Tattoo Healing: What Do You Need to Do to Allow Easier Healing (2019)

tattoo healing

The final aspect of your tattoo art is its healing. A tattoo takes around 7- 14 days to appear as fully healed depending on the style, the type, size and the placement.

However, it can take up to a month for the tattoo to heal completely below the skin surface and for the body’s natural ability to lock the indelible ink in the skin completely. There are some things that you should do to ensure that your tattoos heal faster and without giving you any problems.



After the tattoo artist has finished the tattoo, they will clean it off using some water, green soap and most likely, they will use witch hazel before they take a picture for you. They will then apply a very thin coat of a clear ant-bacterial ointment or A+D ointment.

Then hopefully, they will bandage you with sterile absorption pad.


If you happen to notice that the artist is using a scotch tape, a paper towel or a masking tape while in the bandaging process, run! There are times when the tattoo will be too large or in a difficult position to allow the use of a standard bandage. In such a case the artist should use clear plastic film.

The plastic wrap does not stick to the new tattoo. It also works for the large pieces. And in addition, you will not have to keep taking off a bandage to show the cool tattoo to your friends.

However, the tattoo can continue seeping your bodily fluids and eventually leak therefore turning messy. The film makes a barrier on your skin. It also makes it to remain wet, hot and moist. These are the favorable conditions for bacteria that can lead to an infection.

tattoo healing

If the artist uses a plastic wrap, you should remove it as soon as possible meaning that you will not have to go over many hours with it on. The artist has to use a medical tape to hold the bandage in place. If you are hypo-allergic to adhesives, you should let the tattoo artist know in advance or bring your tape.

Most tattoo artists will use A+D ointment. They mainly use it during the ointment process. Most women will tell you that its use is high for diaper rash and therefore it is a great product to begin with.

It will start the healing of your tattoo and also works as a lubricant for the tattooist while placing the tattoo on you. However, this product also causes some side effects.


The product is very thick and will require rubbing all the way in. In case you are getting a larger tattoo and use it for a longer period it may produce adverse reactions as a result of overdosing. The skin absorbs too much of the active ingredients that can lead to the skin breaking out in a rash.

It can also get pimply. If this happens you should stop using it immediately. It is advisable that you use the A+D ointment for 1-2 days. This will begin the tattoo healing process. You should also switch it with a non-medicated, and a non-scented lotion.

tattoo healing

For how long should you leave the bandage on? You should allow it to remain for 2-4 hours. There are some tattoo artists who will recommend that you leave it for 6-8 hours. Whatever, the case, you should not leave it for more than 8 hours.

The bandage continues to seep the bodily fluids for 1 or 2 hours depending on the size of your tattoo and its location. The time is critical and therefore you will have to protect your tattoo.

After the two hours, you can remove the bandage and show the tattoo to your friends. Before removing it, you will have to clean it. You can use un-scented antibacterial soap. Use your bare hand to clean. Do not scrub with anything. This way you will get any ointment left and the dried fluids.


When washing in the shower, use warm water. Never allow the water to beat on the tattoo. Allow the water to hit above it and run for a very short period of time. Hot water will not feel nice and it can open the pores.

It can also leach out some of the indelible ink and form a blotchy end or an un-even product. It can also make it easier for germs to get into the skin.

Most tattoo artists will recommend that you use cold water or a dripping cold compress on the tattoo after showering or washing for one minute. By doing this, you will be closing the pores therefore effectively sealing your tattoo.

tattoo healing

If the artist used an improper bandage or you have left it on for so long and it sticks to your skin, don’t pull it off. Get in the shower and use lukewarm water to soak it off. This will reduce the damages to the skin and the tattoo.

Once you are through with the washing, take a soft clean towel and gently pat your tattoo dry. Allow the tattoo to remain exposed to the air for awhile. This will assist it the healing process.

You should remember that you have an open wound even if it is a good looking wound. Therefore, properly wash your hands before you touch it. Your hands carry lots of germs from the things that you touch from time to time and transferring them to the wound can be easy.


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Protect your tattoo from direct sunlight

Sun is a standing tattoo enemy and can destroy your tattoo. During the initial healing stage, you have to protect your tattoo from direct sunlight. Sun can destroy your skin and can cause severe problems like lightening the tattoo or scaring it.

tattoo healing

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What clothing to wear

Clothing is another determining factor to the tattoo healing process. Depending on the location of your tattoo, you will have to wear loose fitting clothes. Your tattoo needs to breath and therefore you should not wear any tight fitting clothing.


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Never pick scabs

After some time, your tattoo will look good and any redness will disappear. Generally this happens to the larger, tribal or solid tattoos. Furthermore, you should expect scabs to form although heavy scabbing is not normal and you should observe it closely.

Allow it to follow over time or during the cleaning process. Picking can scar your skin and eventually ruin the tattoo.

tattoo healing

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You should consider your first nights sleep. If you get a tattoo on your back, you will have to sleep on your belly for a few days. Furthermore, it is best if you opt to sleep with your tattoo exposed.

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Denis Mountain 30.05.2018 at 10:48

    Using a good quality of surgical tape can also be really helpful in tattoo healing. My brother has used hypafix tape for tattoo healing and it really helped.

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