Tattoos have become increasingly popular in recent years, and the process of getting a tattoo has become much safer and more sterile. However, once the tattoo is complete, it's important to take good care of it to ensure it heals properly. Healing a tattoo takes time, and there are four distinct stages that you can expect to go through.
Stage One: The Fresh Wound (Days 1-6)
The first stage of healing a tattoo begins as soon as the tattoo is finished. At this point, the tattoo is essentially an open wound, and it's important to take care of it as such. Immediately after the tattoo is complete, your tattoo artist will clean and cover the tattoo with a bandage or plastic wrap to protect it from bacteria and other contaminants.
During the first few days, you'll want to avoid soaking the tattoo in water and keep it as dry as possible. You'll also want to avoid direct sunlight, and it's best to wear loose-fitting clothing to prevent rubbing or irritation. You should also avoid picking at any scabs that form as the tattoo begins to heal.
Stage Two: The Crusting/Scabbing Stage (Days 4-14)
After a few days, your tattoo will begin to scab over as it heals. This is a normal part of the healing process, and it's important to let the scabs fall off naturally. Picking at scabs can cause scarring and damage to the tattoo.
During this stage, it's still important to keep the tattoo clean and dry. You should also avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing or anything that might rub against the tattoo. You can also begin to use unscented lotion or ointment to keep the tattoo moisturized and prevent itching.
Stage Three: The Peeling Stage (Days 7-14)
After the scabs have fallen off, the tattoo will begin to peel. This is also a natural part of the healing process, and it's important to let the skin peel off naturally. Picking at the peeling skin can cause scarring and damage to the tattoo.
During this stage, you can continue to use unscented lotion or ointment to keep the tattoo moisturized. You should also avoid direct sunlight and continue to wear loose-fitting clothing.
Stage Four: The Fully Healed Tattoo (Days 31-60)
After about a month, your tattoo should be fully healed. At this point, the skin will have regenerated, and the tattoo will look bright and clear. You can now resume your normal activities, but it's still important to take good care of your tattoo to keep it looking its best.
During this stage, you can continue to moisturize the tattoo with unscented lotion or ointment. You should also avoid direct sunlight and apply sunscreen if you'll be spending time outdoors.
Healing tattoos is a process that takes time and patience but, we hope that these four stages help give context and help you along tattoo journey.
Remember, a tattoo is an investment, and it's worth taking the time to take care of it properly.