The Stages of a Healing Tattoo
The initial stage of tattoo healing begins immediately after your tattooing session is finished. You should look at your tattoo as an open wound, and 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, as it is normal in the first 24 hours for your tattoo to weep and bleed.
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. Attempt to keep the Saniderm on for 4-7 days TOTAL (8-24 hours for the first bandage, 3-6 days for the second bandage).
Usually, in the second stage you’ll start to feel your tattoo begin to itch. Because you bypassed most or all of the scabbing by using 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 affect the look of your tattoo.
Stage three includes the final healing of the area. By this time (15-30 days out from getting your tattoo), any itching should be gone and the visible tattoo healing should be finished. 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 continue 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 a tattoo stretch out over a three to four week period even with the help of Saniderm. Some tattoos can take up to six months to heal completely. Saniderm tattoo bandages make it so the healing process occurs over 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 a medical professional if the situation warrants it.