5 Stages Of The Tattoo Healing Process

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Tattoo Healing Process

Whenever a person gets a new tattoo inspired by their creative designs, the tattoo designing procedure ends. The next main phase in tattooing is the tattoo healing process. It might seem unnecessary to some amateurs, but tattoo aftercare during the healing phase is considered highly significant by most professionals in the tattooing industry. Even those aware of aftercare need a clear idea about its natural procedure. Therefore, discussing the “5 stages of the tattoo healing process” is inevitable. Please read and understand each healing step as they enhance tattooing practices and allow the best results for tattooed people. 

The healing steps are easy to understand by an average reader if they are discussed in an interesting and informative manner. It would help if you started the prescribed aftercare as soon as the artist suggests because proper aftercare is the key to beautiful and healthy-looking tattoos. Furthermore, it would help if you treated healing tattoos like any other wound that is being healed. Without proper aftercare and attention to the tattoo healing process, your designed tattoo might get affected. Hence, this emphasizes the significance and importance of these stages of tattoo healing in a more precise and understandable manner. 

Tattoo Healing Process:

Most tattooing experts agree that tattoos usually heal within 3 to 6 weeks if you follow instructions carefully and provide prescribed aftercare. But this is partially true as the epidermis layer heals in such a short time efficiently, but deeper skin layers require more time to heal. Normally it might require a few months for connective tissue and dermis layer of skin to heal after getting a tattoo. There are different variations in tattooing that can extend or reduce the time-lapse of the tattoo healing process. But let’s discuss some of the main and highlighted stages of healing of new tattoo designs. 

Following are the five stages of the tattoo healing process:

Stage 1: Oozing and Swelling

The actual tattoo healing process starts as soon as you leave the tattooing shop and start heading home. Your tattoo design might look better if constant piercings wound your skin during tattooing. Once the tattoo-designing procedure is completed, the wound starts healing instantly. When the healing process begins, blood flow in the tattooed region increases. This causes more white blood cells and plasma requirements to close ruptures in the skin. An oozing sensation is formed on tattooed skin due to the deposit of plasma on the skin. All of this rushing flow of blood underneath tattooed skin causes swelling, and you can feel visible inflammation on the skin. 

Stage 2: Redness and Burning

Most beginners in tattooing complain about redness and burning sensation after the tattoo design procedure ends. Firstly, you have to ensure that the tattooing institute and artist are professional; also, ensure hygienic standards are being maintained during tattooing. Once these steps are off your checklist, you can continue understanding the healing process of tattoos. Most experts suggest that redness and slight burning sensation are normal after tattooing is completed. The main reason for such effects on the skin is additional blood flow in blood vessels and sensory response due to skin rupturing during tattooing. Both of these reasons ultimately cause redness on the skin. You might also feel slightly burning if prescribed numbing methods are not used during tattooing. It’s another reason why you should only prefer professional and hygienic tattoo artists in a better tattooing environment to get high-quality tattoos. 

Stage 3: Itching and Irritation

Itching and irritation during wound healing are the most annoying and least interesting stages. But similar to all other stages in the healing process, the itching and irritation phase is also unavoidable and important. The main reason for itching and irritation after tattooing is a deposit of tattoo ink into the dermis skin layer. Although tattoo ink is present on the above skin layer and connective tissues, too, it is intended to stay under the epidermis skin layer. This is because natural disinfectants and the immune system focus on tattoo ink inside the epidermis, while ink in the dermis skin layer is usually overlooked. Hence, tattooed people feel irritation and discomfort while the tattoo is healed. 

Stage 4: Flaking and Dryness

After irritation and itching are decreased on the tattooed skin region, you might feel flaking and dehydrated. Once the tattoo wounds have reduced inflammation, the actual result of immunity in our body is visible. After two or three days of getting a fresh tattoo, skin flakes would appear, and dryness is added to the tattooed region. The flakes peel off within a few days, leaving some temporary healing marks. Many tattooed people get worried about their tattoo when they see this added dryness and flakes. However, you have to understand that it’s a crucial part of tattoo healing and the temporary condition of the actual design created by a professional artist. 

Stage 5: Dull and Cloudy

Once you have experienced all of these phases during the aftercare and healing procedure, it’s time to witness the final stages. After a week or some more days the past week, all of these flakes and dryness would eventually reduce. The rigid and unmoisturized tattooed skin will naturally evolve with added softness and hydration. But the only issue is tattooed skin looks dull, and the tattoo design appears cloudy. Similar to all other phases of healing, it is also temporary, and your skin will restore its natural appearance once the procedure is completed. It might take a month or a few for the dull, cloudy skin to heal and provide a great outlook to you. 

Tattoo Healing Process Aftercare:

As we have discussed the important phases during tattoo healing, the aftercare tips to enhance the healing process are also compulsory. Unfortunately, most tattooed people need to be made aware of prescribed aftercare methods and tend to experiment with themselves. You should avoid practices and consult your tattoo artist for a personalized after-healing schedule. This will help you have reduced suffering and a better outlook on tattoos once they are healed.

Following are some aftercare guidelines for tattoo healing:

  • Keep your tattooed skin region clean and avoid applying heavy chemicals and harsh products. 
  • You will have to keep the tattooed skin properly hydrated. This is tricky as you must moisturize the skin but avoid overexposure to water. 
  • There are different chemicals in the tattoo ink which might cause irritation or itching while exposed to sunlight. This is why you should avoid direct exposure to sunlight with a healing tattoo. 
  • Finally, you should apply prescribed aftercare products to your healing tattoo. Avoid using harsh and toxic-chemicals-based aftercare products. Natural healing products are best for smooth and faster healing procedures of tattoos. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are measures to check the healing process of a tattoo?

It is normal for a tattoo to show redness, inflammation, flaking, and dullness during its healing process. However, once all the signs and indications of the healing process have passed on your tattooed skin region, you can ensure that your tattoo is healed completely. 

Which things are generally expected during tattoo healing?

Tattoo healing is very simple and predictable if you have an understanding of the healing of a wound. It might cause swelling, slight burning, skin flakes, and a cloudy appearance. But eventually, your tattoo will be healed and show its final outlook. 

How can healing procedures for tattoos is disturbed?

If you neglect hygiene, sunlight exposure protection, and moisture balancing on your tattooed skin, surely your tattoo will be disturbed. This is why tattoo aftercare procedure is very important to enhance the healing time lapse. 

Does a tattoo heal within two weeks if you maintain proper aftercare?

Your tattoo can heal completely within two weeks if you maintain proper aftercare. The outer skin layers and initial phases of healing are completed within 10 to 12 days if you follow the guidelines provided by the tattoo artist. 

How long is the tattoo healing process, and when does it start?

The tattoo healing process usually starts healing as soon as the tattoo artist is done with designing the tattoo. This healing phase is important as it forms the base of longevity and the appearance quality of your tattoo design. Furthermore, the healing procedure continues for a few weeks in smaller classifications visible in the form of signs of healing. 


Hopefully, you will have gathered a lot of interesting and beneficial information regarding the aftercare of tattoos. Tattooing is mainly divided into two main divisions; tattoo design and healing. Once the tattoo is designed on the skin, the next phase is healing. We mentioned 5 stages of the tattoo healing process, which form a firm and useful understanding of the subject. You can also benefit from the aftercare guidelines and healing tips to enhance the healing process of tattoos. Consult a professional tattoo artist in case of any query or confusion regarding tattoo healing. Thanks for reading. 

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