How long does a tattoo take to heal?

….. I was asked this on Twitter recently and you can’t answer that question in 140 characters! It’s just not that easily answered but it’s a great question – it depends on these factors:

Where on the body your new ink is.
Clothes can rub on the new tattoo – different fabrics will be more harsh than others – denims, tight clothes, leggings – leggings have rubbery elastic through them, that can really irritate a new tattoo and prolong the healing process – it’s a really good idea to wear loose cotton clothing.  Rubbing in general will irritate the new tattoo -cover it during your working day if necessary – making sure you uncover and wash it as soon as you are home again (so it can breathe) and reapply TINKture.

Is your new tattoo colour or black & grey?
Colour tattoos can take longer – this is because of what is in the ink – there are metals in coloured ink and these can be hard for the body to accept. Sometimes the body will reject the colour all together and push it out – this is a painful process too. Other times the body just takes time to accept the new colours (red is the hardest to heal).  The area can become quite tender to touch, can feel a little hot and swollen.  This is another reason why a specifically made tattoo aftercare product must be used. For example, TINKture contains anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, analgesic & antiseptic/antimicrobial/antibacterial properties that will help to relieve symptoms experienced by reaction to ink colours. Black & grey tattoos ‘should’ be relatively easy to heal.

Are you well?
Having a tattoo is quite a process for the body to deal with – especially if the piece is larger and/or you are getting tattooed regularly (every 2-4 weeks) over a period of time. The process of getting new ink causes pain and stress, the body reacts to that by pumping adrenalin through you – fight or flight kicks in – and this is all to help cope with the pain.  You may have experienced feeling really exhausted after your session, even feel like you are getting a cold or flu, your glands may swell in your neck / under your arms. This is your body dealing with the process.  If you are unwell, your immunity levels are lower than normal, your body will be trying to get you better from that and now you’ve added another complication of pumping foreign matter into you – your body will be going wwaaahhhhhhhhh! If this is happening your tattoo is going to take longer to heal.

If you have an ongoing health condition – accept that healing a tattoo may take longer than someone who is healthy.  I highly recommend you spend a week or two before your appointment building your immunity.  It can make a huge difference (I’m speaking from experience).  This is the product I use 1-2 weeks before an inking session if I’ve been sick or am having sittings close together – Le’Esscience Chill out & Boost.  I have recently recommended this to a lovely lady who experiences reactions to tattoo inks – when she uses this daily a week or two before her tattoo session, the reaction symptoms don’t happen!

First sitting, subsequent sittings, touch-ups.
First sitting tattoos will probably take the longest to heal – all going well, and depending on the above factors (oh and if you are using TINKture, as directed) your new ink should be healed between 7-14 days.  The skin could still be a little sensitive to touch in some areas – complete cell regeneration can take from 3-6 months, TINKture has properties that assist cell regeneration so its ideal to keep using once a day for as long as you feel necessary.

Subsequent sittings can take just as long if your sitting is a lengthy one and in a new area (but the same tattoo) – if it’s just to complete some colours or add shading, the healing stage should be a little quicker – touch ups usually heal even quicker (7 days). Again, this is if you are using TINKture as directed.

Reaction to ink colours / pigment rejection.
Certain colours are harder to heal than others (red is the hardest), some people’s bodies accept ink colours better than others but if you do experience a reaction to an ink colour(s) or pigment rejection, expect the tattoo to take up to a week longer to heal.  TINKture has antihistamine properties that will help to relieve symptoms so keep using it!  It can also be helpful to take an antihistamine tablet daily for a few days.  This will help relieve the itching that can be apparent.  Reaction to ink colours usually show by a specific colour healing harder (than the rest of the colours on your tattoo), it could be more raised, more tender to touch, be more red around it – you may also get little red itchy spots around the tattoo, sometimes through it too – I reiterate, keep using TINKture and use TINKture on those spots too.

Sometimes you may need a touch up from your tattoo artist if you do experience this

So in a nutshell, and if you are using TINKture (as directed), all going well, your new tattoo should be well enough healed in 10-14 days.  It is safe to use TINKture daily for as long as you need.

Now this post is certainly not meant to put you off being inked! It’s more so you can prepare yourself, but it also reconfirms why a specific product is essential to assist in healing your new tattoo.

TINKture is absolutely unique in the fact that when it was developed, all these factors written above, were taken into account – there is even an ingredient in TINKture that helps to balance the central nervous system!

Cara’s beautiful tattoo by Pepe of Bohemian Tattoos – Cara used TINKture, as directed, and this wonderful piece of body art was healed by day 10 – a marvelous result!

© Copyright Le’Esscience Limited.
All Rights Reserved.
Company Registered in New Zealand.

The recipe and ingredients of TINKture Tattoo Aftercare are a ‘Trade Secret’ and are protected as such under strict secrecy guidelines .  TINKture is made from high grade 100% pure essential oils & carrier oils.
TINKture is the product of Aromatologist and business woman Gillian Parkinson of Le’Esscience Limited.  Gillian has a practice in Wellington, New Zealand where she sees clients on a consultation basis and prepares 100% natural essential oil complimentary health products using pure high quality essential oils, and carrier oils.  Le’Esscience Limited was formed in 2009.
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13 thoughts on “How long does a tattoo take to heal?”

  1. the nappy cream can cause all sorts of skin problems .when using on the legs it will make you itch and cause a nasy rash and big spots.its ment for a childs bum and thats it .and it also can take the colour out of the tattoo

    1. Hi there,

      I had a tat almost 2 months ago, my artist said i should apply vaseline, but got n rash and after 3 days applied bum cream the tattoo healed nicely, but I have these big spots around my tat where the rash was, jus wanted to find out will these big spots go away or can I use sumthing for these spots to go away. Any help would be appreciated,

      1. Hello Kane, it sounds as though you’ve had an allergic reaction of some sort – can I please suggest you buy an antihistamine cream and use that on the rash. Vaseline is terrible for healing as it is a barrier and blocks pores – not good advice to give you!!

  2. I just got my first tattoo, its pretty big, covering my whole calf and some of my thigh. The healing process seemed to be going well, i was feeling in some places. But in the last couple of days the tattoo has become very dry and does not feel like part of my skin, like if one layer of skin needs to come off, but its not really peeling anymore.
    My ink is black and red and i have had it for 10 days.
    Im very worried that it will not heal and that it will feel like a “second skin forever”

    1. Hello Milli

      What aftercare are you using and how often? As long as your tattoo isn’t ‘sore to touch’ it doesn’t sound as though any bad is going on – without seeing a picture of it too, it’s hard to tell where it’s at. Remember your new ink is a wound so it will go through the stages of healing and part of that is peeling, dryness and feeling tender. Aftercare is very important which is why I was asking what you are using? If you are using TINKture, apply little and often, carry the bottle around with you and as soon as you feel discomfort or it feels dry, add another thin layer – it’s just SO good at aiding and speeding the healing process. Thank you for contacting me Milli, feel free to get back to me if you need to. Kindest
      Gillian

  3. I did my tattoo over 2 weeks ago and now the red part looks terrible. It is two different colors and yesterday it was painful to touch. I went to my doctor and he told me it was not infected. But it does not look good. It has scabs and it’s raised. Am I being to worried or is it the normal process.

    1. Hello Lisa, it sounds as though you are having a reaction to the red ink – this can be quite common. What are you currently using on it as aftercare? There are a few options you can do to lesson the symptoms and help the healing process – you can take antihistamines (get a pack from your pharmacy, a brand that provides 24 hours relief and take 1 a day for the next 3-4 days. You can bathe the area in warm water and pure lavender essential oil (1 cup to 6 drops, do this about 3-5x a day) Lavender is antiseptic, antibacterial but also cell regenerating so will help assist the healing process. If you are unable to get TINKture in a hurry (ie: overseas otherwise I can get a bottle to you overnight if in NZ), you could get 10mls of extra virgin olive oil & add 6 drops of Lavender and apply that 4-5x a day (a thin layer).

      Try not to worry, it will come right but will just take longer but also, you may need a touch up if your body rejects bits of the red and pushes it out. I hope this is helpful Lisa, let me know if you have any further questions. Kindest Gillian

  4. Hi, I got a wrist tattoo 16 days ago, its an outline, no color filled. It didn’t really changed much during the two weeks, still feels like there’s an extra layer on top of the skin thats tattooed, maybe its scab? I’m not sure, its very thin. Its also very dark, i’m expecting the color to fade actually. does this sound like its still healing? I feel like the top layer should come off or something, but its just not changing at all….

    1. Hello Amy, was the tattoo quite painful to have done? I’m wondering if its a bit of scar tissue – does it feel like a bit of a ridge? Certain areas of the body are harder to get ink in so sometimes the artist has to go a bit deeper – it can cause scarring (not putting down your artist AT all, it just happens sometimes, especially on areas of the skin where it’s thinner).

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