesn’t heal in time, I’ll be cancelling. But if I can get it to heal up nicely in time, I’d rather go ahead with my plans. Obviously a reputable artist is not going to tat broken skin, nor would I ever ask them to.

I have just dealt with this myself, except my cat didn’t fall down my back. She fell down my front. I ended up with nasty scratches all over my breasts. It hurt.

I strongly recommend antibiotic ointment and band aids to cover the scratches. My scratches flirted with infection for a few days (redness and some seepage) and then healed. 2 weeks later I’ve got ugly purple scars that seem to be slowly fading. You might want to push back the tattoo to allow the marks to fade and your skin to fully heal.

I cut myself above my brow and prevented scarring by applying extra virgin coconut oil.

I use whatever petroleum jelly product I’ve got laying around, whether that’s a plain jar of the stuff or lip balm or whatever. Just applied over the scratch at night before bed, keeps it from getting dry and itchy. Open to the air otherwise. All my scratches are to the point of the scab falling off in a week. I still have a pink mark for a couple more weeks to a month after that (I’m very fair skinned). I have cats and work with them for a living, so I get scratches all the time. It’s no big deal, unless of course, I’m getting tatted in that spot in 10 days!

Washing a scratch with more than soap or water is totally unnecessary. I suppose if you’re immunocompromised, but even then oral antibiotics are more appropriate. All alcohol and peroxide do is kill beneficial bacteria that help healing, and damage tissue.