Though tattoos were held as cultural as well as religious significance for certain communities around the world, today, they have gained popularity as a fashion trend. With plethora of designs and ideas, people can get a tattoo that symbolizes a person, sentiment, thought, value, etc., that they hold close to their heart. However, since it is a type of body modification where the artist inserts the ink into the skin through a needle, the process is not very different from a surgery. Hence, it can be said that the tattoo healing procedure is similar to the process that one has to go through after a surgery. During this time, you will observe certain changes in the skin where the mark is made, and it is important for you to know what exactly happens during this time. This is because if something goes wrong during the healing stages, one can find seek help immediately and avert any kind of problem. So, if you are the owner of a new tattoo or want to get one, the subsequent paragraphs give you some stages of the tattoo healing process.
The tattoo takes at the most 3-4 weeks to heal completely. However, this need not be the same in every scenario. This is because every part of the skin has different ways of healing, and the speed in which your tattoo heals will depend on exactly where you have made it. For instance, it has been seen that tattoos made on the hands and feet, take more time to heal as compared to the ones made on other parts of the body. Apart from this, the healing capacity of each person is different and this can also affect the process too. Nevertheless, there are certain common stages that most people experience during this time.
The first stage begins when you come out of the studio with your new tattoo. After it is made, the artist will wash the area gently and apply a bandage to it. This bandage should be allowed to stay for at least 24 hours. However, you may need to change it occasionally, as newly made tattoos tend to bleed, and if the bandage soaks up a lot of blood, it may become difficult to take it off from the skin. Moreover, the new tattoo needs fresh air to heal well and hence, do not keep the bandage more than the time suggested by the artist. The experience that one will have after getting a tattoo is similar to that of a sunburn. It is normal to observe some swelling during the first week. This will be accompanied with pain and a stinging sensation in the area where the tattoo is made. If you find the pain unbearable, you can take some over the counter pain killers to find relief.
The first stage usually lasts for a week or so. When the pain begins to subside, one is likely to experience an itchy sensation. This can be quite frustrating, however, one has to keep in mind that one should never scratch the tattoo, as this can cause scabs to occur in that area. Other than this, during the second stage, the area will become dry as well as tender. If you have had scabs during the first stage, by the time you reach this stage, all your scabs must have gone off. It is also common to experience peeling during this stage. However, one should avoid peeling the tattoo and let it take its own time to come off. This is because if you try to do something like this, you may damage the look of the tattoo completely. To alleviate the feeling of itchiness, you should apply the aftercare lotion recommended by your tattoo artist regularly.
By the last stage, all the scabs must have fallen off. However, the skin will still take time to become normal. Rather, your skin will continue to be tender as well as dry. A thin layer of dead skin still remains on the tattoo during this stage. However, it will come off gradually, by the end of this stage. You may observe that the initial brightness of the tattoo will wear down when you reach this stage. However, there is nothing to worry about it as it is actually the natural look of the tattoo.
This process will be more or less similar for every individual. A difference in the healing process will be seen only when the tattoo aftercare is not done correctly. If you do not follow the tips given by the artist, your tattoo may not heal in the natural way due to the development of infection or may be scabbing. So, if you want to flaunt a healthy looking tattoo to your friends, make sure that you follow the proper instructions carefully during the four weeks.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.