January 31, 2024

The Stages of Tattoo Healing

stages of tattoo healing

As your tattoo heals, it may develop dry patches of skin or scabs - this is normal and should not be picked at as this can result in scarring.

It is crucial that during this phase, you ensure the area is cleaned 2-3 times daily with mild fragrance-free soap and moisturized daily with natural oil. Although bruising and swelling may occur initially, they should subside by the first week.

Stage 1: The First 48 Hours

The initial 48 hours following a new tattoo are of paramount importance for its recovery. To keep moisture at bay, wash with mild soap and use fragrance-free antibacterial ointment or natural-based moisturizer (Thirteen Daggers Ink Balm is great). Avoid heavy products like Vaseline as these trap bacteria and lead to infection; wear clothing that won't rub against it, drink plenty of water, eat foods rich in vitamins C, D, E & K to stay hydrated, wear loose fitting clothing which won't rub against its surface; drink lots of water as well as consume foods high in vitamins C D E & K for prevention against dehydration.

At first, you may experience discomfort due to swelling and fluid oozing from your healing wound, which should only last a few days and should subside with treatment from a physician. Itching can also occur during this stage and can become intense at times; flaking and scabbing are natural parts of healing processes and must not be picked at as this will only delay their process and lead to scarring in some instances. It is best not to try picking off or peeling away scabs because this could delay recovery further and result in scarring or further delay its process and lead to scarring and scarring from scars from scars from being added on over time and results in scarring in many cases.

Stage 2: Itching and Flaking

At this stage, itching can be extremely annoying; to avoid further damaging your tattoo and potential bacteria infection, avoid scratching any scabs that seal off wounds by not scratching at them and apply some healing balm (we suggest Thirteen Daggers) from your tattoo artist and rub until itchiness subsides.

As your skin begins to flake and scab less frequently, the itching should diminish significantly. Your skin may still feel tight and dry; keep moisturizing daily with light lotion such as Thirteen Daggers to ease this discomfort.

At this stage, it's common to witness some oozing of pus-like material made up of plasma and white blood cells; this healthy response keeps the area clean, encourages proper scabbing and protects fresh new skin under it. Additionally, bruising may become prominent depending on medications taken or conditions such as diabetes, iron deficiency or immune disorders that exacerbate it further.

Stage 3: Peeling and Scabbing

Once the initial oozing has stopped, a tattoo will form a protective layer. While this may make the skin appear dry or flaky, don't worry; it is perfectly normal. Over time this layer will peel and flake away to reveal new, healthier layers beneath; any itchiness should eventually dissipate as well; for best results use an unscented lotion recommended by your artist to keep hydration and reduce itching in this process.

This stage typically lasts one to two weeks, and immediate care should be administered according to your tattoo artist's specific instructions. You should continue washing the tattoo twice per day while applying an ointment or balm as directed by your artist. Avoid rubbing as doing so could strip away scabs that form and even strip away ink from its healing process; in doing so you increase risk for infection while prolonging initial healing and prolong initial recovery timeframes.

Stage 4: Healing

At this stage, most of the scabs and flaky skin will have fallen away, leaving your tattoo looking somewhat scaly like a reptile that's shed its skin. If your tattoo remains dry or itchy, use an unscented lotion such as Thirteen Daggers Ink Balm for optimal care.

At this stage, it's essential that any activities which could potentially expose the tattoo to water (e.g. activities such as swimming) be avoided as this could increase your risk of infection. Washing it several times each day with mild fragrance-free soap should suffice in maintaining cleanliness without disturbing scabs or potentially leading to infection.

Once the scabbing and peeling stages of tattooing are over, your tattoo should begin to look clearer and brighter. However, it's important not to succumb to temptation by picking at or scratching at scabs; doing so could result in scarring and color loss for your new ink. Moisturizing regularly with products recommended by your tattoo artist can help relieve itching.

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