Tattoos: The Healing Process
Tattoos are really stylish and come in all shapes and colors. But permanent ones are not all roses and flowers. They require time to heal. Read the following tips to properly care for your tattoo while it heals.
how long does a tattoo take to heal?
The average healing time for a tattoo can take anything from one week to four weeks. The first week is when the tattoo scabs off. The second week or more is when the color sets in. It all depends on the location of the tattoo, and how huge your tattoo is. Compare doing an entire arm sleeve design with a small one inch by one inch tattoo.
Location, Location, Location… Is in the tattoo in a durable place like your shoulder or a sensitive area like your rib? The location will greatly affect not only the healing time but the tattoo care procedures.
Is size and location all? No, individual differences also play a factor in the healing process. Two important ones are your body’s immunity system, as well as the tattoo artist’s technique. Bodies with higher immunity heal faster. Some artists etch the design more deeply in the skin than other artists. Deeper designs take longer to heal. Your diet habits also play a role. Vegetarians and smokers, for instance, heal slower than other people.
Do not bandage the tattoo or expose it to sunlight. Sunlight greatly damages tattoos. Although it seems tempting putting antibiotics on it will not do your design good. Going to the beach, lake or ocean are also big red flags since they involve exposure to the harsh elements of nature. Avoid picking, scratching or rubbing the tattoo while it scabs or your tattoo will lose its vibrant color.
Tattoos are not a form of body art that you can last minute. It can be tempting to rush a tattoo before going to the beach; the harsh weather elements can destroy your tattoo if you do. Always leave a month and more between holiday plans and tattoo plans for the best results. Approximate the time it takes for individual tattoos to heal with your tattoo artist, to plan your time properly.
While waiting for your tattoo to heal you cannot treat it rashly. There are proper hygiene procedures to be followed. To wash the tattooed area, always rub the area with a soft cloth that has been dipped in warm water and unscented soap. Repeat the process two to three times a day to avoid infections. In case of an infected tattoo, visit a doctor immediately. Infected tattoos feel hot to the touch, or have fluid underneath the scabs.
Clothing can rub against tattoos and affect the healing process. Wearing loose fitting clothes, not only allow the tattoo to hear properly, but will prevent the tattoo scabs from clinging onto your clothes. E.g. consider wearing loose fitting pants, instead of jeans while waiting for an ankle tattoo to heal.
Keep your tattoo moisturized to help it heal properly and avoid pain. Make sure the product is non-scented. Applying sunscreen after the tattoo is healed is also recommended as sunlight greatly damages tattoos even after healing. Use moisturizes and sunscreens that allows your skin to breathe. I hope all these answers have cleared up your questions about general tattoo healing process and timing.
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