How Long Does It Take For A Tattoo To Heal?

February 24, 2018

Jelly Bell

How Long Does It Take For A Tattoo To Heal?

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For whatever reason, getting a new tattoo is a big decision since it’ll leave eternal markings on our bodies. If you want to have it, remember that you haven’t finished once walking out of the tattoo studio. In fact, that is when you’re at the start of the tattoo healing process. If so, how long does it take for a tattoo to heal?

This question can’t be answered in 150 characters! It’s not easily solved but it’s a good question for us to discover today.

How long does it take for a tattoo to heal?

Tattoo healing time depends on many factors

You’ve just determined to get a tattoo after long hours of consideration and deep thought about the coolest design. But then, there will  be several questions coming to your mind, like HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A TATTOO? HOW TO SLEEP WITH A NEW TATTOO? Or how long does it take for a tattoo to heal? Well, the answers depend on many factors:

  • The tattoo ink
  • Its position on your body
  • The chosen style of new tattoo
  • The natural skill and techniques of your artist
  • The amount of tattooed detail
  • Single or multiple colors
  • How long can you sit still for
  • Your skin type

And once you finally get it, it might take your artist a certain period to place that good-looking tattoo design on your skin. Stop being happy all the time, especially when there are times that might not be what you expect. For beginners, it’s best to learn more about that appointment by knowing that it tends to have the last design tweaking and the tattoo buildup.

Based on whether you agree with that ultimate design or not, it directly impacts how long does it take for a tattoo to heal. In this case, how about trying to finish your design before the actual tattoo section.

Each new tattoo created has to go through a healing process, which is often divided into three various stages in total. These are also split up further from day to day, and lasting from three to four weeks.

Like others, after getting a new tattoo, it’s recommended to take good care of this body art at that time. Playing it safe and carefully will help guarantee its best look soon after the healing has completed. Therefore, learning how long does it take for a tattoo to heal can tell you exactly what to hope in the coming days and weeks [1].

Similar to other open wounds you’ve ever seen, your tattooed complexion needs to guard itself against other bad bacteria outside.

Not only that, but it also knows how to regrow back to the fullest health after any certain damage has been caused. This comeback to life is considered what a new tattoo must pass when it begins healing. The stage just occurs right to the point where your skin gets back to the way it was before getting the tattoo.

How long does it take for a tattoo to heal?” Before getting a complete answer to this question that everyone is highly concerned, delve into each stage of your tattoo healing process when you’ve just got off the artist’s chair.  

Tattoo healing time depends on many factors
Tattoo healing time depends on many factors

Healing stages of your new tattoo

STAGE 1: The wound – more than one week

The initial stage of your tattoo healing begins right after you get off the artist’s chair. The place where the new ink has been injected is a big open wound at this time. Your skin will kick off releasing plasma soon to start the scabbing and clotting moments.

When it happens, the tattooist is likely to clean up that area with soap. So WHAT IS THE BEST SOAP FOR TATTOO CARE? Use the soap that can speed up your healing process and has the special formula that cleanses the skin without harming it. Next, the artist will wrap the tattoo with a bandage for greater protection from being in touch with the outside bacterial.

Well, the exact answer to “how long does it take for a tattoo to heal?” would depend on the way you take care of the open wound, too. Each tattooist will have his or her care, but most of them would like to suggest you retain that bandage for about 24 hours.

However, it’s better to change the bandage whenever you leave it soaking up much or stick tightly to the skin. This happening won’t do any good for your healing process.

Like some people said, a new tattoo feels like getting a sunburn. That body area will sting slightly, and it looks red before getting a bit swollen. It’s considered a natural piece of the whole picture.

Besides, never try to remove the scabs built up over that area because it’s natural. What you should do is to wash both hands gently about twice per day with a mild-formula soap and dry it out with a paper towel. For your doubt “how long does it take for a tattoo to heal?”, It varies from person to person. How come? It’s because different people can heal at various rates.

Though people will have different tattoo healing rates, the initial stage of your tattoo tends to last from three to seven days. Everything is fine as long as you’re not infected, but when you find it quite painful, feel free to take a pain reliever to feel more comfortable.

STAGE 2: Feeling itchy

In the second stage, the tattoo healing would kick-start the itching. During this time, your scabs are all built up and starting to flake off. This process often lasts about one week. At this point, your skin all around the tattoo would turn slightly dry here. The scabs look attenuated and milky glass, or simply picking up your tattoo’s new ink. It’s normal. You can use lotion to prevent your new skin from being drier and tighter. It’s possible to cure that area as you do with your cuts or scrapes. This would help avoid scarring as well.

If you keep wondering how long does it take for a tattoo to heal, we can answer that this stage will continue for another week. Since all new tattoos will finally flake off, a few of them peels gently that you might not even see the process. Therefore, never concern whether your tattoo is nothing like it’s flaking off. We’re sure that it still happens yet on a smaller scale.

For any lighter tattoo, or the one mostly created with whitish ink is more likely to flake and then peel off lighter than other darker tattoos. More importantly, you should help moisturize more often.

According to some people, it’s recommended to do it about six or seven times per day. However, hydrating the skin with a high-grade lotion every time after you finished washing would be enough to keep the tattoo healing as fast as possible. Also, doing this can lower your skin dryness and itching at the same time.

STAGE 3: Starts Drying out – The second week to the fourth

Now you’ve almost got the right answer to everyone’s big concern “how long does it take for a tattoo to heal?” In this stage, you’re brought to the last healing of the skin area.

It’s because that healing also depends on the size of the tattoo, where it’s put on the body area, and how complex it is to finish it up. Besides, following some tattooists, your body recovery speed also impact the timing here.

healing also depends on the size of the tattoo
Healing also depends on the size of the tattoo

In the final stage of your healing process, most of your scabs and other flaky skin areas will drop off though some of heavier scabs still hang around there. At this time, the tattooed skin is the most likely to be a bit dry and then a bit sensitive for you to touch by hands. Through this stage, the tattoo will appear a bit cloudy scaly [2].

If you find it dull, don’t worry because it’s only the dead skin layer over your tattoo at this time. Then how long does it take for a tattoo to heal? It soon goes away for the next month until your tattooed skin gets back to normal. Again, keep moisturizing whenever your skin begins feeling or looking dry. As a result, the beauty returns whenever the new skin emerges the surface.

Besides, it’s the best time to check the tattoo over for any particular issue, like tattoo cracking, faded and patchy spots, or any blowout. It probably occurs during your tattooing process. Feel free to get in touch with your artist for another quick restoration.

Why does it take so long for a tattoo to heal?

You might know How long does it take for a tattoo to heal, right? But one of the most common reasons why it takes longer for your tattoo to heal is its complicated design. The fully fine details are regarded to take a lot of time. And your artists must focus and slow down remarkably to make sure that every detail of that design to be made precisely as much as possible.

Together with that, a wide range of colors is a large contributor. The tattooist is required to keep cleaning out the tattoo machines, or needle of ink, which might lengthen a tattoo session.

When does your tattoo get fully healed?

How long does it take for a tattoo to heal? Even though your skin must look normal after two or three weeks of the healing process, the deeper skin layers still keep fixing themselves. Meanwhile, the outer skin will often be the first one healing the quickest since it’s our essential part of regeneration and preventing any infection-induced bacteria from getting in the wound.

On the other hand, the lower skin layers are likely to take even four months to heal totally. It’ll happen this way no matter how clear, and sharp the tattoo look before these four months.

Anyway, it’s challenging to state how long does it take for a tattoo to heal since everyone would heal differently. It’s based on loads of elements, from how big the tattoo is and how great the artist was. For instance, if the tattooist does it roughly, or pushes the needle much harder than needed, the tattoo would take longer than you expected.

To sum up, for anyone who’s mixed up with the question “how long does it take for a tattoo to heal?” Listen carefully! When four months or 6 months have passed since your final tattoo piece, then it’s pretty safe to say that your tattooed skin gets healed, or almost close to that process.

How to make your tattoo heal faster?

As mentioned above, there’s a bunch of factors that impact the tattoo healing times. Please take one of the following factors into consideration if you want to heal your tattoo faster!

Never pick your scabs off

It’s not just about how long does it take for a tattoo to heal that we want to mention here. However, one of the most important things you must keep in mind is that never pick off your scabs no matter how much you want. This is the same as when you try to pull off the peeling skin.

These scabs are not ready yet to drop off and still formed deep in the skin. It means that pulling off your scabs is equal to pulling your ink away from your tattooed skin. Later on, you will see some colorless spots in that region.

Moreover, pulling heavy scabs will slow down your healing times pretty much and might cause the tattoo to pass more touch-ups from the tattooist. This happens when any color of your design gets lost.Thus, for anyone who still wonders how long does it take for a tattoo to heal, this stage tends to take you many days. So ensure to let the dead skin fall off without pulling it off when it’s not yet ready!

Be careful when submerging tattoo in water!

There’s nothing to worry much about how long does it take for a tattoo to heal because we can heal it faster! Not with scabbing this time, but when you do in the water with the tattoo. Sure enough, it’s not a good idea to dip your tattoo in water for the further length of time, especially in an initial couple of weeks.

Here’s what you should do to shorten the healing time of your tattoo:

  • Cleansing tattoo: You must do it with a fragrance-free lotion and warm water. You can view the BEST LOTION FOR TATTOOS we recommend for those having sensitive skin. Note that if you use hot water, the skin easily gets swollen. Put a small amount of water in hands and then pour it gently over the tattoo. Rub it lightly with all fingers in a circular motion.
  • Taking a shower: Do not ever put the tattoo in the shower head for a long time. We recommend you to restrict the showers under five minutes to prevent both water and steam removing the ink away. After SHOWERING WITH NEW TATTOO, use a towel or hands to pat it dry instead of rubbing.
  • Taking a bath – After dipping your body in the bathtub for 3 minutes, the water can harbor with harmful bacteria. Thus, it causes an infection in the tattoo without you knowing. Try not to take baths for three or four weeks.  
  • Swimming in your pool – Though swimming in a pool, the chlorine will kill the bacteria, this substance is not good for your tattoo as well. It causes the skin to dry out and possibly causing the rash on some sensitive places. Worse than that, the chlorine might fade the ink away easily. So don’t get in the swimming pool for three or four weeks.
  • Swimming in the ocean – Together with chlorine, another culprit you should avoid is the sea salt. It will dry out the skin and cause your skin irritation. So please get out of the sea for three or four weeks as well.
  • Other bodies of water – These can be seen as the main reason for why there are several terrible kinds of bacterial infections. They often live in most of the huge and open bodies water, like lakes or river for examples. Stay away from them for four weeks.

Do not expose your skin to the sun

Hanging out with your friends in the sun is another severe tattoo killer. Nothing is worse to your tattoo than the giant ball of fire, especially when the tattoo is still fresh. If the skin feels highly sensitive to the harmful UV rays, then any exposure to the sun for over a few more minutes in an initial couple of weeks can cause irritation and burns. And if you don’t do as we said here, expect a delay in your tattoo healing later on.  

Notice position of your tattoo and clothing contact

Based on where the tattoo stays, different clothing materials would come into contact, and they will rub against your tattooed skin. Note that any fierce rubbing motion over the tattooed skin will damage your healing process. In other words, it can strengthen the timing of your tattoo recovery [3].

Apart from this, it’s not just that rubbing action that can damage a tattoo, but also the materials of your clothes. So to make sure the tattoo to be healed perfectly, you shouldn’t wear any constricting piece of clothes.

They will irritate it for sure! Watch this out, especially when yours begins to peel off. If so, do not touch or pick off the skin so that the color can be well-retained. As a result, you no longer worry about how long does it take for a tattoo to heal!

Pick up B&G tattoos

It’s said that colored tattoos can take much longer to heal than B&G tattoos because of the ink content. Every colored ink used for tattoos includes such small amount of metal so that our bodies will find it hard to accept. For this reason, your healing times are increased, meaning that you might need a touch-up soon after that!

No gym or vigorous activity

What about WORKING OUT AFTER TATTOO? Stop getting to the gym or do any intense activity for a couple of days after you have a new tattoo. At the point, the immune system is a bit lowered, and when you decide to overdo it, your healing will be delayed without a doubt.

Aside from this, gyms and other places could be dirty, so ensure that the tattoo gets covered to reduce any infection risk. Remember to clean it up once you go home. How about weightlifting or cardio activities? They also make the tattoo easily rub your clothes, causing sores and rashes. Who knows?

Clean your tattoo and moisturize it!

Out of many ways to heal your tattoo, cleaning it and moisturizing it is the perfect solution. Remember that after washing your tattoo, apply a thin layer of Aquaphor (ointment) to the ink. But IS AQUAPHOR GOOD FOR TATTOO? Yes, sure! It makes your skin feel smooth and hydrated at the same time.

Besides, it depends since different people mean different lifestyles. You’re advised to clean it two times a day. Think of doing it in the early morning after you wake up because your bed can contain a large number of bacteria and germs.

Cleaning it up after waking up is the best for those who are still not sure what to do after getting a tattoo.

Stop drinking after a new tattoo

CAN YOU DRINK AFTER GETTING A TATTOO? No, absolutely not! Do not ever drink or smoke for 24 hours before and after your tattoo application. The alcohol will cause more bleeding without your expectation. This also draws more pigment out of your tattooed skin. Therefore, stop drinking to ensure your tattoo healing to progress.  

Stop drinking after a new tattoo
You should stop drinking after a new tattoo

As you see, tattoo ink is awesome, but it’s probably not for everyone. That happens when you must work in a professional place that doesn’t care much about body art. If so, you need to consider WHAT IS THE BEST FULL COVERAGE FOUNDATION YOU CAN BUY ONLINE. These concealing product can easily cover up your tattoos completely.


Overall, for the question “how long does it take for a tattoo to heal?” you can ask the tattoo artist to get a more precise answer. As you see through our guide today, the tattoo healing time primarily depends on the skin around it and the way you take care of it. But on average, it takes you four or six months to fully recover!

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