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 Clinical Aromatologist and business woman Gillian Parkinson of Le’Esscience Limited.  Gillian has a practice in Roxburgh, Central Otago, 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.

It’s ok, I’ll just use nappy rash cream on my new tattoo……

….. sadly that tradition has stuck, because when it was introduced (the 50’s I think) there really was nothing else available / suitable.

Nappy rash creams are thick and can be difficult to apply to your new tattoo.  The cream pulls on the skin (ouch >_<) and that’s worse if the cream is cold (due to colder months).  It sticks to clothing & bedding and it’s very painful to prize fabrics away from new tattoos and in fact can pull newly growing skin away (ouch >_< again).

Some tattoo artists have told me that nappy rash cream can even draw the ink out of the skin!

But more importantly, nappy rash cream was made to help and prevent nappy rash!

And these are possible side effects from using nappy rash cream on a tattoo: reaction to the skin such as stinging, redness, peeling, blistering, hives, swelling & itching – these symptoms are similar to the reactions some people get to some inks – this is another reason why a specific product, such as TINKture, should be used to assist in the healing of your new tattoo.

These are the most common ingredients of nappy rash cream:

  • dexpanthenol (a form of Vitaman B5)
  • DL-pantolactone
  • cetyl alcohol
  • strearyl alcohol
  • white paraffin
  • liquid parrafin
  • lanolin (wool fat)
  • polyethylene glycole stearate
  • purified water
  • Petrolatum
  • Prunus Dulcis
  • Cera Alba
  • Ozokerite
  • Glyceryl Oleate

Nappy rash cream is a very thick cream and may result in blocked pores and pimples if it is applied too thickly or too often. Tattoo after care products should allow the skin to breath!

Fortunately people have woken up to the idea that perhaps nappy rash cream is lacking, when healing new ink.

Appropriate oils are brilliant to use on a new tattoo, as long as they are plant based therapeutic grade, 100% natural – they allow the skin to breath and contain vital natural vitamins & minerals to assist in the healing process as well as nourishing the area – combine plant based carrier oils with the appropriate / correct essential oils and you have a powerfully effective tattoo after care product that will help with pain relief, powerfully but gently protect against infection, greatly help to reduce redness, bruising & swelling, nourish the skin and regenerate new cells (NOTE: not all essential oils will do this so it’s important to use the correct ones).

Please stay away from synthetic mineral oils – they will make the skin feel nice, but will not assist the healing process, they can clog pores and effectively cover the skin like cling film, so don’t allow the skin to breathe.

Now I know there are a lot of people out there quite happy with nappy rash creams and will swear by them, but I ask you, have you tried a premium tattoo after care product, such as TINKture, so you can see, feel & experience the difference?


Meghan Owl Tattoo by David Hale

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