How Long Does A Tattoo Take To Heal?
Usually a tattoo heals in 4-6 months. Yeah, it takes around 4-6 months for a tattoo to get healed completely, which includes skin below the surface. However, on an upper layer, it generally takes around 2-3 weeks so that you can take a long bath, go swimming, or relax in a hot tub.
Also, healing time depends on how well you look after or take care of your new tattoo and the area of skin surrounding it. All in all, complete healing of all the layers of tattooed skin takes up to 4-6 months. But in 2-3 weeks your tattoo will appear healed from outside.
Well, this is about how much time usually a tattoo takes to get healed. But the question is – is there any way to reduce tattoo healing time.
Yes, there are many factors responsible for the times of your tattoo healing process. Let’s see what these factors are….
1. Picking or pulling premature scabs
The most important point that you should always remember after getting your tattoo is – DO NOT PULL your premature tattoo. When your tattoo is in healing stage it forms scabs, just like any other wound when healing forms a scab. No matter how much you feel like peeling it, DO NOT PEEL.
Actually healing wounds tend to create itching and sometimes this itching is too much. Scabs settle all by themselves with time, but if peeled off while healing or when they are premature, it will result to even more problematic situation. If you will pull of the scab, it will simply effect the layers deep within in which the tattoo ink has been set, which means that peeling off a scab in a premature state can pull ink away from the area, thereby leaving pits and colorless spots in your skin.
Also, peeling off thick scabs will also delay healing time significantly, thereby leading you to go for extra touch ups sessions from your artist.
2. Ignoring the excessive or heavy scabbing
However, scabbing is common on new tattoos, especially when a tattoo is big in size. Still, excessive or heavy scabbing covering large areas of a tattoo is not at all normal. By chance you see heavy scabbing surrounding your tattoo DO NOT IGNORE IT. Meet your tattoo artist, consult with him and ask what you can do. Similarly, with peeling skin, don’t try to pull it off. Let it fall off automatically, on its own.
3. Submerging new tattoo in water
Besides pulling off your scabs, another worst thing that delay the tattoo’s healing process is submerging it in water. New tattoo should be kept away from too much water and it is mandatory. After getting a tattoo keeping it in water is like harming your tattoo by yourself. You should avoid doing it at all cost. Submerging your new tattoo SHOULD BE AVOIDED for the first couple of weeks.
4. Exposing your tattoo to the sun
This can cause some severe damage to your new tattoo, believe you me! Nothing can be more harmful than getting your tattoo is exposed to the sun. Believe you me, your tattoo is very sensitive to UV rays of the sun during the first couple of weeks, and staying out in the sun exposure for a longer period can cause skin irritation and burns, which is not wise! It will not only affect your tattoo adversely, but also it will delay the healing process, which is the last thing that you would ever want.
5. Intense workout
Intense workout is another reason that affects your fresh tattoo adversely, amongst others. It is not at all advisable to go to the gym or perform any intense activity for at least a couple of days after getting your new tattoo. Basically, when you get a new tattoo your immune system get slightly week and overdoing anything will simply add to your tattoo’s healing time.
Besides, your gymnasium may not be completely clean or safe, in such a situation either you avoid gym for initial days or make sure your tattoo is properly covered so that there is no risk of infection. Moreover, weightlifting and cardio are very intense gym exercises that can cause your tattoo to rub against clothing, which can cause rashes and sores to develop, so watch out for this too.
Therefore, avoid going to the gym for a couple of days.
6. Not caring about infection
Usually, infections are rare, but if not taken care properly infection can happen anytime. Infections can really be dangerous to your tattoos. Once your tattoo gets affected by an infection, it eventually delays the time of its healing. Especially if a person is not so careful about the aftercare of the tattoo.
So, it is crucial that you take care of your tattoo properly so that it heals in time.
Here is how you should take care of your tattoo after getting it on your body. Believe you me, aftercare of your tattoo is as important as getting a tattoo itself.
1. Learn about aftercare in advance
First things first, while getting a tattoo it is crucial that you also learn how to take care of your tattoo properly so that you can avoid the risk of a tattoo infection completely. More often than not, after the treatment professional tattooists give you detailed and specific instructions on the proper post tattoo care, which you need to follow religiously.
Some of them even give specific ointment for applying on your tattoo. And if you do not care for your tattoo after getting it, you may encounter a myriad of skin issues such as rashes, tattoo infection, and skin keloids.
Knowing aftercare procedures in advance will help you identify a potential tattoo infection and take proper measures to avoid them from starting.
2. Keep your tattoo covered for first two hours
This will be instructed by your tattoo artist. Yes, you need to keep your tattoo covered for the first two hours after getting it done. Once you are back home, you can simply remove the bandage or wrapping after 2 hours so that the skin of the tattooed area can breathe. As the natural air ensures faster healing.
3. Keep the area moisturized and clean always
It is very crucial that you keep the area where you have got the tattoo moisturized and clean at all times. If you don’t do so, your tattoo will take longer to get healed. Understand, when your skin adjusts to the ink, it needs to be moisture so that stretch are settled properly.
Initially, you will experience raised skin in the tattoo area and shape of the tattoo, usually it appears as if a tattoo is been branded on your skin. But it is not so, it is natural for the first few days. Actually a normal swelling is natural as it is caused by the ink in the under layers of the skin.
4. Wear loose clothes
It is crucial that you wear loose-fitting clothing over your tattooed area at least at the initial stage of your tattoo. It will not only reduce the likelihood of rubbing, but also it will allow the tattoo to breathe more effectively, thereby speeding up healing times. Wearing clothes that are too tight clothes can make your tattoo rub against the clothing you wear, which eventually interrupt your tattoo’s healing process.
5. Avoid using too much of water and soap
For the first few days, make sure you don’t let water or soap directly touch the tattoo area. For cleaning your tattoo you can always use a warm washcloth. Do not over clean your tattoo, otherwise you will end up having a faded artwork, which is not wise.
6. Avoid direct exposure to the sun
It is very important that you avoid direct exposure to the sun. Of course I know that staying home all the time after getting a tattoo won’t be possible. But whenever you go out, make sure your tattoo is covered properly so that it is not exposed to the sun directly.
7. Avoid chlorine or salt water for at least 6-8 weeks
Chlorine or salt water can damage your tattoo significantly, so it is better to avoid chlorine or salt water on your tattoo.
8. Avoid using alcohol products
There are many lotions and ointments which are alcohol based. You should completely avoid using alcohol based products on or around the area where you have got the tattoo for a minimum of 4 weeks.
9. Avoid rubbing or picking skin
We tend to forget things easily. And in case of tattoo it happens many a time. People after taking bath forget they have a tattoo and they start rubbing the area carelessly, which is not wise. You should always keep in mind that rubbing your tattoo abrasively will damage it or affect it adversely.
10. Avoid scratching
Feeling itchy after getting a tattoo is normal, and it happens with almost everybody. And we know it is not easy to resist that feeling. But it is mandatory to avoid scratching your tattoo. Scratching your tattoo can lead to a distorted artwork on your body. Therefore, it is recommended to keep your skin moisturized always.
11. Avoid alcohol
Even if you feel like celebrating your artwork, please control your urge for at least two more days. You can have alcohol aftrer two-three days. Believe you me, two days delay won’t affect your celebration at all, in fact it would be better as you will be able to enjoy even more!
Also check: Why You Shouldn’t Drink Alcohol Before Or After Getting A Tattoo?
12. Avoid applying petroleum-based ointments
It is crucial that you are not enticed or tempted to use petroleum-based ointments or product on your newly etched tattoos. As petroleum-based ointments can suffocate your tattoo, thereby increasing the healing time of your tattoo. Also, make sure you do not keep your tattoo wrapped for too long as it can also cause a similar problem.
13. Apply ointment or moisturizer very gently
Make sure you apply ointment on and around your tattoo gently. Rub in soft, circular motions until the entire area is covered.
14. Avoid some specific material
While you get a new tattoo, make sure you avoid wearing latex, denim, leather, and rubber as these materials can cause intense itching or excessive sweating. Getting excessive itching or sweating is not good for your tattoo’s health. These materials will come in contact with your skin, rub against your tattooed area. And the prolonged or vigorous rubbing over your fresh tattooed skin will only deteriorate your fresh tattoo, which is again not wise.
15. Avoid going for a tattoo when you are not well
This is however, not an after care, in fact, it is before care that you should definitely consider. It is very important that you avoid going for a tattoo when you are suffering from illness like a cold or flu. These illnesses are short term in nature, in such situations it’s advised to postpone your appointment with the tattooist and wait until the illness has passed. It will not only help you have your tattoo healed on time, but also it will minimize the risk of passing any disease.
And if you are suffering from some serious health conditions, it is recommended ask your doctor before getting a tattoo. It is just to ensure that the tattooing process do not cause any adverse health effects.
Thanks for reading!!
Enjoy Tattooing….. ☺ ☺