The tattoo healing process can be deceptive. While your tattooed skin may look healed within 2–3 weeks, it may be months before the deeper tissue fully recovers. Remember, everyone will experience the stages of healing differently depending on the size of the tattoo, where it’s placed and the diligence of your care routine. While there is no one–size–fits–all healing process, here’s three common things to look out for.
Weeping & Redness
For the first few days, your tattooed skin will be red and you may see ink discharging from the wound – called ‘weeping’. You’ll also feel some slight inflammation and a mild burning sensation. Don’t be alarmed, this is normal and typically lasts for less than a week. Be on the lookout for bumpy, red or itchy rashes as an allergic reaction to your tattoo and contact your tattoo artist and doctor if you have serious concerns.
Like any wound, your tattoo will start to itch, become flaky and scab. As tempting as it may be, don’t succumb to the urge to scratch it! You’ll risk damaging the artwork. The best remedy is to numb the wound with ice placed over your clothes and keep the tattoo moisturised with products recommended by our tattoo artists.
Worried that your tattoo looks dull? This is the work of your dead skin cells replacing themselves, as a thin layer of skin sits over your tattoo. It is a good sign that your wound is healing and once your skin has naturally peeled, it will reveal a fresh, vibrant tattoo. Don’t stop washing the affected area, even if you still see some ink coming away when you do.
As a general rule, avoid creams and lotions with fragrances, direct sunlight (as the UV light will cause your tattoo to fade!) and wearing tight clothes over the tattoo. Try not peek at your tattoo before the bandage should be removed and take only showers – postpone your pool and hot tub time. Follow your tattooist’s instructions for the best results and keep a close eye on your tattoo over the first few weeks.