Stages of the tattoo healing process
One of the biggest decisions in getting a tattoo is settling on a design and the right artist to bring your vision to reality. But the time you spend in the tattoo parlor is just a small part of the entire process. Once you leave the shop with your new tattoo, it’s important to turn your focus to the tattoo healing phase.
So, how long does it take a tattoo to heal? As you might expect, the answer is ‘it depends.’ Depending on how the inking process went and where your tattoo is located, it can take anywhere from four weeks to a couple of months for it to fully heal. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how you can speed up this healing process, let's first take a look at the various stages of it:
1. Week 1: open wound
Immediately after the tattooist is done with the art piece, your body begins the process of healing. Though it might not look like it, your tattoo is actually an open wound on your skin. Your body begins to repair the damage right there and then.
In this stage, your body mobilizes its first responders to injury, and you might notice a slight stinging or burning sensation resulting from inflammation at the site of the tattoo. That sensation, which lasts a week, on average, is your body working hard to patch things up and prevent infection. It’s therefore recommended that you treat your fresh tattoo as an open wound. By doing this, you can avoid infections and other complications that can occur when you leave an open wound unattended.
Your tattoo artist will go over the things you need to do to keep your new tattoo clean, and it can feel overwhelming at first. Add to this some stinging pain, and it’s not hard to see how your stress levels might increase a bit during this time. A good tattooist can recommend some ways to alleviate this stress so that your skin can heal properly.