The average healing time for a tattoo is 4 weeks. Throughout the healing process, it is normal to experience some discomfort, swelling, flaking, and itching. It is important to recognize a new tattoo is an open wound and should be treated as such. Avoid touching the area as much as possible as this can cause infection and poor ink retention. Failure to properly care for your new tattoo can result in a diminished tattoo.
Directly after receiving your tattoo, the area may be swollen, red, and sensitive. It is normal for the skin to feel warm and sore for the first few days as it begins to heal. During this period it is crucial to keep the area clean. Avoid open bodies of water, exposure to sunlight, and bathtubs until the tattoo is fully healed. Also, refrain from excess sweating and exercise. A few times a day, wash the tattoo gently with unscented, antibacterial soap and water. DO NOT SCRUB. The skin will secrete a mixture of blood, plasma, and ink for the first 2-3 days. Make sure you keep your sheets clean and wear clothes you do not mind getting dirty in case some ink transfers.
After the first 3-5 days, a scab will begin to form over the tattoo. Do not pick or scratch the scab as this can remove or lighten patches of ink. If the area begins to itch, gently pat the tattoo with clean hands. Moisturize the tattoo with your preferred tattoo cream (Aquaphor, Lubiderm, After inkd) 2-3 times a day and apply sunscreen if the area will be exposed to sunlight. Moisturizer and sunscreen should be applied to the tattoo even after it is healed to maintain vibrant, beautiful ink.
If you have any questions or concern please feel free to email or text your artist!