Tattoos are an art form, an expression of individuality, and a whole lot of fun. So, you’ll probably be eager to show your friends and family or get a photo of your ink on social media. However, the tattoo healing process can be painful and long. It can take anywhere from several months to a year or more for your tattoo to heal completely, but there are ways to speed things up so you can get back out there sooner.
The healing process for tattooing can be broken down into four stages.
Redness is the initial stage. This starts just after you have your tattoo and can linger for up to a week. It is typical for your tattoo to seem red during this stage, and you may even see ink oozing out of it. If the “oozing” persists after a week, consult a doctor. The next stage is itching. Itching is one of the most common adverse effects of a tattoo. You will suffer itching during the first few weeks after having a tattoo. It will also peel when the skin heals. You may aid with this by using a mild lotion.
Then, your tattoo will begin to peel in the third stage, much like a scab. After the second week, this will occur. Because your body believes your tattoo has been injured, it is attempting to repair the skin. Don’t worry; the tattoo won’t fall off. Finally, in the fourth stage, even if your tattoo appears to be totally healed, you must always use precautions. Tattoo Aftercare is critical; you’ll need to keep it up for at least 4-6 months.
How long does it take for a tattoo to heal?
For most people, the healing process for a tattoo is some combination of itchy, flaky, and sore. It’s uncomfortable enough that it’s impossible to ignore even while you’re trying to sleep. The skin is also more sensitive than usual—wash your hands before touching a healing tattoo, or else you might cause additional damage.
The first week is also the most painful part of the healing process. This is where the skin around the tattoo is swollen and red and may feel prickly or tingly. This stage may last up to a few days after the tattoo is finished.
The second week of healing begins when the swelling and redness go away, usually within a week of getting a new tattoo. The area may start to flake or peel slightly at this point, but it’s still quite tender.
The third week of healing occurs when you can no longer see any signs of peeling or flaking, and the area becomes much less tender and less sensitive to pain—this is when your tattoo starts to look like a permanent piece of art on your body.
The fourth week occurs once your tattoo has completely healed, and you can feel completely normal about using your arm or leg without worrying about damaging it. This can take anywhere between one month and two years from when you got your tattoo, depending on how much care you took during each stage above and how well your body responded to the process.
Tattoo Healing Process
The tattoo healing process is a crucial part of the tattooing process. With proper care, your tattoos will look their best and stand the test of time. While tattoos have existed for centuries, the methods and practices of tattooing have undergone drastic changes over time.
Today’s tattooists are trained in a medical setting with sterile needles and ink and are encouraged to keep detailed records of each client’s treatments. This is in keeping with the modern practice of treating tattoos as permanent skin decoration rather than a rite of passage or tribal ritual. Thus, tattoo enthusiasts who are considering getting inked should pay special attention to the healing process because even though it doesn’t hurt as much as you might think, there are some important things you can do to ensure a smooth recovery.
Generally speaking, tattoo healing stages can be divided into four distinct stages. However, everyone heals differently, and your tattoo might skip some of the steps below or take longer to get through the process. If you notice that your tattoo is not healing as quickly as it should be, you should let your artist know right away so they can help treat it. Each stage requires different amounts of care and attention. The care instructions below are general guidelines only. Check with your artist to ensure you are following their recommendations.
The initial stage lasts from day one until roughly day six. Your new tattoo will be wrapped for the first several hours before becoming an exposed wound. Because your body is reacting to the damage, you may detect redness, leaking, mild inflammation or swelling, or burning pain.
Itching and flaking may occur at this point. Flaky skin isn’t a cause for concern; it’s a natural reaction, and the ink will stay in place even though it appears to be peeling. You must avoid scratching or picking at scabs. Knowing how often to moisturize a new tattoo is key. A tattoo artist or doctor-recommended moisturizer can keep the skin around the tattoo moisturized and may relieve irritation.
Weeks three and four
The irritation should subside as your tattoo begins to dry off. If it does not, and the redness remains, it might indicate an infected tattoo. Your tattoo may look less bright than usual. However, this is due to forming of a layer of dry skin over it. This will exfoliate naturally, revealing the vibrant tattoo. Resist the impulse to pick or scrape since this might result in scars.
Months 2 through 6
Itching and redness should have reduced by this time, and your tattoo should appear to have entirely healed. However, it’s a good idea to keep up with aftercare. Drinking plenty of water, wearing SPF or sun-protective clothes, and maintaining the tattoo clean are all part of long-term tattoo care.
Remember that tattoos are unique in that they change over time. The first week after a tattoo is applied, it’s at the highest risk of being infected, and because of the high rate of infections, many artists won’t touch any tattoos during this period. If a tattoo is touched during this time, the healing process can be disrupted and may increase the chance of infection.
How to reduce healing time
A tattoo is essentially a wound; just like any wound, it needs time and cares to heal properly. However, plenty of things can slow down the tattoo healing process. How it heals depends on your skin condition and what you do with it after getting it done. If you take good care of it properly, there’s a higher chance that it will look good when it’s healed, and reduce the healing time as well.
Failure to follow the necessary aftercare measures might cause your tattoo to heal more slowly. As a result, it’s critical to follow your tattooist’s aftercare advice, which will assist in preventing issues and shorten the time it takes for the tattooed skin to recover. After the tattoo artist is finished, they will apply a thin layer of ointment and plastic wrap around your tattoo. Nonetheless, here are some strategies to speed up your new tattoo’s healing process:
- Before removing the plastic wrap, make sure to wash your hands.
- Use lukewarm water to wash the tattooed area.
- Make sure to use mild, fragrance-free soap.
- To prevent skin from drying out, apply a light moisturizer that your tattoo artist recommended.
- Prevent swimming or using baths to avoid getting tattooed skin into unclean water.
- Avoid exposing the tattooed region to sunlight.
- During the process of healing, avoid picking at the skin flakes and scabs.
- For faster healing, stay hydrated.
Don’t get it too wet.
It’s safe for your tattoo to be exposed to water and steam as long as it doesn’t get submerged. This means you can take a shower with your tattoo, but you should avoid submerging the tattoo in the bathtub or swimming for the first two weeks.
The reason why you shouldn’t submerge your tattoo is that the skin is delicate and vulnerable immediately after getting a tattoo, and too much exposure to moisture might damage your new piece. The water and steam in the bath or shower may loosen up the ink particles and run them in different directions.
This could cause the ink particles to spread underneath the skin, which could result in greater fading and blurring of your tattoo over time. It also increases your risk of infection—if you get water trapped under there, it will create a moist environment where bacteria can thrive.
Tattoo Healing Duration
The healing period of a tattoo may differ from one person to the other. This is mainly because each individual has a different skin type. The healing duration of a tattoo depends on several factors, like;
- The style of the tattoo
In general, the bigger the size of the tattoo a person has, the longer it takes for it to heal. It takes about 1 week for a small-sized tattoo to heal and about 2 weeks for a medium-sized tattoo to heal. For large tattoos, it needs about 3 weeks for them to heal completely.
- Whether it is grey or colored
An important factor that affects the healing time is whether the tattoo is in color or not. A colored tattoo heals faster than a black-and-white one.
- The size of the tattoo
As mentioned earlier, a larger-sized tattoo takes longer to heal than others do. That’s because; as you grow older, your skin starts becoming more fragile, and hence your body takes more time to recover from an injury or any other kind of trauma caused by such things as getting a tattoo.
- The location or body placement
How the tattoo is placed on the body also greatly impacts the healing duration. A tattoo on the upper arm will heal faster than a tattoo on the ankle. The reason is because of how close to the heart it is. The higher up your tattoo is, the faster it will heal.
- The execution of the tattoo artist
Tattoos can be done in different ways, which certainly affects the healing process. The most common are black and gray traditional tattoos, where the ink goes directly into the skin, but there are also white ink tattoos done with needles and lasers. The latter needs more time to heal than a regular tattoo because instead of going deeper into your skin, it’s burning the skin with laser beams which won’t let anything grow inside the wound for a long time. In fact, laser tattoos can leave scars behind if not properly taken care of due to their sensitivity level.
- The time the tattoo was wrapped and protected
The first 24 hours are crucial for proper healing, so keeping your tattoo well-protected during this period is important. This is especially true for larger tattoos that require more time to heal.
What Not to Do While Healing a Tattoo
Tattoo healing is a process that usually lasts about two weeks. While your tattoo is healing, there are some things you should avoid to prevent infection and prolong the life of your tattoo.
- Don’t expose your tattoo to sunlight for at least two weeks after getting it done. The healing process isn’t complete until two weeks have passed, so be careful not to damage your new ink by exposing it too early in its life cycle.
- Avoid swimming pools, hot tubs, and other bodies of water for two weeks after getting a new tattoo. The chlorine in pools and hot tubs can irritate your skin and cause infection around the tattoo.
- Don’t pick at or scratch your tattoo while it’s healing. Scratching or picking at your new tattoo can lead to scarring and permanent damage to the design.
- Avoid rubbing or scrubbing your tattoo while it’s healing. Doing so may cause the ink to smear or fade away prematurely.
- Don’t apply lotions, ointments, or creams to your new tattoo until the skin has fully healed. Lotions may contain ingredients that irritate open wounds and slow healing time.
Signs your tattoo isn’t healing properly
When the tattoo is not healing properly, there are many different reasons why this can happen. Here are some of the most common signs:
- A fever may signal that your tattoo has become infected, and you should seek medical attention immediately.
- You notice redness around your tattoo. This could mean that you have an infection or some other kind of serious problem going on with your body.
- Your skin feels hot or warm to the touch around your tattoo area. This typically indicates some sort of infection going on in your body, most likely caused by poor hygiene practices during the tattoo process itself.
- Pus is coming from under your skin around where the tattoo was made. This is another sign that you may have an infection underneath your skin, which needs to be treated by a doctor immediately.
- Itches like crazy. If your new tattoo starts itching like crazy, there’s something wrong with it.
- There’s a rash on your skin around the tattoo area. This could be an allergic reaction to the ink or a reaction to the aftercare product you used.
- The color of your tattoo isn’t what you expected — it looks duller than you expected or too dark and blotchy instead of smooth and even throughout the design.
How long should you wait after a tattoo to play sports?
After getting a tattoo, you may wonder how long you must wait before you can play sports again. It depends on the type of sport you are playing. If you are a football player and have a new tattoo, it is best to wait at least two weeks before having contact. The reason is that if you get hit in the area where your tattoo is, it could cause bruising or bleeding. Meanwhile, it could take up to 6 months for the ink to completely heal if you have a large tattoo, like your back or chest.
On the other hand, if you have a small tattoo on your ankle or wrist, then you can probably play right away but keep in mind that if you get hit or fall on it and break the skin, then there is going to be some bleeding and swelling that might take longer than normal for the ink to heal again. In addition, if it gets dirty from sweat or dirt, there may be an infection that could cause more problems than just having a scabby-looking tattoo.
The Final Takeaway
The tattoo healing procedure is quite simple. In our experts’ experience, swelling, discomfort, and seeping normally diminish by day three, followed by itching and peeling for another week. For the first month, your tattoo may appear darker and duller than planned. Therefore, it is best to use the right course of care and items from http://inkzee.com/.
Inkzee offers the greatest product and service for faster tattoo healing. They focus on building a legacy of happy customers and satisfied artists who want to stick around. Product efficacy, support, and a great guarantee are what Inkzee mainly focuses on, so if you’re struggling with healing your tattoos, it’s time to treat yourself to better products that work.