How Tattoos Heal: A Week-by-Week Guide to Tattoo Healing & Aftercare

Now that you’ve acquired your new tattoo and get to wear this new piece of art, you move onto the healing stage. This process is time consuming and requires attention, care, and diligence to make sure that it heals correctly. We’ve put together a week-by-week guide to help you know what to expect once you start the aftercare phase.

Week One

This is the time to be hyper-aware of the care you give to your new tattoo. You will notice a lot of changes taking place during that first week. This starts with getting home from the tattoo studio when it’s time to start caring for the tattoo all by yourself. Serious tattoo collectors find that MD WipeOutz are the perfect product to utilize in order clean their new tattoo, because they are sterilized, soft, and convenient. Once you take off the wrap that your artist has applied, you can open a pack of MD WipeOutz tattoo towels and carefully clean the area.

Some things you might discover once you start:

  • Oozing: Don’t be alarmed if the tattoo oozes. This is a normal process and is your body’s way of beginning to heal.
  • Temperature change: It’s common for the spot your tattoo is in to feel warm to the touch, which is due to the trauma that it experienced while you were getting tattooed. Again, it’s your body’s way of initiating the healing and it may take some time before that area feels the same temperature as other parts of your body.
  • Swelling: Just as you’ll find with temperature changes, the area around the spot where your tattoo resides may be swollen. This is an automatic healing response by your body as it sends more fluid and white blood cells to the area that has been tattooed. It may also appear pink (or sometimes red) around the tattooed area.
  • Soreness: As you would probably expect, a certain level of soreness and pain may present itself around the tattooed area.

During this time be sure to keep an eye out for anything that appears out of the ordinary or if you notice any signs of infection. Be diligent about checking your tattoo often and keeping it clean with WipeOutz tattoo towels.

Week Two

During this week, you will notice a change in the color and vibrancy of the tattoo as compared to its initial presence, as it will begin to look more subdued and muted. Oftentimes, tattoo collectors get worried when they see this change, but it is not cause for alarm and is a totally normal step in the healing process. 

  • Scabbing: This week is also when you will begin to notice scabbing.
  • Itchiness: Once your tattoo starts the scabbing process you may also experience an itch around the tattooed area. This is also not cause for alarm, as it will subside as it continues to heal.
  • Dryness: Along with the scabbing and itch, you will notice a significant increase in the dryness of your skin.
  • Flaking: As the tattoo continues to heal, it will start to flake and peel, which is your body’s way of getting rid of dry skin cells.
  • Moisturizing: While you are experiencing these stages be sure to keep the area well-moisturized, which will help to alleviate the itchiness.
  • Don’t Scratch! Though you may be tempted when your tattoo is itchy and flaky, don’t ever peel your scab or try to speed up this stage. It’s important to avoid scratching so you don’t scar the area or pull ink out of the tattoo during this crucial healing stage.

Weeks Three and Four

During these weeks you will most likely encounter the last remnants of the flakiness and scabbing associated with the tattoo. You might also notice that your tattoo will still be a bit subdued and dull, but this will gradually change as the fine layer of remaining dead skin continues to flake off and a new layer of skin arrives.

Keep in Mind

The healing process is different for everyone, and each person will react differently. What’s important is your diligence, care, and attention to the new tattoo and in remaining mindful that this is a wound that your body is trying to help. It will go through several stages, but patience and care are vital. Stock up on MD WipeOutz tattoo towels to help you to have a smooth, convenient, and sterile aftercare setup. The more knowledgeable and prepared you are, the more likely your healing experience will be.


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