Last updated: November 28, 2020

A Day To Day Guide To The Tattoo Healing Process

Published 8:02 pm

Introduction

You have decided to get a tattoo. There is so much to learn about taking care of your skin before you get the tattoo. More importantly, you must know what to expect after you get your tattoo. All you hear about whenever others have body artwork, whether it is piercings or tattoos, there is a lot of pain involved during the process. What happens after you get your tattoo?

How will your skin feel after the fact? And how can you possibly take care of your skin as your tattoo heals? Let’s talk about the healing process after getting a tattoo and what to expect to experience daily during that time.

What To Expect During The Healing Process

When you decide to have tattoo work, you realize that the artist opens your skin as they insert the ink. Therefore, when you get a tattoo, that means you will have an open wound. When you have an open wound, you want to make sure it closes and heals. Caring for your tattoo is no exception. There is a healing process after the bodywork. Protecting your tattoo and the skin surrounding it is your priority as you want to make sure that no harmful organisms from the outside come in contact with it. That is, your skin regenerates the exterior barrier for protection.

Once your tattoo completely heals, then that means your skin is back to the way it was before you had the inkwork. The only difference is that your skin contains several thousands of small ink pigments. Your tattoo and the skin surrounding it will take around four to six weeks to heal; however, the skin layers underneath will take much longer to heal. Therefore, it will take several months before the complete healing. The timeline can differ based on the artist’s technique and the tattoo’s size and style. One small, simple tattoo will heal much quicker than a substantial elaborate tattoo.

There are three stages for healing after the tattoo, and as long as you understand the steps and care for your tattoo and surrounding skin area, the recovery should be quick and smooth. Let’s go over the healing stages and when to expect them over the process right now.

First Stage – Swelling And Soreness

It is not difficult to see how the first stage of healing you can expect from day one to day six after the procedure is the most difficult. Healing begins technically the moment that the artist completes your work, and you leave the tattoo parlor. The area of your tattooed skin is now an open wound. Your skin begins making plasma, which means the clotting process begins that results in scabbing. During this process, your skin will ooze, swell up, and reddens. The sensation will be similar to a sunburn. You must expect that and not allow it to worry you. During that first week of the procedure, monitor your skin.

If there is any discoloration other than the redness and you develop a fever, you must go to the doctor. That signifies an infection which requires a dosage of antibiotics. However, as long as the tattoo artist cleans your skin with antibacterial soap and bandages the tattoo immediately after to prevent microbes from entering the wound, that should not happen. The condition of the injury will improve over the week. Initially, your skin will appear at its worst, and by closer to the sixth day, you will see a significant improvement. Follow the instructions for cleaning the wound and be gentle as you clean. The next stage involves flaking and itching.

Second Stage – Flaking And Itching

Here is a heads up about the second stage of healing, which involves your skin itching and flaking. That is the worst stage, and you can expect this stage to last from day seven, the 14th day after the procedure. During the first stage of healing, scabs formed to keep your skin protected from outside organisms as it was in its initial stages of recovery. Now, your outer layer of skin has healed enough to the point that the scabs are beginning to fall off.

That is the stage where the dead skin and scabs begin to peel away, and you are going to be extremely itchy. Your skin dries up quickly during this stage, so what you will want to do to make the time more comfortable is to slab some lotion on your dry and itchy skin. That will help to minimize itching. If you, however, do not notice that your tattoo is flaking, then don’t worry. The flaking can still happen on a smaller scale to the point that it isn’t noticeable. Therefore, you will want to consider yourself to be lucky. The lighter in color your tattoo, the less it will tend to flake. Remember to keep moisturizing your skin, and it is critical to refrain from scratching it as well.

You may end up moisturizing your skin about six to seven times a day, and the best thing to do is to use a hypoallergenic lotion to do the job. When you wash your skin, you will also find that the tattoo is peeling off, and don’t worry when you see that happen. That is also part of the flaking process. Now you are entering the third stage and final, which is much easier than the second.

Third Stage – Dull Appearing

You are at the last stage of tattoo healing, which means the scabs fell off for the most part. You will find the more massive scabs around, however. That stage goes from day 15 to 30, and you will still find that your skin is somewhat sensitive to touch. Any remaining itching or flaking areas will be at a minimum. But, you will want to continue moisturizing the dry and itchy spots as needed.

That is the stage where your tattoos appear dully, faded, and cloudy. You could worry that your tattoos are drying out or disappearing. However, that is not the case. Your tattoo has that hazy appearance because there is still a thin dead layer of skin over it. That layer of skin will peel off over the next month. It can take a month or two for the skin underneath the surface to heal and regenerate. When that happens, your tattoo will appear fresh, and so will your skin.

Conclusion

When you decide to get your tattoo, you must know how to take care of your skin from the moment you walk out of the tattoo parlor. Taking care of your skin properly will help make the healing process smooth. Initially, your skin will appear red, will develop scabs, and it will ooze as it heals. Expect it to be sensitive to the touch‘.

During the second stage of the healing process, the scabs and dead skin fall away, which causes plenty of itching. It is critical to moisturize your tattoo during this phase. And the third and final stage involves your tattoo having a dull appearance. However, that is normal and results from the thin layer of dead skin getting ready to fall off. Eventually, your tattoo will be great!