Getting a tattoo is an exciting and meaningful experience. However, the healing process plays a crucial role in maintaining the appearance and longevity of your new ink. Proper aftercare is essential to ensure your tattoo heals effectively, and there are various methods you can employ to expedite the healing process. In this article, we will explore how long it takes for a tattoo to heal, discuss home remedies for curing tattoos, and provide tips on how to heal your tattoo faster using natural creams.
How Long Does It Take for a Tattoo to Heal?
On average, it takes approximately two to three weeks for the surface of the tattoo to heal. It might heal before that, but it’s a good idea to keep applying the cream for up to three weeks. Generally, the healing time for a tattoo varies from person to person and depends on multiple factors. Also, the complete healing process, which includes the deeper layers of the skin, can take up to six months. Being patient and following proper aftercare instructions is crucial throughout this period.
Healing Stages Of Your Tattoos
Tattoo healing typically progresses through several stages, each with its own characteristics and requirements for proper care. Here are the typical stages of tattoo healing:
- Initial healing stage (Days 1-6):
- The first few days after getting a tattoo, the area may be red, swollen, and sensitive.
- The tattoo will form a protective plasma layer, which may ooze and create a thin scab-like crust.
- Keeping the tattoo clean and gently washing it with mild soap and water twice a day is crucial.
- Avoid picking, scratching, or rubbing the tattoo during this stage to prevent infection and colour loss.
- Apply a thin layer of recommended aftercare cream or ointment to moisturise the tattoo.
- Peeling and flaking stage (Days 7-14):
- The tattooed skin will start to peel and flake, similar to a sunburn.
- Resisting the temptation to peel off the flakes is essential, as this can pull out ink and disrupt the healing process.
- Continue with gentle cleansing and moisturizing, but avoid excessive soaking of the tattoo.
- The colours of the tattoo may appear dull or cloudy during this stage, but they will regain their vibrancy as healing progresses.
- Itching and dryness stage (Days 15-30):
- The tattooed area may become dry, itchy, and slightly raised.
- Resisting scratching or picking at the tattoo is crucial to prevent scarring and infection.
- Apply a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturizer to alleviate dryness and relieve itching.
- Keep the tattoo protected from direct sunlight and avoid prolonged exposure to water, such as swimming or soaking in baths.
- Final healing stage (Months 1-6):
- By this stage, the surface of the tattoo will have fully healed, but the deeper layers of the skin are still undergoing the healing process.
- The tattoo may still appear slightly raised or somewhat shiny or waxy.
- It is important to continue protecting the tattoo from excessive sunlight by applying sunscreen and wearing protective clothing.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle, as good overall health promotes optimal healing.
- Be patient; the healing process can take up to six months.
Heal Tattoo With Home Remedies
While professional aftercare advice should be your primary source of guidance, a few home remedies may help in the healing process. Here are some tips to promote healing at home:
a) Keep it clean: Wash your tattoo gently with mild soap and lukewarm water twice daily to prevent infection. Pat it dry with a clean towel and avoid rubbing.
b) Moisturize: Hydrate the tattoo by applying a thin, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturizer or tattoo-specific aftercare cream. This will prevent excessive dryness and itching.
c) Avoid direct sunlight: Protect your tattoo from direct sunlight during the healing process. UV rays can fade the colours and damage the delicate healing skin. If you must go outside, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to shield the tattoo or, better yet, cover the tattoo with some clothing. If you want to keep your tattoo nice looking it’s also a great idea to keep it out of the sun throughout the years.
d) Wear loose clothing: Opt for loose-fitting clothing to avoid rubbing and irritation on the tattooed area. A tight dress can cause unnecessary friction, slowing the healing process.
How Can I Heal My Tattoo Faster?
While tattoos require time to heal naturally, there are steps you can take to promote faster healing.
Always adhere to the aftercare guidelines provided by your tattoo artist. This may include specific ointments, moisturizers, or cleaning routines tailored to your tattoo.
Ensure you have a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get sufficient sleep. A healthy body means a healthy immune system and skin recovery to boost your healing.
Itching is a standard part of the healing process, but resist the urge to scratch or pick at your tattoo. Doing so can lead to infection, scarring, or colour loss.
Lastly, drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from within. Hydration is crucial for overall skin health and healing.
Natural Creams for Healing Tattoos
In addition to following proper aftercare instructions, some natural creams can aid in healing tattoos. It’s important to note that individual reactions may vary, so consult your tattoo artist or dermatologist before trying new products. Here are a few natural ingredients known for their healing properties:
a) Aloe vera gel: Known for its soothing and moisturizing properties, aloe vera gel can help relieve itching and promote healing. Look for pure aloe vera gel without added fragrances or colours.
b) Coconut oil: With its antibacterial and moisturizing properties, coconut oil can aid in the healing process. Apply a thin layer to keep the tattooed area hydrated.
c) Calendula cream: Derived from marigold flowers, calendula cream has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It can help reduce redness and promote healing.
Remember that everyone’s healing process is unique, and the duration and characteristics of each stage may vary. It’s crucial to consult with your tattoo artist or a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or notice signs of infection during the healing process. Following proper aftercare instructions and practising patience will ensure the best possible outcome for your tattoo.