If you’re wondering how long does it take for a tattoo to heal, the answer may vary depending on the person. However, the tattoo typically takes around two to four weeks to heal completely. Depending on the size and location of the tattoo, it may take longer for some people. After the tattoo has healed, it is important to keep it moisturized and protected from the sun. Check out this article to find tattoo healing time and what helps tattoos heal faster.

Tattoo Healing Stages

T tattoos’ stages are normal and crucial to the healing process. There are four major stages to the healing process:

Oozing and redness

Your tattoo artist will bandage your tattoo. When to take it off will be specified, which might be for a few hours or a whole week.

When you take off the bandage, you can see that your tattoo is bleeding or that the skin around it is pretty red. Additionally, it’s common to observe what is frequently referred to as “weeping” from the tattoo.

You should see your doctor if the redness and oozing don’t disappear after a week. This will most likely persist for a week or so.

Oozing and redness Tattoo


As they heal, wounds frequently itch, and a tattoo is a wound.

Your new tattoo could itch and peel in the first and second week. The impulse to scratch it must be resisted. Using a soft lotion should be beneficial. You may also place an ice pack over your clothing to soothe the itch.

Ask your doctor about using an over-the-counter antihistamine if the discomfort becomes intolerable.

Itchy Tattoo


Your tattoo will probably start to peel in the second, third, and fourth weeks. The body responds naturally to what it considers harm by sloughing off this skin.

The tattoo won’t fall off on its own. It’s merely a typical step in the procedure. In reality, it demonstrates that your tattoo is healing properly.

Peeling Tattoo


Your tattoo will seem bright and heal after the first month. In the first few weeks, it’s simple to remember to practice aftercare, but continuing it for several months is crucial. Doing this lets you keep the tattoo neat and make it appear its best.


What Affects the Healing Time of Tattoos?

From tattoo to tattoo and from person to person, the general healing process and the length of time needed to complete it vary. The stages of tattoo healing described above still apply, although the length of each step varies on a few different things:

  • Which kind of ink did you get?
  • Do you have a colorful or gray tattoo?
  • How big is the tattoo you have?
  • What part of your body does your new tattoo cover?

Blue/Green Vs. Colored Tattoos

A grey or black tattoo often heals considerably more quickly than one that is colored since it takes a less drastic approach to tattoo.

For black and grey tattoos, your tattoo artist will leave some white space or use subtle shading, producing little to no skin discomfort or harm.

On the other side, the process tattoo artists must go through to create a colorful tattoo lengthens the healing time. When coloring a tattoo, the artist covers every inch of the body art completely and continuously with colored tattoo ink.

The procedure is strenuous and causes more significant skin stress and irritation.

Not to add that colored tattoo inks can include trace metals, which the body has difficulty absorbing. All of these ultimately result in a lengthier healing and scabbing phase.

And out of all the hues, red tattoo ink is a frequent offender for having negative impacts on healing time because of the nature of the ink. Your tattoos may take longer to heal if you are unlucky enough to experience a negative response to red ink. But as it heals, it might also make your fresh tattoo appear uneven.

The healing time and procedure for colored tattoos can thus take 4-6 weeks with good care, although the skin’s outer layer can recover from black and gray tattoos in as little as 2-3 weeks.

BlueGreen Vs. Colored Tattoos

Location And Size Of Tattoos

The time typically takes for an inside tattoo to heal also depends on where the tattoo is. If you receive a new tattoo on an area of your body that is particularly sensitive, healing time will be prolonged.

The parts of your body with the least amount of fat, the most nerve endings, and the thinnest, tightest skin are peaceful places to have tattooed. These physical components include the neck, shins, spine, fingers, and ribs.

In addition to being some of the most painful areas for tattooing, these areas are also more prone to protracted episodes of edema, redness, and irritation.

Sensitive tattoos may require up to six weeks or more to heal the top layer of the inked area’s skin.

Naturally, the healing period for larger tattoos will be slower than for smaller ones.

Location And Size Of Tattoos

Options For Tattoo Aftercare

Just getting a tattoo is the start. How well you take care of your new tattoo significantly impacts how quickly or slowly the healing process will go and how it will appear over time.

Poor tattoo maintenance might cause the entire procedure to be delayed. Because of this, it’s crucial to adhere to the aftercare guidelines during the healing process. Additionally, it covers the following aftercare advice:

  • To keep the tattoo clean, gently wash the inked area with antibacterial soap or mild, fragrance-free soap before drying with a paper towel.
  • Use a fragrance-free lotion to keep the tattooed skin hydrated. To prevent itching, also incorporate the area around the tattoo. You can seek advice from the tattoo artist or a helpful tattoo community, but try to avoid petroleum-based chemicals.
  • Once the tattoo has healed, try to limit your exposure to the sun or apply broad-spectrum sunscreen.
  • To prevent rubbing the healing area, use loose clothing.

These recommendations help tattoos heal fast and effectively.

Related post:

What Do You Put On A New Tattoo 2022: Best Tattoo After Care Guide

How Do I Know My Tattoo Is Infected 2022: Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

Health In General And The Immune System

Your body will naturally complete the full healing process as quickly as possible, depending on your health, immune system, and age.

For instance, it is well known that the slower your body heals as you age may impact how quickly your skin heals after getting a tattoo. Additionally, any underlying medical issues may cause the healing process to take longer.

How Long Does A Tattoo Take To Heal Completely

In a young, healthy person, a tattoo takes on its permanent shape after about one month, yet as was already said, tattoos are regarded as totally healed after around three months. However, a few things can affect how quickly a wound heals.

For starters, tattoos with more intensely colored parts may require more time to cure. Makharita says tattoos with intense color take more needle punctures to deposit ink than those with thinner lines. As a result, a greater inflammatory reaction and a lengthier healing period can occur.

How Long Does A Tattoo Take To Heal Completely

Tips for Tattoo Healing and Aftercare

While significantly different, the main point of both specialists’ post-care regimens is the same: The body can heal the wound if we don’t get in the way. Makharita underlines that progress should be made every day and that failure to do so might indicate delayed wound healing or infection.

Use a breathable bandage the first week

Moore advises covering the tattoo with an adherent, breathable bandage, such as Derm Shield ($35), for the first week since tattoos leave an entrance in the skin that germs can enter through. These bandages are designed to keep the wound clean while preventing infection.

She advises reapplying the bandage daily and bathing the area with mild soap and water for the first week. It is possible to take off the bandage after the first week. However, it’s crucial to keep rubbing a healing cream over the tattoo until all healing indications have vanished.

Tips for Tattoo Healing and Aftercare

Cleanse with antibacterial soap

Makharita places a breathable bandage on the tattooed area and advises her customers to keep it there for three days. Makharita advises using antibacterial soap twice a day after removing the breathable bandage.

Take out the healing cream

Makharita advises applying Aquaphor Healing Ointment daily to the area once the breathable bandage is removed and you’ve cleaned it twice daily for around three days with antibacterial soap.

He advises customers to switch to daily cleansings and the use of a mild, fragrance-free moisturizer after the first week of doing this, such as Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion.

How Do You Know When Your Tattoo Is Healed

How Do You Know When Your Tattoo Is Healed

How effectively and how long your tattoo heals might depend on various things. So how can you know when a tattoo has fully healed?

Nothing Cuddly

It will reveal a foggy skin surface if the scabs come off the tattooed skin too fast, which is particularly obvious in tattoos with darker ink like blue and black. Additionally, the skin around it will be considerably lighter than the area in question, indicating that the deeper layer of skin is still healing.

Give it one or two weeks to finish healing. Your tattoo will be healed once the cloudiness has disappeared.

Is Your Tattoo Still Painful If It Doesn’t Hurt Anymore?

That’s a clear sign that it hasn’t fully recovered. After getting a tattoo, pain is an indication of nerve and skin cell damage.

An initial two-week period of tenderness and sensitivity is typical for a fresh tattoo. That is typical. However, there is a significant possibility that more is going on if the discomfort continues a month after tattooing.

The Peeling Of Your Tattoo Has Stopped

The tattooed region is most likely healed if it seems perfect and shows no symptoms of peeling or thin dead skin cells that resemble sunburn. The final stage of the tattooed skin’s damage is often skin peeling or shedding.

You’Ve Allowed It Time To Heal

The easiest and frequently best way to tell if a tattoo has fully healed is via time. If it has been 4-6 weeks, your tattoo should be entirely healed unless you have a medical condition that might hinder healing or adverse response to the ink.

When To Seek Medical Help

When To Seek Medical Help

After getting a tattoo, some redness and swelling are typical. However, individuals should seek medical advice if they have any of the following unusual symptoms:


The tattoo has become infected if it has grown red and uncomfortable, pus, or has open sores. A person should get medical help immediately if they have a fever or chills.

An allergic response

An allergic response to a tattoo can occur anytime, even years later.

If the tattooed skin develops lumps, scaly areas, or becomes itchy, red, or swollen, the individual should seek medical attention.

A person should seek emergency medical care if they experience a severe response such as breathing issues, lightheadedness, or a fast pulse.

Skin condition

Area disorders like psoriasis and eczema may be brought on or made worse by tattoos on the tattooed skin or other parts of the body. It is advised to get in touch with a healthcare provider if someone notices any flare-ups or changes in their skin.

FAQs on How do you tell if a tattoo is healing properly?

FAQs About How Long Does It Take To Heal A Tattoo

At Night, Should I Cover My Fresh Tattoo?

You might wish to cover the area in plastic the first night after using new ink. (However, ask your tattoo artist for assistance on the subject.) After that, you should make sure the tattoo is exposed to as much air and as little covering as possible.

Can I Cover A Fresh Tattoo With Clothing?

If necessary (and depending on where you were inked), you can wear clothing over your new tattoo. Just be careful to choose comfortable, natural textiles like cotton and avoid tight garments that can rub against the tattoo.

When May I Handle My Ink?

Your tattoo should generally remain covered by the first bandages for at least a few hours. Be sure to contact your tattoo artist for more precise recommendations. Try to avoid touching your tattoo while it is healing; nevertheless, before cleaning it, make sure you have cleansed your hands.

According to tattoo artist Tuki Carter, washing your hands before cleaning your tattoos is the most crucial step. In my opinion, you should pay attention to the spoken instructions given by your tattoo artist before consulting the written instructions.

How To Speed Up The Healing Process Of A Tattoo?

  • Before handling the tattoo, always wash your hands with lukewarm water and soap.
  • Make careful to wash the tattoo with lukewarm water and antibacterial soap.
  • Avoid washing the tattoo too much, especially while it’s new.
  • Use a paper towel to dab the tattoo dry; other materials might irritate it and cause it to take longer to heal.
  • Do not moisturize the newly inked area; as it is still a fresh wound, doing so might worsen the skin’s condition and delay the healing process.
  • Avoid using too much moisturizer since it might encourage scabbing and impair the skin’s ability to breathe.
  • Put on baggy clothing to hide the tattoo.
  • Avoid swimming and bathing; taking a shower is acceptable.
  • While the tattoo is healing, be careful not to touch, peel, pick, or scrape it.
  • To keep your metabolism and skin healthy, drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet.
  • Be sure to strengthen your immune system so that your body can fend off infections and heal the tattoo more quickly.

How Long For Tattoo Ink To Settle?

Around two weeks, most tattoos will have finished peeling and healed. However, it can still take a few weeks for your tattoo to integrate correctly. Your tattoo can appear a little faded or dull at this period.

Does Tattoo Shading Fade?

Around two weeks, most tattoos will have finished peeling and healed. However, it can still take a few weeks for your tattoo to integrate correctly. Your tattoo can appear a little faded or dull at this period.

Why Does My Tattoo Burn?

A slight allergic response that causes a burning feeling might harm your tattoo. For a recommendation of a different healing cream, speak with your tattoo artist. However, if your tattoo session lasted an hour or more, it is typical to feel a minor burning of your tattoo or skin.


During this crucial time, take good care of your tattoo and pay close attention to the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist. You should have a beautiful ink design permanently etched onto your body by the time the process is through. Congratulations!