While every body is different and heals at different intervals, in general, it normally takes approximately 2-4 weeks for a tattoo to completely heal. Please do not consult your friends about healing issues, as everyone’s experience is unique. If you are planning on getting a large tattoo done that will take multiple sessions, don't expect it to be done in a month. You need proper time to heal to ensure the best outcome for your new tattoo.
Suggested Aftercare For Tattoos
1. It can be exciting getting a tattoo and the urge to show it off to your friends may kick in, but it is best to keep your tattoo covered by a breathable bandage for the first 2-3 hours immediately after getting freshly inked. The bandage may be left on overnight. If the bandage is removed on the first night, the tattoo may stick to or stain bed sheets, so make sure to wrap it properly.
2. After removing the bandage, wash the tattoo immediately with warm water and soap. We recommend plain soap out of a pump bottle. No soap with fragrance moisture beads or scrubs as that can seriously damage your skin and cause unnecessary pain.
3. Make sure your hands are clean when washing your tattoo to reduce the risk of infection. Don't use washcloths, bath towels, bath sponges or loofahs on a fresh tattoo. The fibers may stick to the skin and cause irritation.
4. When you've properly cleaned and dried your tattoo, apply AQUAPHOR healing ointment. You can purchase it at any over-the-counter drug isle, usually in the lotion section. Apply a thin layer, gently rub it in, then dab excess off with a clean paper towel. Use the Aquaphor for the first 2-3 days then switch to a regular FRAGRANCE FREE lotion. Fragrance added lotions can cause a stinging, burning sensation on the skin and potential inflammation.
5. A new, fresh tattoo can sometimes seep out liquid during the first couple of days. This is usually a combination of plasma and ink that can form a thin, moist coating on the skin. Gently dab off any excess liquid with a clean paper towel. Press the paper towel to the skin and remove. Do not wipe the tattoo and don't panic when you see the colors of the tattoo on the paper towel. All tattoos will have excess ink that seeps out during the healing process.
6. Once a day, or as needed cleaning is usually enough for any new tattoo. Try not to over-wash in order to avoid drying out the skin. If you plan to do any strenuous activity within the first ten days of having your tattoo, take extra precaution to limit irritation on the tattooed area. Lotion vs. AQUAPHOR may be applied to the tattoo as it dries out.
7. Loose, cotton clothing is the preferred wear for covering a tattoo. A tight waistband, old gym shoe, tight bra strap or itchy wool sweater can potentially create healing problems depending on where the tattoo is located. You don't have to re-bandage your tattoo after the first day, but if you choose to, be sure that only sterile bandages are used.
8. After a few days, it is normal for your tattoo to form flaky scabs that will fall off on their own. Fight the urge to PICK OR SCRATCH at your tattoo. If you properly keep the area moisturized, the itching will be reduced and the scabs will naturally come off on their own. If itching is still present, you can gently slap or pat the area vs. scratching.