TattooThe Healing Stages of a Tattoo and What to Expect
The Healing Stages of a Tattoo (1)

The Healing Stages of a Tattoo and What to Expect

As a first-timer in the world of tattoos, there are many things to consider before taking the plunge and making the commitment—the style, the size, the placement, and so on. While these things are essential, it’s also important to be aware of the healing stages of tattoos, the aftercare process, and what to do in the eventuality that it becomes infected.     

Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to tattoo aftercare.

How Long Does a Tattoo Take To Heal?

The healing period can range from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. This usually depends on whether the tattoo is colored or not, the placement of the tattoo and its size, and your aftercare process.

In order to shorten the healing period, it’s essential to maintain good hygiene and have a strict aftercare regime in place.

What Are the Stages of Healing?

While the healing process varies from person to person and tattoo to tattoo, there are typically three main stages of healing.

Stage 1

For the first couple of days, it’s normal for the tattooed area to be inflamed, red, and a little sore. You may even notice some light bleeding or ink leaking from the tattoo—a process often referred to as “weeping.”

Stage 2

Your tattoo is essentially a wound, meaning it’ll heal in the way abrasions or lacerations do. With a normal and healthy healing process, you can expect to experience itching, flaking, peeling, and more.

No matter how tempting it is, avoid picking at scabs that may form, scratching, or rubbing as they will deter your tattoo’s recovery and lengthen the process. 

Stage 3

After the first month, your tattoo might look bright and vibrant. However, there is still some behind-the-scenes healing going on. So while your tattoo might appear to be fully healed, it’s still important to keep up your aftercare routine.


Aftercare is an integral part of getting a tattoo. In order to prevent infections, it’s essential to implement a proper routine that keeps the tattooed area clean and well on its way to healing.

1. Keep Your Tattoo Clean

Tattoos are essentially open wounds, which means they can be easily infected if they’re not cleaned regularly and adequately. For the first few days, keep a clean and breathable bandage over your tattoo. When cleaning it, make sure the water is clean and that you use gentle, antibacterial soap.

2. Keep the Area Moisturised

To soothe the tattooed area and help with itching, remember to frequently apply a healing ointment or a gentle moisturizer. You can also use coconut oil as it contains natural antibacterial properties.

3. Avoid the Sun

Exposure to direct sunlight before fully healing can cause your tattoo to fade. That’s why it’s important to use sunscreen or make sure your tattoo is covered before stepping outside.

In the event your tattoo isn’t healing properly and has become infected, you should immediately visit a doctor and get it treated.


At DH Tattooing, you can rely on our team to provide you with the best tattoo experience, from incredible designs to assistance with aftercare. Call us at (925) 784-8730 or book a consultation to get started!