Been thinking about getting a tattoo for a long time? Searched hundreds of photos and finally decided on that perfect design to adorn your body? An appointment has been set, the design has been done - but this is only the beginning. Keep in mind that a tattoo is a choice for life! Yeah, yeah - you've heard that many times. Nevertheless, there are several important points you should know and, above all, ask your tattooist if you have any doubts! And the one that raises the most doubts is tattoo healing. How long does a tattoo heal? Furthermore, what are the stages of tattoo healing? What does tattoo healing look like day by day? We provide answers to these key questions.
So how goes the tattoo healing process?
So how long does a small tattoo heal and how long a large one? Usually, most tattoos heal in two to three weeks, the larger- extensive ones - can take even four or five weeks to heal. Mistakes made at the very beginning, just after leaving the studio, can significantly prolong the healing process. It is particularly dangerous to infect a fresh tattoo as a result of inadequate care. This is why it is so important to be cautious and to carefully care for a tattoo which, being fresh, is an open wound.
In order to take proper care of your tattoo, you must have knowledge of what the various stages of healing are. If there are any worrying symptoms, you will be able to act promptly.
Tattoo healing - phase 0. Open wound
This is exactly how a tattoo should be treated - like an open wound, because needles with ink are inserted into the skin. So each time there is a foreign substance introduced into our body. The skin and the immune system reacts to this very quickly, because the continuity of the tissue is disturbed.
Let's face it: your skin doesn't like to be stabbed and isn't very interested in becoming more beautiful as a result. So you can expect the same effects as in the case of a typical cut. In order to close the wound, the body directs lymph to the site of the cut. The lymphocytes in it are there to locate and neutralise possible intruders - bacteria and viruses, but also ink particles, immediately identified as a foreign body, a potential threat. This is the first risk factor: the flushing of ink from the cells. Swelling, redness, tenderness and soreness appear - sometimes these are almost imperceptible, sometimes troublesome - it all depends on personal conditions. The healing of a tattoo therefore actually begins at the very moment of its creation and its symptoms should be treated as a healthy reaction of the body.
Phase I of healing - the inflammation (1-5 days)
Your tattoo may be slightly swollen, reddened and, with more delicate skin, bruising may (but not necessarily!), also appear, all over the surface. Burning, raised temperature and general weakness are also possible. Of course, there is no need to fear and panic! These are completely normal reactions of the body to mechanical interference.
All it means is that the tattoo is starting to heal.
In the first phase of healing, the colours are very intense. However, the real ones will only appear on the skin after the epidermis proper has completely regenerated. That is, after a few weeks or even months - it depends on the location and size of the tattoo.
Cleansing of dead cells.
During this phase, body fluids - i.e. plasma - will ooze, even for several days. This is a perfectly normal healing process with any wound. The most important thing is to take extra care and keep it clean.
During this phase, it is advisable to regularly disinfect the skin surface - but not with just anything. Certainly not with spirit or any product with alcohol in its composition. And it is not even a question of pain - if you have endured the tattooing, the burning sensation is not terrible either. The problem, however, is the overdrying of the tattoo surface, and this will make healing much more difficult and longer. Choose preparations with an active agent that is gentler on the skin - such as octenidine. Don't forget to clean your new tattoo regularly with Tattoo Soap Silver, which contains silver and has an antibacterial effect.
You absolutely must take care to moisturise and lubricate. Caring for your fresh tattoo with dedicated cosmetics will clearly have an impact on how long the tattoo heals.
2nd healing phase - regeneration phase (6-14 days)
This stage usually lasts about a week. You may develop an itch that is irritating and all you are asking yourself to scratch. Under no circumstances should you do this! This indicates the natural recovery of the damaged epidermis. Scratching the tattoo can end up damaging it - loss of colour, damage to the structure, scarring and even infection!
3rd phase of healing - epithelial scarring (15 days to 6 months)
The skin will then begin to peel, and at this stage it is very thin and delicate. Scabs will also appear - smaller or larger. Wound exudation should stop completely - if it persists, we can talk about pathology. On the other hand, symptoms of wound healing are natural. When healing of the tattoo takes place, scabs may appear and are not a cause for concern. Unless you start to scratch and peel them off - then you can get scars at your own request. That's when you need to apply Loveink Tattoo Butter more often, but in small amounts - to keep it moisturised. Do it gently, and preferably pat it in so as not to disturb them. After a few days they will come off on their own and your additional interference is unnecessary and will only do harm.
If you are, or want to become, an honorary blood donor, remember that it is 6 months after getting the hole that you are ready to donate blood again. A healed tattoo is also not an obstacle to bone marrow donation or organ donation (most of which we recommend donating only posthumously).
4th phase of healing - after approximately four weeks
In the final stage, the tattoo will be almost healed. The scabs will have disappeared, the skin may still come off, but not as intensely. Its peeling is a symptom of proper care. The colours, on the other hand, should take on real expression. Wash the tattoo twice a day, moisturise regularly - if the skin is dry, you can even do it more often.
If you have opted for a small or medium-sized tattoo, healing can be considered complete. If you have extensive holes all over your back, it may take a little longer.
Badly healing tattoo
In the process like tattoo healing, the stages can take a little longer or a little shorter, depending on the individual characteristics of your body. And now that you know how a tattoo heals, it's easier to spot irregularities.
These certainly include a long-lasting exudate or swelling. On the other hand, if there is pus, a lot of soreness or a high fever, this is a sign of infection. See a doctor in the first instance - a poorly healed tattoo may eventually be corrected, and there is little help for an amputated arm.