How Long To Heal Tattoo?
How long does it take for a tattoo to heal? After getting a tattoo, the outer layer of skin (the part you can see) will typically heal within 2 to 3 weeks. While it may look and feel healed, and you may be tempted to slow down on the aftercare, it can take as long as 6 months for the skin below a tattoo to truly heal.
- 0.1 Is 3 days enough for a tattoo to heal?
- 0.2 How long till tattoo is fully healed?
- 1 Is it possible to over moisturize a tattoo?
- 1.1 How can I speed up my tattoo healing?
- 1.2 Can I wash my tattoo after 48 hours?
- 1.3 Should I cover my tattoo at night?
- 1.4 Can I shower with a new tattoo?
- 1.5 Is it OK to wear clothes over a new tattoo?
- 1.6 Can I drink 2 days after getting a tattoo?
- 1.7 What does the healing process of a tattoo look like?
- 2 Why is my tattoo GREY instead of black?
- 3 Can I have a bath 3 weeks after a tattoo?
How do you know if your tattoo is fully healed?
Stages of the tattoo healing process – One of the biggest decisions in getting a tattoo is settling on a design and the right artist to bring your vision to reality. But the time you spend in the tattoo parlor is just a small part of the entire process.
Once you leave the shop with your new tattoo, it’s important to turn your focus to the tattoo healing phase. So, how long does it take a tattoo to heal? As you might expect, the answer is ‘it depends. ‘ Depending on how the inking process went and where your tattoo is located, it can take anywhere from four weeks to a couple of months for it to fully heal.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how you can speed up this healing process, let’s first take a look at the various stages of it: 1. Week 1: open wound Immediately after the tattooist is done with the art piece, your body begins the process of healing.
Though it might not look like it, your tattoo is actually an open wound on your skin. Your body begins to repair the damage right there and then. In this stage, your body mobilizes its first responders to injury, and you might notice a slight stinging or burning sensation resulting from inflammation at the site of the tattoo.
That sensation, which lasts a week, on average, is your body working hard to patch things up and prevent infection. It’s therefore recommended that you treat your fresh tattoo as an open wound. By doing this, you can avoid infections and other complications that can occur when you leave an open wound unattended.
Your tattoo artist will go over the things you need to do to keep your new tattoo clean, and it can feel overwhelming at first. Add to this some stinging pain, and it’s not hard to see how your stress levels might increase a bit during this time.
A good tattooist can recommend some ways to alleviate this stress so that your skin can heal properly. Week 2: itching and peeling In the second week of the tattoo healing stages, the inflammation around your tattoo will subside a little. As you might have experienced with other healing wounds, an itching feeling — which replaces the burning and stinging sensation from stage one — is normal during this part of the healing process.
A new top layer of skin has formed over the tattoo, which means the old skin will form scabs and flake off. The dryness is what causes you to feel the itchy sensation on and around the wound — the tattooed area.
The incessant itching might make you wonder, “How long do tattoos take to heal?” In such a situation, try to resist the urge to scratch the skin or peel off the flakes. Your tattooist can likely recommend some lotion to keep your skin moisturized, which can reduce the itchy feeling.
Weeks 3 and 4: drying out When the topical healing is done, you will stop feeling itchy at the site of the tattoo. At this point, the skin dries out. In many instances, there’s a layer of dry skin that covers the tattoo after the scabs fall off.
While this often causes the tattoo to appear slightly duller in color, it will naturally slough off to reveal the vibrant piece of art you went in to get. Weeks 5 and 6: completely healed This is the last part in the four stages of tattoo healing. You’ll know you’re in this phase — and that your tattoo is fully healed — because all the dry skin and scabs have sloughed off to reveal new, smooth skin with a vibrant tattoo and you no longer feel the burning and itchiness because the body has repaired itself. Take a quiz. Find out what you can do with our Health Assistant.
Is 3 days enough for a tattoo to heal?
– The healing process is different for every person and tattoo. Most sources indicate that tattoos generally take about 2 weeks to heal. However, it may take up to 4 weeks for the skin to fully recover. Some complications may prolong the healing process. The following is what a person can typically expect.
How long till tattoo is fully healed?
- How Long Does It Take for a Tattoo to Heal?
It takes 2-3 weeks for a tattoo to heal completely. During that time, your skin does a lot of things to heal your tattoo — here’s what to expect and what not to expect. Summary
- Keep it clean with antibacterial soap, do not rub or itch it, cover with a light layer of A&D.
- Continue cleaning, but do not soak in a pool or tub! Continue using A&D
- Do not pick, itch, or peel the scabs and flakes that are forming. Use a light layer of fragrance free lotion.
- Voila! New dermis! Continue using lotion to see your beautiful new tattoo perfectly heal in this time.
A tattoo usually takes about 1-2 weeks to look fully healed, but takes another few weeks to be truly healed at all layers of the skin. The healing timeline can depend on the type of ink you get, the style, and the size. Different parts of your body have slightly different sensitivities and types of skin, which will affect how well they absorb the ink and how quickly they heal. Completely healing all the layers of broken skin can actually take up to 4 months, even though your tattoo will appear healed before that point.
The healing process varies depending on a person’s immune system, ability to fight infections, and aftercare treatment, especially cleaning and sun protection. You’ve just gotten freshly tattooed, and it looks amazing.
You’ve got your artist’s directions on aftercare , and you’re ready to follow them to a T. Over the next few weeks, your skin is going to go through a healing process — here’s what you can expect throughout that process, and how to take care of every stage.
Just remember, everyone is a little bit different physiologically, so your healing process won’t look exactly like this, but it’ll be pretty close. It will usually take 2-3 weeks for your tattoo to heal completely.
Doing your research before by choosing a reputable tattoo parlor will minimize your risk of any complications and infections. Keep in mind that we’re not doctors and your artist isn’t a doctor, so call your doctor immediately if you suspect infection. Your tattoo artist will wrap your new tattoo at the shop, which will protect it from dangerous bacteria entering your vulnerable skin in the first few days.
What should you not do after a tattoo?
Is it possible to over moisturize a tattoo?
What Are The Risks of Over Moisturizing a Tattoo? – By applying thicker layers of lotion or ointment, several times a day (or every hour or two as some people do), you’re risking over-moisturizing a tattoo. By over-moisturizing a tattoo, you can cause the following problems;
- Due to excess moisture, the tattoo won’t be able to dry and heal
- Excess moisture can create a perfect environment for bacteria and germ growth
- Over moisturizing can lead to tattoo inflammation and infection
- Excess moisture can cause clogged pores since the moisturizer prevents the skin from breathing
- Excess moisture can cause the tattooed skin to break out
To avoid these issues, make sure to follow the moisturizing rules we mentioned before. However, make sure to not under moisturizing your tattoo as well. Some people are afraid they might over-moisturize their tattoo, so they leave it dehydrated, which results in heavy scabbing and tattoo dryness. So, make sure to stay in the middle and simply apply a thin layer of lotion/ointment twice a day.
How can I speed up my tattoo healing?
How often do you moisturize a new tattoo?
Should I apply lotion to my tattoo? What kind of tattoo care products do you recommend? – Yes! Moisturizing your tattoo regularly is extremely important. You should moisturize your clean tattoo 3 – 6 times per day, for roughly two weeks (though proper skincare is always important, and most tattoo enthusiasts moisturize their tattoos daily for life!). A white cream lotion or moisturizer, preferably unscented, should be used! We recommend these fragrance-free, white cream lotions: Aveeno , Curel , and Eucerin . Be warned: your favorite fragranced lotion is not a good option for moisturizing your tattoo – this can cause an excruciating burning sensation when applied to the tattoo, which is essentially an open wound. The fewer chemicals in the product, the better! Pure cocoa butter or shea butter is also popular for darker skin tones and is a fine option. There are some manufacturers who design products specifically for tattoo aftercare that work well for long-term care (such as Tattoo Goo , H2Ocean , and Hustle Butter ). Do NOT use aloe vera gel to moisturize, and we don’t recommend A&D ointment either, as the oil in these products can extract some of the ink from your tattoo.
Can I touch my tattoo after 2 weeks?
How Long to Wait Before Getting a Tattoo Touch Up? – A new tattoo can look different as it heals. Your skin is going through the healing process and this needs to be completed before you can see the final result. You should never touch up a tattoo on skin that hasn’t healed from the initial tattoo procedure.
This could do more damage than good and you could end up with something completely different than what you asked for. Any reputable tattoo artist will advise you to wait until your tattoo has completely healed before getting a touch up.
However, we would advise that touch ups for an imperfect tattoo are completed within 12 months of the initial tattoo.
Can I wash my tattoo after 48 hours?
You Can Shower After Getting a Tattoo, But Remember to Use Mild Soap – When it comes to showering after a new tattoo , it’s best to ask your tattoo artist when you can lather up. Their answer will depend on the type of bandage they use to seal their work before sending you off.
- “Depending on what type of bandage you receive determines when you can shower,” Metz-Caporusso tells Bustle;
- “If you get Saniderm or Tegiderm, then you can shower immediately;
- This type of covering is waterproof;
If you get a classic bandage or cling wrap, then you must wait anywhere from two to 12 hours, depending on what your artist recommends. After you take that off, you can shower anytime. ” But it’s important to use a mild, fragrance-free soap when you do shower or wash your new ink.
- Think classic Dial soap or anything anti-bacterial and gentle;
- After a gentle washing, Brooklyn-based tattoo artist John O’Hara recommends applying Aquaphor to hydrate the skin and create a barrier to prevent infection;
“The key is to apply a very thin layer, let the skin absorb the Aquaphor for about 10-15 seconds, and blot off the excess with a sanitary paper towel,” O’Hara tells Bustle. “This will give you the right amount.
Should I cover my tattoo at night?
This info should guide you through the care of healing your tattoo, but if you have any other questions while it is healing, do not hesitate to contact your artist directly or call the shop for immediate reply. There are no stupid questions about healing.
– After your tattoo is completed, your artist will bandage your tattoo for your trip home. Leave the bandage on for one to three hours. When you take the bandage off, wash it with very warm water (as hot as is comfortable) and mild liquid hand soap (like Dr.
Bronner’s, Dial or Softsoap, just no perfumed or exfoliating body washes). Pat it dry gently with a paper towel, and let it air dry the rest of the way (never scrub the tattoo with a towel or sponge). Then you will apply a very small amount of Aquaphor Ointment or plain, unscented skin lotion (we recommend Aveeno, Lubriderm, Curel, or any of their generics) to the tattoo, just enough to lightly moisturize.
- Your first night sleeping, your artist might recommend you re-wrap the tattoo with plastic wrap (like Saran Wrap) to sleep without the tattoo sticking to your sheets. This is generally for larger or solid-color tattoos. If your artist did not recommend re-wrapping, just let the tattoo stay exposed to air overnight.
- Every day from then on, you will wash the tattoo in the morning and at night, and apply lotion 3 times a day or so, or whenever the tattoo feels dry or tight.
- Always wash your hands before touching the tattoo.
- DO NOT apply Vaseline, Neosporin, Bacitracin or any other medicated or perfumed product to your tattoo.
- After a few days, the tattoo will form a thin scab over it, and in about a week the scab will begin to flake off in the shower. DO NOT pick or scratch at the scab, just keep it clean and moist and the scabs will all fall off by themselves in about two weeks. Picking any of the scabs off will cause faded color and damage to the skin.
During healing do NOT:
- Wrap the tattoo after the first night (wearing breathable clothes over it is fine as long as they are not causing friction. (Keeping tattoos wrapped in plastic or bandages will stop air from getting to the tattoo, slow healing, and make gross stuff grow in there. )
- Submerge the tattoo in water. This means baths, pools and oceans. Regular showering is fine.
- Expose it to strong sunlight (Like outdoor activities or beach days. Walking to your car is fine)
- Shave over the tattoo (ouch!)
When all the scabs fall off and the skin feels smooth again to the touch, it is all healed and you can shave over it again, and swim and everything else. Sometimes after the scab falls off there is a secondary shiny, raised or waxy coat over the tattoo. This is just another healing layer of skin. Continue to moisturize it and it will smooth out by itself over time. If you have any questions about your tattoo while its healing you are always welcome to come by the shop and have us check it out, or email the artist who did the tattoo with “AFTERCARE” in the subject line for an immediate response.
- Do not slather a big, thick coat of product over it; just enough for it to stay moist and flexible;
- If you are using Aquaphor, you can switch to a plain lotion after the first few days;
- Lotion is generally fine for everyone, your artist will recommend if you would benefit from ointment;
If something doesn’t look perfect After your tattoo is finished healing, we’ll do our best to make it right. Sometimes with excessive scabbing, or other unpredictable reactions during healing, your skin can reject some ink, leaving a “light spot” that is closer to your skin color in the tattoo (or a line might get thinner or lighter in one spot).
- This is common as its unlikely your body will accept every spot of pigment uniformly, so just contact your artist via email after your tattoo is finished healing with a photo to see if a small touch up is in order;
Unless you were negligent during the care of your tattoo, touch-ups are very minor and quick, and guaranteed by our artists if you contact them about it within 3 months of getting the tattoo. Because older tattoos that have settled in fully and aged require more work to make uniform, we suggest coming in as soon as possible when it’s healed, as touch ups are performed for a fee at the artist’s discretion after 3 months.
Can I shower with a new tattoo?
The bottom line. Showering with a new tattoo isn’t only fine; it’s necessary for the sake of good hygiene. As long as you follow the aftercare instructions your tattoo artist gives you, and you’re careful not to rub or soak your tattoo, showering shouldn’t interfere with the healing process of your new ink.
Do tattoos look better after healing?
Aftercare – After the first month, your tattoo will look vibrant and fully healed. It’s easy to remember aftercare in the first few weeks, but it’s essential to keep it up for several months. Doing so will help the tattoo stay clean and look its best.
Is it OK to wear clothes over a new tattoo?
So, What Kind Of Clothes Should I Wear Over a New Tattoo? – After getting a tattoo, and during the healing process, which can last between 2 weeks and a month in its initial and most important stage, you should be wearing loose-fitting clothes. That is of course if the tattoo is placed on your body apart from the neck, head, and feet.
- For those areas, you need to pay special attention, especially in the case of feet tattoo (the issues of wearing socks and shoes);
- Loose clothes will cover the tattoo so much so that it stays protected;
- There is a lower chance the fabric will stick to the tattoo and introduce contaminants as well;
There will be minimal or rubbing of the fabrics against the tattoo, which will significantly minimize healing issues or the chance of an infection. Note: After getting a new tattoo, it will be wrapped and well protected. You can wear loose clothes over the wrap and not really worry about it.
Can I drink 2 days after getting a tattoo?
Drinking before or after – That drink beforehand is not smart. Bruno Vincent/Getty Images If you’re thinking about downing some liquid courage before taking the plunge, think again. Drinking before and after getting a tattoo is a no-no. Alcohol thins your blood, which means excess bleeding. When you bleed more than normal, it can cause visibility issues for the artist, potentially compromising the quality of the design.
- Excess bleeding can also thin the ink;
- Of course, there’s also the fact that alcohol impairs judgment, and you don’t want to make permanent decisions while impaired;
- And it’s not cute if you have to stop and puke in the middle of a four-hour tattoo session;
Furthermore, drinking after the fact can compromise the healing of the tattoo because of its effects on your blood, so take it easy for a bit.
What cream is best for tattoo aftercare?
Best Overall: Aquaphor Healing Ointment Aquaphor’s Healing Ointment is of the most widely used tattoo aftercare treatments, and you’ll find a lot of artists quick to recommend the old stand-by.
What does the healing process of a tattoo look like?
The Final Takeaway – The tattoo healing process is fairly straightforward. Swelling, pain, and oozing typically resolve by day three and are followed by itching and peeling for another week, in our experts’ experience. Your tattoo may even look darker and duller than expected for the first month. FAQ
- Should I cover my new tattoo at night? The first night with your fresh ink, you might want to wrap the area in plastic. (But consult with your tattoo artist for their advice on the matter. ) After that, you want to make sure the tattoo is getting as much air as possible, free of coverage.
- Can I wear clothes over a new tattoo? You can definitely wear clothes over your new tattoo (depending on where you’ve been inked, you might have to). Just make sure to opt for loose, natural fabrics like cotton, and avoid tight clothing that could rub against the tattoo.
- When can I touch my tattoo? Be sure to ask your tattoo artist for their specific instructions, but in general, your tattoo should stay under the initial bandages for a least a few hours. During the healing process, you should try to only touch your tattoo when cleaning it—and when cleaning it, make sure you’ve washed up first. “The most important step would be to clean your hands before you clean your tattoos,” says tattoo artist Tuki Carter. ”
What should tattoos look like when healing?
Because we’re a skincare company for the tattooed, we often get questions about the tattoo healing process. A tattoo is essentially an open wound, and but it’s a little different in the sense that this particular wound was most likely expensive, plus there’s ink in the wound, and we want that ink to stay put, heal beautifully and ensure both our investment and our skin is protected.
Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to healing. And as you’re reading please note that if you have a question or concern about your healing tattoo, listen to your artist, or consult with a medical professional to ensure you’re getting the best advice for your healing ink.
How long does it take a tattoo to heal? It depends on the person and the location of the tattoo. Sometimes a tattoo can look healed on the surface but the layers under the skin are still being repaired. Two months is on the longer spectrum of healing time by most standards, but it’s a good rule of thumb to make extra sure your skin has fully healed — we say this because products with SPF can irritate healing skin, so the two-month mark is a good rule of thumb to be extra-sure your skin has fully recovered.
My tattoo is peeling and itching. Is that normal? Yes! It’s perfectly normal for a tattoo to peel like a sunburn — and itch like a sunburn. Make sure you resist the temptation to scratch or peel off the skin as that can pull out your ink.
Rather, let the skin flake off on its own. To help with this maddeningly itchy, peeling phase, our Tattoo Goo Lotion has an ingredient called Panthenol that helps relieve the itch. You can learn more about our lotion here. The skin that is peeling is colored like the tattoo—is my tattoo coming off? No, this is a natural part of a healing tattoo.
The top layer of dead skin has been colored or dyed during the tattooing process. That outer layer will fall off revealing the fresh skin underneath. My tattoo looks like it’s fading. Is that normal? A tattoo is VERY bright when it is first completed but during the healing process, it starts to look discolored and dull.
Don’t worry, when the tattoo is finished healing, the color will come back. My tattoo is scabbing. Is that normal? Yes! Scabbing is typically normal and happens during the healing process of a tattoo. Just like any open wound, your body is creating its natural defense to guard it against infection while the skin underneath repairs itself.
If the skin does scab, it’s very important that you don’t pick or pull at the scabs since that can pull out your ink and in some extreme cases, lead to scarring. What causes scabbing with a tattoo? Like with any open wound, your body responds by producing plasma A lack of moisture can also cause scabbing.
The philosophy behind all Tattoo Goo products revolves around the importance of replacing the moisture that’s lost in the skin during the tattooing process. By doing this, it can help prevent scabbing as well as speed up healing time. My tattoo seems to be losing ink.
It is runny, wet and it looks like the ink is coming out. What should I do? It sounds like the tattoo is leaching. When too much aftercare is applied, the body will naturally try to push whatever is on top off so it can breathe.
Wash the tattoo off and pat it dry. Do not put anything on it for one day. After that, start using Tattoo Goo® Lotion around three times a day—be sure not to over apply. Continue using the lotion until it heals completely. It may scab a bit, but do not pick the scabs—let them fall off naturally.
- Can I wash my tattoo? Yes, you should wash your tattoo 2-3 times a day with a product such as Tattoo Goo® Deep Cleansing Soap;
- Do not use a washcloth, use only your hands, gently wash off the tattoo and pat it dry;
Let it air dry for 10-15 minutes before applying aftercare. It is important that it is completely dry before applying aftercare. Do not soak the tattoo in water, swim, etc. until the tattoo is completely healed. Should I re-bandage my tattoo? No, once you’ve taken off the original bandage, you should not re-bandage your tattoo.
The tattooed skin needs to breathe in order to heal faster and more effectively. Can I use sunscreen on my tattoo while it is healing? Sunscreen should not be used on a healing tattoo as it has many chemicals that can cause adverse reactions.
You should keep the tattoo out of the sun until it is completely healed. Most artists recommend two weeks or more. After it is healed, you should always use sunscreen, such as Tattoo Goo Renew® SPF 50+ if your tattoo is going to be exposed. Tattoo Goo® Salve and Lotion contain no sunscreen.
Why is my tattoo GREY instead of black?
How the Healing Process Turns a Tattoo Gray – Since the skin goes through trauma when your new artwork is adorned on your body, there’s no single part that is at a healthy stage immediately. This includes your new black tattoo. As the healing process takes shape, a new tattoo healing and turning gray is very common.
Over a few weeks, the new tattoo will form a scab, like any other wound. This scab is just a layer of dead skin, however, and will flake off on its own once the tattoo site is fully healed. The only scarring left behind will be the tattoo itself.
How Long Does It Take for a Tattoo to Heal? Healing Stages and Aftercare for Tattoos.
Even so, as the scars begin to heal, the appearance of your tattoo is distorted as the skin pigmentation changes. Such graying is normal, and once the healing process is fully complete, your black tattoo will reveal its dark, rich appearance once more. It should be noted, however, that it’s likely your tattoo will never appear quite as vibrant as it was the second you left the tattoo artist’s chair. The tattoo you saw then was fresh with no skin covering the dark pigments. After healing, that same tattoo will now have several layers of skin protecting it from outside elements, meaning the vibrancy and sharpness will have visually toned down slightly, and your tattoo may look slightly lighter.
Can I have a bath 3 weeks after a tattoo?
– Nope. Your tattoo is an open wound, and soaking in water could expose it to bacteria and increase the risk of infection. Soaking can also dry out the skin, leading to cracking and making it more susceptible to infection and scarring. You need to avoid submerging your tattoo in water or keeping it wet for a prolonged period of time.