How Long Does It Take for a Tattoo to Heal?

How Long Does It Take for a Tattoo to Heal?

Tattoos are a popular kind of body art in which an artist injects ink, pigment, or dye into the skin of a person.

Many people get tattoos to remember loved ones or to hold messages that mean a lot to them nice and close. After getting a tattoo it is very important to follow the proper precautions to heal your skin and the new tattoo.

During such a time, it is critical that people follow the correct aftercare guidelines and refrain from or limit certain behaviors that could hinder healing.

You must be wondering how long does it take for a tattoo to heal?

The tattoo healing process will be discussed in this article, as well as the elements that may influence it. We’ll also give you some pointers for aftercare.

How Long Does It Take for a Tattoo to Heal?

A tattoo normally takes 2–4 weeks to heal, depending on a variety of conditions.

While the complete healing process can take months, the initial recovery normally only takes a few weeks.

The Healing Process for a New Tattoo is as Follows

Each individual and tattoo has a different process of healing. Tattoos usually take about two weeks to heal, according to most sources.

The skin, on the other hand, may take up to four weeks to fully heal. Some issues may cause the healing process to take longer.

Here’s a typical rundown of what to consider.

Day 1

The inked region is usually bandaged or wrapped in plastic when they leave the tattoo shop. The tattoo artist will tell you when it’s time to take off the bandage, which is usually 1–2 hours later.

It is common to see clear fluid pouring from the tattoo, mingled with extra ink. It’s also possible that the skin will be itchy, heated, and red.

Week Two

At this time, the sores are usually tougher and may peel off naturally. Picking the scabs is still a bad idea since it disturbs the underlying ink.

At this point, many tattoos may be near to healing. The amount of redness and irritation should be reduced.

But, if the tattoo is still painful and swollen, it could be a sign of infection or inflammation.

Weeks Three and Four

Your tattoo may start to dry out, and the itching will go away. If it doesn’t, and the redness remains, it could indicate an infected tattoo.

Since a layer of dry skin has grown over your tattoo, it may look less bright than intended.

How to Speed up the Healing Process

Everybody wants their tattoo to recover faster, but it takes time and attention, just like any other wound. You can speed up your healing by doing a few things.

Use Clothes to Cover the Tattoo

Sunlight has the potential to fade your tattoo, and new tattoos are extremely prone. When you’re out in the sun, cover the tattoo with loose clothing such as long sleeves or slacks.

Apply sunscreen only when the tattoo has completely healed.

Do Not Re-Bandage the Wound Once the Initial Dressing Has Been Removed

It’s important to not cover your tattoo after you remove the primary bandage — the artist will usually wrap it in transparent plastic or surgical wrap — since it has to breathe.

Wrapping it can trigger scabbing and poor healing due to excess moisture and a lack of air.

Clean Daily

Clean your tattoo at least two to three times per day with lukewarm (not boiling) and sterilized water.

Ensure your hands are clean with antibacterial soap before you start. Then, sprinkle the tattoo with water, apply fragrance-free and alcohol-free soap, and either let it air dry or carefully pat it dry with a clean paper towel.

Use Ointment

Because your tattoo requires air to cure, avoid using heavy creams like Vaseline unless your artist particularly advises you to.

Using lanolin, petroleum, and vitamins A and D during the first few days is preferred by your artist. You can then use a milder, fragrance-free aftercare moisturizer or even pure coconut oil after some days.

Avoid Scratching or Picking

Scabbing is a normal part of recovery, however, picking or scratching at the scab can slow down the healing process and cause scarring.

Avoid Perfumed Products

Resist using scented creams and soaps on your tattoo, and based on where your tattoo is, you might just want to shift to odorless shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Whenever a product’s scent comes into touch with tattoo ink, it can create sensitivity.

Aftercare Tips

To ensure healthy tattoo healing, follow these steps:

Use a Suitable Cream to Moisturize

If the tattoo and surrounding skin are dry, use a water-based cream or lotion to hydrate them. Petroleum-based products should not be used because they can cause fading.

Sun Protection for the Tattoo

If you expose your tattoos to too much sunshine, they could fade. It is necessary to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of a minimum of 30.

It is recommended that you apply it at least 15 times before leaving outside and that you reapply it every few hours.

Use of Tanning Beds Should Be Avoided

Sunlamps and tanning beds emit UV light, which can cause tattoos to fade. They also make you more likely to get skin cancer. UV light can irritate tattooed skin in certain people, causing pain.

Tattooing Over a Mole is Not a Good Idea

You should choose a spot on your skin that has no moles before getting a fresh tattoo. A tattoo, on the other hand, could conceal early signs of skin cancer and postpone treatment.

The Tattoo Should Be Cleaned

It’s critical to wash the tattoo using a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, antibacterial soap frequently. Before using a cream, it’s also a good idea to lightly pat the skin dry.

When Should You See a Doctor?

After getting a tattoo, some redness and swelling are to be expected. Nevertheless, you should seek medical advice if you experience any of the following unusual symptoms:


It has become infectious if the tattoo is more red and uncomfortable, or if there is pus or open sores. If you have a fever or are experiencing chills, you should seek medical help right away.

Allergic Response

An allergic reaction to a tattoo can occur at any time, even years later.

If the tattooed skin becomes itchy, red, or inflamed, or if scaly areas or lumps appear, medical care should be taken.

If you are experiencing a serious reaction, such as breathing problems, dizziness, or a fast heartbeat, you need to get medical help straight away.

Skin Diseases

A tattoo can cause or worsen skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema on the tattooed skin or anywhere on the body.

It is important to consult a healthcare expert if you observe any flare-ups or alterations in your skin.

Final Thoughts

It normally takes 2–4 weeks for a tattoo to heal. It is critical that you diligently practice the aftercare instructions during this time to ensure that their tattoo heals properly and that complications are avoided.

The healing process can be slowed if the tattoo develops an infection or significant inflammation. If you’re worried about the way your tattoo is healing, you should consult a doctor.

About the author

Johnny is dedicated to providing useful information on commonly asked questions on the internet. He is thankful for your support ♥

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