What to Expect During the Healing Process: Tattoos
When you receive a tattoo from an artist at Miraculous Creations, we provide complete information about caring for your new tattoo. Here is the basic information you will need about what to expect as your tattoo heals:
A tattoo heals essentially the same way a burn does. It needs to be kept moist, but also needs to be able to breathe. Your artist will, in most cases, bandage your tattoo when it is finished; remove this bandage after two hours and do not re-bandage the tattoo during the healing process.
Always wash your hands with antibacterial soap before touching your tattoo. Remember that dirty hands can easily spread germs, and your new tattoo is an open wound. Do not allow anyone else to touch your tattoo with dirty hands. Apply an acceptable ointment in a thin layer 2-4 times a day for the first three days. After the first three days, switch to an acceptable unscented lotion, applying it as often as necessary to keep the tattoo moist. Your artist will provide a list of acceptable brands of ointment and lotion; we offer a variety of these products and they are also widely available at pharmacies.
Depending on the sensitivity of your skin and the area of the body, your tattoo may be red and swollen for the first few days. This swelling, redness, and tenderness are completely normal. As the tattoo continues to heal, you may see red bumps on the shaved skin as the hair grows back.
After the first few days, the tattoo will start to itch; you may pat or slap the skin lightly with a clean hand to reduce the itching, but never scratch the tattoo, as scratching could easily cause scabbing or other damage to the healing skin. If you are applying ointment or lotion appropriately, most tattoos will not scab heavily, but some skin does form scabs as the tattoo heals. If scabs form, keep them moist with frequent applications of unscented lotion, and never pick or remove the scabs. After one to two weeks, the skin will begin to flake and peel off; this process is normal and you should allow the skin to peel naturally, without pulling it off or picking it.
The healing period of a tattoo can vary from one to three weeks. Until you have completely healed, do not expose your tattoo to sunlight, salt water, chlorinated pools, hot tubs, or spas; all of these things are very drying and will cause scabbing, causing your tattoo to look faded after it heals. Do not soak the tattoo in any water for long periods of time while it heals.
If you have any questions about how to heal your tattoo, you are always welcome to consult an artist at Miraculous Creations, even if he did not perform your tattoo.
- Ryen Welker