How Long Does A Tattoo Take to Heal?

After putting in the time, effort, and money to acquire your new tattoo, it’s essential to take the healing process seriously, and we’ve previously provided some helpful tips to make sure that your aftercare procedure is a breeze. But how long does a tattoo take to heal exactly?

Today, we’re taking a closer look at some of the signs and milestones to watch for during the healing process so you know what to expect.

How Long Does A Tattoo Take to Heal?

To begin with, the healing process is different for each person. Just as your new tattoo is unique and your experience in acquiring it is too, so is the length of time it will take to heal. Each tattoo collector has several variables that should be taken into consideration, such as their type of skin, their immune system, and personal environmental factors that come into play. As we have noted in our previous posts, keeping your new tattoo clean and lubricated is essential, so make sure that you have plenty of WIPE OUTZ™ Cleansing Tattoo Towels on hand while you are nursing your tattoo through the healing stages. Choosing sterilized products that were made with tattoo collectors and artists in mind is key.


That first week of healing is crucial, so be sure to follow our cleaning and aftercare tips in our previous post (How to Clean A Tattoo), while keeping an eye out for these normal stages of progress, which may include:

  • A fair amount of oozing: Since the tattoo is essentially an open wound that your body is working hard to heal, you may notice ink, blood, or plasma oozing from the area. This is normal and not cause for alarm, but be sure to keep it clean with a WIPE OUTZ cleansing towel and apply an aftercare lotion or ointment once it dries.
  • Warmth: The area where your tattoo resides may feel warmer than other areas of your body. As noted before, this is a new wound that your body is working to heal, and this reaction is normal.
  • Swelling and discoloration around the tattoo: Not only did your skin go through trauma while receiving the tattoo, it also has to work hard to rebound from the event, so slight swelling around the tattoo and a pink or red pigment outlining the piece is common to see.
  • Soreness: You put your skin through a lot while getting tattooed and though it will thank you later (since it is now adorned with awesome ink), it still must proceed through the normal stages of healing and you may notice bruising and discomfort while this happens.


Once you move into the second week of healing, you may notice some changes in the appearance of the tattoo, including:

  • Dullness: The colors may appear duller, but this is a part of the healing process, so need to be alarmed.
  • Scabbing: Scabs are very important in the healing process and it is essential to resist the urge to pick at them. If it’s not falling off on its own, it is NOT ready to come off yet. Time will take care of this so there is no need to “help it along” will only result in a poor heal and possibly the need to have that area re-tattooed.
  • Itching & Flaking: Your skin may feel drier than usual and you may notice that it itches too. Keep it moisturized and avoid the urge to scratch.


Your scabs should fall off during this time and the itching and pain will have subsided as well. The final layer of dead skin is working its way through the process and you should be feeling back to normal by this point. This is also the time to celebrate your new work and enjoy its newfound place on your skin.

We appreciate you using WIPE OUTZ during the healing process and hope that you are stocked up with our easy-to-use packets as you plan your next tattoo and get ready to make your next tattoo appointment.

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