A Comprehensive Guide To Tattoo Healing Process and Stages

Once you are out of the tattoo studio, you need to know the steps to tattoo healing. You need to understand the tattoo healing stages. In order to get an idea about tattoo healing and how long a tattoo heals, we will take time to dive into the stages of the tattoo healing process.

Right after you get out of a tattoo studio and have a brand new body art design, you need to go to the next step. For proper tattoo healing, you need to manage and take care of your tattoo properly for a few weeks. Here are the stages of tattoo healing & peeling. 

Remove Cling Wrap after 24 hrs

After four to five hours from the tattoo session, remove the cling wrap that covers your tattoo design. Make sure you let the cling wrap stay there in less than 24 hours. Once you remove the wrap, you will have to do the tattoo aftercare needed for your tattoo to heal.

fresh tattoo covered with cling wrap

Credit @winonataylortattoos

Wash Your Tattoo

Right after you remove the cling wrap, you need to wash the area with lukewarm water. Water is needed to loosen up the skin. Wash it and be careful not to leave a scratch on the design. 

Remember, it is important you wash it after the cling wrap is removed. But avoid soaking the skin in water. Meaning, you do not need to take a very long shower. Or soak your body in a bathtub. Cleaning it with just lukewarm water is enough.

Let The Tattoo Dry

After washing it with warm water, let it dry. Use a clean towel. Pat the area dry with a towel. Make sure you do this gently. Do not scratch the area. If you do not have a clean towel, you can use a paper towel or a soft washcloth.

Apply an Aftercare Ointment

There are aftercare ointments that your tattoo artist can recommend. Be sure to know about it. Applying an aftercare ointment to your tattoo will lessen infection. It is a quick way to tattoo healing.

Always Keep Your Tattoo Clean

You need to wash, dry, and apply an aftercare ointment regularly. Do this process for three consecutive days. This is to ensure that your tattoo stays clean at all times. After three days, you can wash the tattoo area more than once a day. 

It is time to shift from ointment to lotions and moisturizers. The most important thing is to keep your tattoo clean. Let it dry, and avoid scratching it. If you follow these steps, you make sure you get the best tattoo healing process.

Apply Lotion or Moisturizer

Cleaning your tattoo is important. It is also essential that you keep it moisturized. Apply lotion or a moisturizer to the area after every wash. You need to make sure that you do this after washing and drying the tattoo.

Applying tattoo cream on girl chest

Do not be in a rush. Apply lotion for up to 25 days. Tattoo healing takes time. You need to follow the stages of tattoo healing to make it look good. You avoid any infection if you follow the steps.

Your Tattoo Starts to Peel

tattoo skin heal, recover and regrow

During this stage, you’ll notice that your skin peels. If you follow the right steps, you will not see any scabbing on the tattoo. You might feel alarmed seeing your tattoo peeling. This process is normal during this stage.

The top layer of the skin is peeling off to give way to brand-new skin. Once the top layer peels off, you’ll see your second layer clearer. The colors of the tattoo are visible now. Just peel off the skin, and clean the area.

Skin Totally Peels Off

You’ll notice that there is shiny skin right after the top skin layer peels off. This is normal. Continue to wash, dry, and apply lotion to the tattooed area. It will keep your skin moisturized. It is one way to keep your tattoo colors stand out.

Complete the Tattoo Healing Process

To complete tattoo healing, you need to make sure that you follow the aftercare stages. Keep in mind that it takes 5-6 weeks for a tattoo to completely heal. Consider the body part you got that new tattoo. Some bodypart’s skin regenerates faster than the rest.

During this stage, make sure to continue putting on lotion. Avoid sun exposure so you won’t damage your tattoo. Take care of your skin but do not apply sunblock to the area. Keep your tattoo moisturized and clean.

Tattoo Healing Problems and Care 

Tattoo healing does not end after the skin peels off. You need to take care of the tattoo right after it is healed. Post-tattoo care is important. It keeps your tattoo intact. You avoid infection if you do this. Here are ways to care for your tattoo after it’s healed.

Apply Sunscreen At All Times

When you expose your skin to the sun, always apply sunblock. It keeps your skin healthy. Avoids dryness. It makes the tattooed area look great. Restores its colors too. 

Wear The Right Clothing

Wear comfortable clothing. Avoid wearing tight ones during your tattoo aftercare stages. Make sure you do not rub your clothing on your tattoo. Rubbing might irritate the area. 

Keep Your Environment Clean

Make sure you are healing your tattoo in a clean environment. If your work involves getting dirty at all times, you might as well take a break. Work when the tattoo healing is complete.

Avoid Going To The Gym

When you are healing your tattoo, do not do strenuous exercises. Avoid lifting heavy things. You need to keep your skin as intact as possible. If you move all the time and you’re still healing, it might irritate the tattoo skin area.

Frequently Asked Questions?

When will tattoos stop itching?

Your tattoo needs time to heal right after it’s done. And in the process of tattoo healing, you’ll experience peeling and itching. Itching happens especially when your tattoo is almost healed.

This usually lasts between one to two weeks. Continue to put lotion or cream on your tattoo. Make sure you do not irritate the area. If the itching continues after two weeks, you need to have it checked by a professional. But there are several factors why your tattoo itches.
Some factors include; infection, allergic reaction, sun allergy, or eczema. Make sure you know what you are feeling at all times. Seek a doctor when you feel that it is not a normal itch anymore. 

Why does a tattoo scab?

When you get a tattoo, it is important to understand that it is an open wound. Just like any other wound, it will scab. Light scabs on your tattoo are normal. Make sure you apply moisturizers or lotions to the area. It keeps it from being dry. 

If you notice that the scabs are huge and not normal, you need to make sure that you seek professional advice. If you peel it, you’ll be more likely to tear the tattooed skin and lose the design and color.
Follow proper aftercare stages to prevent abnormal scabbing. You must keep your skin clean and moisturized at all times. Be patient. Wait for the tattoo to completely heal before doing anything to it. 


Make sure to care for your skin. If you have a tattoo, it is important that you know how to care for your skin to complete tattoo healing. Make sure to know the steps to tattoo healing. Follow the above steps to avoid infection.

A tattoo is a great way to tell a good life story. It is a unique medium of expression. But it is here. So make sure to care for it to make it last.

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