Next to the question, “Does it hurt?” the other thing people are the most curious about when getting a tattoo is how long it takes to heal. The truth is, various factors can affect your healing time. Everyone has different skin and lifestyles, which can easily affect your healing. But few things generally apply to most people that get tattoos—special case or not.

If you are wondering what the healing stages for your tattoo will be like, here’s what you need to know:

Week 1

After the tattoo session, you will notice a little oozing of blood and ink. It may look inflamed or a bit swollen. You may notice that the colors appear dull. If you have any bandages on your tattoo, you can remove them after the first day. You should clean it with mild soap and warm water. Use a clean cotton ball to do so.

One thing that you may notice is the tattoo feeling “tight.” This is normal, and it can last for a few days.

Week 2

After two weeks, your tattoo will look a lot better. The color will be more vibrant, and it will feel less tight. The swelling should be going down this time, but you should still keep an eye on it. You should start to apply a thin layer of light lotion to your tattoo as it begins to heal. Choose a lotion that is unscented and hypoallergenic.

Week 3

After two weeks, your tattoo should be almost completely healed. You will notice your tattoo looking and feeling amazing at this point! You can resume any regular activity you like, including swimming and showering. Make sure you avoid tanning or submerging your tattoo in the water while it’s healing, or you risk scabbing. Also, make sure to use a high-quality moisturizer each day.

You can now apply sunblock, as well as any scented lotion or after-sun you would like to use.

Week 4

By the end of the fourth week, your tattoo should be gorgeous! You can notice the colors and ink looking deeper and brighter than they did when you first got your tattoo.

If you got a realistic style of tattoo, such as portraits or photorealism, you might see some spots looking a bit faded. This is normal. It’s just part of the healing process.

You can resume exercise, sun exposure, and tanning. It’s okay to wear sunscreen, but make sure you choose the lotion type so as not to irritate your tattoo.

How to Reduce Your Healing Time

Now that you know how long your tattoo will be healing, you might wonder how to speed it up and shorten the healing process. Below are a few tips to help reduce healing time:

1. Take Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is a common over-the-counter drug used to treat pain and inflammation. It’s also very effective in reducing swelling and speeding up the healing process.

2. Keep It Clean

Make sure you keep your tattoo clean after getting it done. Doing this will protect your tattoo from infections and from getting infected. Remember that a tattoo is a wound, even after it heals. Make sure to keep it clean, as instructed above.

3. Give it Air

Your tattoo needs to breathe during the healing process. Make sure to avoid anything that could hinder proper breathing, such as excessive bandage wrapping. You should also avoid tight clothing.

The Bottom Line

Healing time from a tattoo will vary from person to person. Countless factors can affect the healing process, such as the tattoo style and location, the person’s skin and lifestyle, and more.

But if you want to get a quick idea of how long your tattoo will take to heal, you should know that most tattoos take 1-3 months to heal, with four weeks being the average time. The most important thing is to take special care of your tattoo during the healing process, to ensure that it heals as perfectly as possible, without getting infected or scabbing.

If you want a creative and long-lasting tattoo, we are happy to help you. Lucky Deville Tattoo is a tattoo shop based in Buffalo, NY. We can give you the tattoo of your dreams, no matter who you are or what your reasons are. Visit our artists and see what we can do for you!

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