How Long Until My Tattoo Heals?

Malibu C. Image courtesy Malibu C

Question: How Long Until My Tattoo Heals?

I am wondering how long it will take until my tattoo heals? I am not much for using an aftercare product and I have never been diligent with caring for a new tattoo. It has been quite some time since I've been tattooed, and I understand there are plenty of aftercare products on the market that will help heal a new tattoo. Does this mean that my body will heal faster, or just that the results will be better and the work more vivid?

I'd really like to know how long until my tattoo heals and I'm uncomfortable talking to my artist because I don't want the product upsell, much like at the hairdressers when I am being sold hair products that I will not use. Can't I just go home and let it be? Signed, I'm Not Buying It

Answer: Dear I'm Not Buying It,

You do have a right to watch your wallet. I know exactly what you mean with the product and aftercare upsell and I have likely been guilty of being that gal upselling to you in a few different professional situations. In my defense, I've only ever made suggestions that were fit for both your current lifestyle needs as well as your budget, and I would hope that has also been your experience.

Nobody, including your tattoo artist, should insist that you buy anything that your pocketbook will not allow. Instead they should be confident in providing basic aftercare instructions that will result in a beautifully healed tattoo with products that are within your means.

With that said, there are many aftercare products on the market that can do an even better job healing your new tattoo than drugstore ointments and lotions, at perhaps an even faster rate. If time is money to you, and you're wondering how long until your tattoo heals, you may want to check into a professional tattoo aftercare product for this reason alone.


Why You Should Use an Aftercare Product

While results and experiences will vary when it comes to tattoo aftercare products, most all are designed to help heal your tattoo while preventing dryness and peeling, and to provide immediate relief from itching. Depending on the size and location of your tattoo, complete healing can take one or several weeks. It's important to remember that you can not go swimming with a new tattoo, so keep this is mind when you are considering what time of year to get one.


Product Suggestions

The following tattoo aftercare products are respected by many tattoo professionals, and some are likely carried at local shops in your area:


Malibu C Ink Well


How to Use Aftercare Products

Whether you opt for a more traditional ointment such as A&D or one of the more advanced tattoo aftercare products, your tattoo artist or the shop should provide instructions on how best to apply and use it and you should follow their instructions accordingly to protect your work. You must also follow the manufacturer instructions for best results.


What to Expect

Because the goal of any tattoo aftercare product is to assist in healing your new ink, that's exactly what you should expect.

If you have any adverse reactions such as discomfort, bumps, itching, or oozing, seek the counsel of your artist or prompt medical attention depending on the severity of the symptoms.

While some people opt for standard over the counter lotions and ointments such as A&D ointment or Lubriderm body lotion, others may report even better results when using any of the above tattoo aftercare products. Because your tattoo is a lifetime investment, please consider the extra cost of an aftercare product and factor that in before getting inked. The few extra dollars you spend will prove worthwhile if your tattoo heals evenly and quickly. Your artist can advise which products they favor and you can make an educated decision based on this information. If you've taken the time to find a reputable tattoo artist, their advice should be trustworthy enough to invest your money on.

Best of luck!