Healing a tattoo can be one of the most essential aspects of the entire tattooing process and one that can be easy to gloss over once you have survived through the tattoo session and earned that stunning new inked treasure. But it’s important to stay vigilant and focused once the tattoo machine turns off and your skin healing process begins to take over. We wanted to provide some facts and tips on different stages of the skin’s regenerative process so that you can better understand all that’s involved with protecting your new tattoo.
It's important to remember that our skin’s main function is to protect our body when it’s injured, and when we get tattooed our cells quickly and furiously go to work to repair any trauma that is inflicted on the skin. Even while you are still in the tattoo chair, your body is already working on its healing process. There are four main stages of skin healing and regeneration, including:
- Hemostasis: This is when your skin swells up and blood vessels will begin shrinking to stop the loss of blood. You will notice that a clot will begin forming and closing up the skin to protect itself from bacteria that is trying to invade it.
- Inflammation: Once your skin has stopped bleeding and hemostasis has begun, blood vessels that were previously constricted now move into a new stage where they start to enlarge and widen to allow important cells to get to the wounded tattoo spot. During the inflammation stage, you might notice redness, a collection of fluids known as edema forming, sensitivity, a warm sensation, and possibly some pain associated. This happens because this is when your cells get to work to fight infection.
- Proliferation: The next stage happens once the tattooed area starts to rebuild itself and close up the cells by forming a scab. Once again, this is done to protect the area and start creating new tissue that is called granulation. When you reach the point where the scab is ready to come off, you might notice a pink-colored layer underneath.
- Maturation: This stage is known as the “remodeling” stage because your skin will form new cells that help to further protect the area and regenerate what was damaged. It does this by conjoining skin fibers.
So now that you know how our skin heals and regenerates, what signs should you look out for when it comes to irritation versus infection? Be mindful of these signs in order to tell the difference:
- If your tattoo is IRRITATED, it will most likely appear red and may have some form of swelling and soreness. This can be due to all sorts of things, like the process of tattooing itself, cleaning the area, scratching it, picking at it once it starts to heal, or even being allergic to different types of aftercare products. That’s why using MD WipeOutz towels can be so essential in your healing process. They are hypoallergenic, soothing, itch relieving, don’t have any harsh chemicals, and kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria.
- If your tattoo is INFECTED things will look different than when it’s irritated. You might still see some redness, swelling, and soreness, but look at the extended area away from the tattoo to investigate for drainage of fluid or pus, severe redness, excessive swelling, and tenderness. You might also notice a rash forming, red and bumpy skin around the area of the tattoo, or firm bumps known as granulomas. Infections are also oftentimes accompanied by a fever and/or chills and shivering.
To avoid infection at all costs, it’s important to stay vigilant with your aftercare routine and the best way to do that is to keep your new tattoo clean by using Wipe Outz™ products and listening carefully to your tattoo artist’s instructions. Say goodbye to the old-fashioned way of cleaning your tattoos. It’s time to join the revolution and put sterilization, safety, and convenience at the top of your list when caring for your new ink!