Tattoo healing is like a religion. Everyone has different opinions and ideas on what the correct procedure is. Here are some top tips to help your healing process.
A tattoo may look healed within a few days. But it’s important to stay consistent with aftercare: The healing process can actually take as long as 6 months. But usually, it should heal within 3-4 weeks after completion.
Everyone is different and the length of healing time depends on your tattoo’s location. For example, a tattoo near a joint or anywhere that flexes, will take longer to heal than a place that doesn’t move much.
Also, bear in mind that larger tattoos and ones with intricate colour work will also take longer to heal than medium to small designs.
It’s important to know that just like any wound, your tattoo will go through a natural healing process that can be broken down into four stages:
Straight after your tattoo is complete, your tattoo artist will bandage your design with clear wrap or cling film. This should be kept on for 3-4 hours before you remove it.
Add a layer of moisturizer onto the area, apply some more cling wrap and leave it on for the night. The next day, remove the wrapping and leave.
Pro-tip from Tattoo Artist Rasmus Cort
Slowly remove the wrapping in a lukewarm shower for the best results.
Healthline.com states that if you notice fluid coming from your tattoo, or that the surrounding skin is very red – do not panic, it’s normal.
It’s also normal to see ink coming out of the tattoo. This is sometimes called “weeping.” If it doesn’t subside after a week then consult a doctor.
After getting a tattoo, the skin will naturally begin to form scabs and heal. This can cause itching, which can irritate.
Try not to scratch it at all costs. This can cause more irritation and even lead to infection. Scratching may also remove scabs too early, which can result in scarring.
Scratching could also interfere with the ink placement and distort the tattoo, ruining the artwork.
Instead, apply an ointment if it becomes unbearable.
Medical News Today states that itching should subside within 1–2 weeks. If the itching persists or gets worse, see a doctor.
Peeling is a good sign and all a part of the tattoo healing process.
Although your tattoo ink doesn’t live in the top layer of skin, it does trigger the body to shed as a response to what your body thinks is an injury.
Essentially, it’s trying to heal itself. The peeling often occurs about three to four days after you first get the tattoo.
According to Refinery29, you’ll know your tattoo is fully healed when it stops peeling and the ink is settled into the skin.
If it’s not healed within four weeks, then see your physician. Make sure you don’t have an infection.
All tattoos, no matter how big or small, require their own tattoo aftercare routine. After the first month, your tattoo will look vibrant and fully healed.
Use a hypoallergenic fragrance-free soap to clean the area at least twice daily. Here are some tips to remember when doing your aftercare routine:
Pro- tip from Tattoo Artist Romeo Lacoste
Do not use too much lotion straight away. Wait 2-3 days to let your skin breathe.
Every tattoo heals slightly differently depending on each person and where the tattoo is located.
The healing process follows a four-stage healing timeline that includes oozing, itching, peeling, and continued aftercare.
Your tattoo artist will explain everything to you after the design is complete. Listen to their advice and your healing process should go according to plan.
It’s important to be consistent when it comes to your tattoo healing. If you see any signs that your tattoo isn’t properly healing, see your doctor as soon as possible.