• Posted on:
    July 4, 2021

Tattoo healing guide

Did you just get a brand new tattoo? Were you aware that your job is not done until the healing process has been finished? Once the tattoo has been completed and you have left the shop, the proper after care of your tattoo will now be your responsibility. This is no longer the artists undertaking, but a task for you to now take care of. This article will guide you through the steps required to ensure you heal your tattoo correctly and efficiently.

The healing process follows a three stage timeline. This approach may differ for every individual but typically takes around 1 to 2 weeks to completely heal. Keep in mind that this outline will vary depending on the style, size and artists tattooing technique.

To begin; Bandaging plays a role in which steps you may be required to follow in order to properly take care of your brand new piece.

As you leave the shop, your tattoo will be freshly bandaged. Bandaging is used to help absorb any fluids or excess ink that may leak from your tattoo and you will be told to remove this covering anywhere from a few hours to a week or more. This will depend on the instructions and type of wrap your artist has used. Traditional bandaging/saran wrap can be used as well as a sandierm. Regular bandages can be taken off a few hours after leaving the tattoo shop. Saniderm however is recommended to stay on anywhere from 24 hours to a few weeks depending on your artists instructions. Saniderm is a medical grade, breathable, waterproof tattoo bandage. It eliminates a few stages of the healing process by conveniently removing sessions of washing and applying aftercare to a new tattoo. Conventional bandaging nonetheless requires a few more steps to get you through the healing process. This covering prevents bacteria from getting into your skin as well as helping protect your tattoo from rubbing onto your clothes and getting irritated. This bandaging is mostly utilized for immediate use from the tattoo shop to your home to keep your new piece safe and clean.
You will be required to keep the dressing on for as long as your artist recommends. This will most likely be only a few hours.
Following the bandaging, you will need to gently wash your tattoo under lukewarm water with a fragrance free soap to remove all remnants of ink and fluids left over from your tattoo session.

Now for the stages of aftercare/tattoo healing:

Stage 1: Redness, Oozing, Soreness.

The first few days after your tattoo session it may be slightly sore, red and swollen. This is normal and to be expected as your tattoo is to be treated as an open wound. Oozing, swelling and redness will gradually improve every day as your tattoo heals. This will then turn over to the following stage where scabbing begins to form over the area.
The more careful you are with following your aftercare instructions, the quicker your tattoo will heal. Properly cared for tattoos will ensure better vibrancy, quality and longevity.

Stage 2: Itching, Scabbing, Flaking.

Itching, scabbing and flaking will begin during this stage. This will continue until all layers of dead skin and scabs have fallen away. You are recommended to keep your tattoo clean and wash it regularly with fragrance free soap and moisturize it with either tattoo after care cream, coconut oil or fragrance free moisturizers. This will help keep your tattoo hydrated and ease the itching and flaking which can sometimes be uncomfortable.
These are all signs that your tattoo is now moving in to the following and final stage of your healing journey.

Stage 3: Drying out, Dulling and Cloudiness.

Once all the scabbing and flaking has settled, your tattoo will seem slightly dulled out. It may now feel as your piece has fully healed. Nevertheless your tattoo will still have a slight shine remaining to it; Which in turn means that the regeneration process has not yet been completely reached. This happens when a brand new layer of skin is starting to develop and is commencing to settle. By the end of this phase your piece will slowly start to resemble the rest of your skin thus reaching the final stage of healing your tattoo.

In any event you will be required to continuously keep your brand new tattoo clean, moisturized (when needed), dry and always treated with care.

To sum up, always remember following the proper aftercare that your artist has recommended will be key in ensuring that the healing process goes as smoothly as possible. Make sure to use antibacterial soaps, unscented moisturizers and proper aftercare items. Never itch or peel your tattoo scabs, avoid rubbing your tattoo by wearing loose fitting clothing and never expose your new tattoo to the sun or submerge it in water until fully healed. Never refrain from asking your artist questions about healing your tattoo; But also make sure that you contact a doctor if you see any signs that may cause concern throughout your healing journey. Please also keep in mind that tattoo artists are not certified physicians and can only help you to a certain degree.

The following may be indications of a potential infection that may require medical examination; so make sure to keep an eye out for such symptoms:

-Rash like bumps surrounding the area of your tattoo.
-Swelling that won’t subside following the days of your tattoo session.
-Tattoos that are inflamed/ warm to the touch.
-Visible pus coming from the tattoo.
-Possible allergic reactions.
-Chills, fever and nausea.

All things considered it may seem like a great deal is going on with your tattoo aftercare process. However this will only be for a few weeks and these instructions are given to the client to ensure the best possible outcome after their sitting.

Take care of your tattoo to the best of your ability and make sure to follow your artists aftercare recommendations as well as possible during this important time. This will result in you being left with a beautiful vibrant piece of art that you will be proud to wear for the rest of your life.