The highlight of getting your tattoo is usually sitting in the chair at the studio. After the tattoo is glowing on your skin, you may think the process is finished, but it’s only the beginning of the healing process. Over the next few weeks you’ll need to take special care of your new body art to ensure it looks its best once that healing has finished. Understanding the tattoo healing stages gives you a better idea of what to expect in the days and weeks to come.
Tattoo Healing Stage One
The initial stage of healing begins right after your tattoo is finished. You should look at your tattoo as an open wound, and you’ll need to treat it accordingly. Your artist will gently wash the area and put a Saniderm bandage on it to protect it from bacteria. After 24 hours you should remove the Saniderm bandage, wash your tattoo, let it air dry, and place another tattoo bandage over it. This will help clean your tattoo because in the first 24 hours your tattoo will usually weeps and bleeds.
Many people describe a fresh tattoo as feeling similar to a sunburn. The area tends to sting a bit, and it can look red and become a little raised or swollen. This is all a natural part of the tattoo healing process. Unlike other tattoo healing methods, Saniderm will make it so you don’t see scabbing. Leave the Saniderm on 7-9 days and your tattoo will heal right.
Tattoo Healing Stage Two
Usually in the second stage you’ll start feeling itchy all over your tattoo. Because you missed the scabbing part with Saniderm, your itching will be very little to non-existent. If you don’t have Saniderm, the skin around the tattoo may become dry and your skin will start peeling like a sunburn. Once you have Saniderm on, just leave it be. Try to avoid scratching your tattoo over the Saniderm. It can cause damage and ultimately spoil the look of your tattoo.
Tattoo Healing Stage Three
Stage three brings on the final healing of the area. By this time, any itching should be gone and your tattoo should look perfect. If you used Saniderm properly you shouldn’t have a layer of dead skin over the tattoo that obscures it. Once you remove the tattoo bandages, it should be vibrant and fresh. Make sure you keep up taking care of it by applying lotion frequently for the next couple weeks.
Things to Avoid While Healing Your Tattoo
- Avoid getting it wet directly. This can make the Saniderm come off faster and can damage your tattoo.
- Avoid exposing your new tattoo to direct sunlight. This can lead to fading and you could easily burn the unhealed skin.
- Avoid swimming. Chlorine can leach color and dry out the still tender skin around your tattoo.
- Don’t scratch or rub your tattoo. Try to avoid touching it as much as possible.
Overall, the healing stages of tattoos stretch out over a three to four week period even with the help of Saniderm. Saniderm tattoo bandages make it so the healing process is a shorter period of time, but for the next few weeks you should still avoid doing the things listed above. If you experience any symptoms beyond those mentioned here, contact your artist right away. If your artists believes you have an infection, you’ll be given directions about how to care for the area as well as cautioned to visit your family doctor if the situation warrants it.