The choice of design is not important, and every person getting a tattoo will go through the process of healing. This process includes the time needed for the tattoo to heal. Depending on the skin of the person getting the tattoo, sometimes it may take longer, and the process may differ a bit depending. Still, when it comes to the traditional tattoos done with machines, the healing process is very similar. Below are the several stages of healing:
First Stage of the healing process– Pain, and Oozing
This is the first stage that comes immediately after getting your fresh and clean tattoo. After all of the hard work is done, and you are satisfied with your new tattoo, the process of healing can begin. This process begins immediately after your tattoo is finished. With your new tattoo, you also receive a giant, open sore that needs to be treated and healed. This is the reason why your skin instantly begins to produce plasma, and the process of clotting and scabbing can begin.
Before you leave the shop, your artist cleans up the newly tattooed area with some antibacterial soap. He or she will put some antibacterial ointment on the tattoo, and put some plastic wrap (somebody will disagree) or a bandage on the tattoo. Most of the artists recommend their costumers to keep the dressing on for 6 to 24 hours. After you remove the bandage, you will notice the tattoo is oozing and weeping with a mix of plasma, blood, and lymphatic fluid. You shouldn’t be concerned with this since it is a standard step (with all tattoos) of the process as your body is trying to heal itself.
After that, you should wash the area of the tattoo. This step must be done carefully since you can cause your tattoo to have setbacks if you don’t do it right. It would be important if you did not use any washcloths or rags to wash this as you can damage the tattoo. The only way you need to wash your tattoo during the healing process is with your hands. To clean your tattoo, you need a fragrance-free or a baby soap and warm water in a gentle way because you don’t want to tear off any scabs that are starting to form and slow down the healing process.
You need to pat your tattoo and not rub it to get it dry. After that, you need to put on a healing agent to help the process along. Today there’s are so many other options to choose from when it comes to tattoo aftercare ointments that work well. It is known that certain oils are effective in the process of healing, so you can use some like coconut oil, which has a great deal of healing qualities and is easier to purchase.
The reason for putting an aftercare product on your tattoo is to prevent the airborne pathogens from getting into the wound from your tattoo, avoid infections, and to help your skin with the regenerating process. For my customers and me, until now, the best products for tattoo aftercare are those containing panthenol. I know that somebody will disagree, but I’ve tried a lot of things like antibiotics or natural based products like calendula. In the end, I can conclude that a lot of them work maybe all of them. In my experience, I get the best aftereffect with panthenol based aftercare products.
Keep Your tattoos uncovered during the healing process or not?
When it comes to this point, you can keep your tattoo uncovered, but you must keep it clean and continue with applying the aftercare products. We must say that some artists recommend covering your fresh tattoo during the aftercare/healing process.
During this stage, you may be experiencing some soreness. A lot of people say that this soreness feels very much like when you get sunburned. The place can even be warm to the touch like sunburn, but if you keep to the process, you will soon overcome this. It is also very possible for your skin to become red or even bruised. All of this is normal as your skin has been exposed to trauma. It would help if you didn’t stress yourself about this since by keeping it clean and medicated, the process will move forward.
After this stage, you can start to notice scabbing. This part it’s going to be visible when you wash your tattoo. Small particles of dead skin mixed with ink are going to fall off during the process of washing. It is imperative to continue washing your tattoo gently because you don’t want to tear down the scabs who are not “ready” to fall off.
Second Stage of the healing process – Tattoo Flaking and Itching
Before you get a tattoo, you were probably aware that the process of healing is not so easy. When it comes to itching, sometimes it is hard to deal with it, but just like with any other wound, you have to go through this if you want your tattoo to look the way you want to.
The inching might last for a week, but everything depends on the size of the tattoo and the depth of the ink. During this stage, your tattoo will be flaking and itching because the scabs are forming and falling off from the healing process.
To keep the itching and flaking at a bare minimum, you need to moisturize your tattoo as much as you can during every day. The skin must be dry before moisturizing because getting water stuck under that lotion can cause scabs to become soft and more disposed to being pulled or scraped off.
As this stage comes to an end, your skin might peel as well. You must avoid pulling any scabs or skin off your tattoo because you might pull skin that would cause the ink to be pulled out of deeper layers as well.
Third Stage of the healing process– Cloudy and Dull Looking Tattoo
This is also the final stage of your tattoo healing process, which involves your tattoo looking a bit cloudy and dull. After everything you’ve been through, you are probably wondering why your tattoo still looks dull at this point. This is the part where you wait. Your tattoo might still have a dead layer of skin on top of it, which keeps it from really shining. Be patient and give it time, and this layer will fall off over the next month or so. After this, your tattoo should look fresh and great, and you will be happy with the result.
It might take up to six months for your tattoo to be fully healed. Even before that, after all of these stages pass, your tattoo will look good. You need to know that underneath the surface, your deeper layers are still healing. All of this depends on a couple of reasons. One of the most important is how deep into the skin your tattoo artist went in the process of creating your tattoo. It’s vital for the next few months to take it easy on the spot with the tattoo. This means no unprotected exposures on the sun. At this point, the only thing that can affect the quality of your new tattoo is getting your skin sunburned. So 50 SPF and you’re good to go.
Final thoughts on the tattoos healing process
In conclusion, we can say that taking care of our new tattoos is a long and tiresome process. But it’s a vital stage for the final look of your tattoo project. It is really easy to ruin some good tattoo work with inadequate tattoo aftercare. I know its a lengthy procedure. Somebody thinks that doing the actual tattoo its half of the job done. But really its 20-30% max. You are going to take care of your new tattoo project that took you 4-6h at least 1-3 weeks.
In the end, listen to your tattoo artist’s recommendations on tattoo aftercare and usage of creams and ointments for tattoos. Also, do your research (it is really easy these days) and tattoos are permanent so think before you ink.