Isn’t it such a drag that you can’t just get a tattoo and be done with it in a few hours? Instead, you have to wait for the tattoo to heal, take care of it, and basically dedicate the next several weeks of your life to ensuring the tattoo doesn’t get infected or ruined.
If you’re impatient, and we all are when it comes to tattoos, the healing process can be so annoying. But, we cannot deny that aftercare is important, because, after all, the tattoo is meant to last you a lifetime. So, why not stay patient for a little while, right?
What if we told you there are some tips and tricks you can utilize to promote faster tattoo healing? Yes, you read correctly!
So, if you’re interested in our top-secret tips and tricks that will have your tattoo healed in not longer than 2 weeks, then keep on scrolling!
Quick Tattoo Healing Tips and Tricks
Keep The Tattoo Covered
After you get tattooed, your tattoo artist will cover the tattoo with either a plastic wrap or surgical pad. The reason for this is to protect the fresh tattoo and prevent all the plasma oozing and excess ink to get all over your body and clothes.
The tattoo, being a fresh wound, needs to be protected against airborne particles, bacteria, and germs. This way you’ll prevent a tattoo infection and inflammation.
A fresh tattoo will continue to ooze and bleed for the following 8 to 10 hours. So, it is best to leave it covered, preferably overnight. This way, the bleeding, and oozing will stop naturally and the tattoo will be ready for cleaning and washing.
Clean The Tattoo
Now, after the first 24 hours, your tattoo should be ready for uncovering and cleaning. Make sure to carefully remove the plastic wrap or the pad. Then, wash the tattoo using lukewarm water and antibacterial soap. Avoid using regular shampoos and soaps, since they cause potentially harmful ingredients.
After you’ve washed the tattoo quickly, make sure to tap dry it with a paper towel or a clean, soft cloth/towel. Make sure to tap the tattoo lightly as you dry it; do not use force or wiping motion.
After you’re done cleaning the tattoo, you can apply the thinnest layer of antibacterial ointment or lotion. From this point on, you should start repeating the cleaning process once or twice a day, maximum.
Do Not Re-Bandage the Tattoo
You may think that it would be smart to cover the tattoo after the cleaning. But, you will be wrong to do so.
Once you’ve washed the tattoo, the key to fast healing is to let the tattoo dry and form a new skin layer. This process lasts a couple of days. As the tattoo dries and heals, it forms scabs and becomes itchy.
Now, it is essential to resist the urge to peel the tattoo or scratch it. Such actions will prolong the healing process or even potentially infect the tattoo (since there are bacteria and germs in your fingernails and on the hands).
You can protect the tattoo by wearing loose clothes and by sleeping on clean sheets. Do not allow the pets to sleep in the same bed as you, since they can be the reason your tattoo gets infected.
Take Quick Showers
During the tattoo healing process, you will have to get used to quick showers. If you want the tattoo to heal fast, you cannot expose it to water. Otherwise, the tattoo will be damp ore than it should, which will make it hard for the skin to dry out and heal. So, quick showers, no baths, and definitely no swimming sessions; this will have to be your life for a while.
One tip you can utilize to protect your tattoo during showering is the following product; Vaseline.
Petroleum-based products aren’t advised to be used on healing tattoos, since they can clog the pores and prevent the skin from breathing (which can result in infection). However, a thin layer of Vaseline before showering can prevent the tattoo from getting wet. After you’re done showering, clean the tattoo from Vaseline and keep it dry.
Wear Loose Clothes
During the initial healing of the tattoo, it is essential to wear loose clothes. By wearing tight-fitting clothes, chances are your clothes will stick to the tattoo. Now, this can be an issue for many reasons.
First of all, you might transfer some bacteria and germs from the clothes to the tattoo. Furthermore, by unsticking the clothes, you may disrupt the tattooed skin surface and prolong the healing process. Did we mention that this also hurts, a lot? Well, unsticking anything from the tattooed skin will most certainly hurt, and cause the tattoo to start hurting more as well as it heals.
At this point, your tattoo is probably done with its initial healing. It is time to focus on the long-term, permanent healing, and protection of the tattoo. The best way you can protect the ink and ensure it lasts as long as possible without fading is by wearing sunscreen.
By applying sunscreen over the tattoo you’ll protect it from the harmful UV rays. Exposure to sunlight can not only harm the skin and increase the chance of skin cancer development, but it will also promote quicker tattoo fading.
It is essential to wear sunscreen even if you don’t have a tattoo, but if you do, make sure to cover it, even if it’s hidden under the clothes.
Also Read: When Can I Put Sunscreen on My Tattoo?
During the tattoo healing process, it is recommended to avoid exercising. The main reason being sweat. As your work out, you will start to sweat. The sweat will appear around the tattoo and possibly enter it, which may be a great way for bacteria to enter the tattooed skin. As a result, you may experience a tattoo infection and prolonged healing.
Furthermore, during the workout, you will probably wear tight-fighting clothes. This can be a big issue, since the clothes will stick to the tattoo, mostly because of the sweat. This is another great way for the tattoo to get infected.
And, finally, excess moisture from the sweating, and showering later, will prevent the tattoo from drying out properly and healing quickly. The stretching of the skin may also affect it and cause it to start bleeding and oozing again.
It is better to wait until the initial healing has passed. Until then, engage in some brisk walking or yoga; basically anything non-strenuous and sweat-inducing.
Eat and Drink Properly
Dealing with a tattoo, or a fresh wound as your body understands it, is extremely stress-inducing to your metabolism. The body has to work hard and fast to ensure the wound is closed and healed. To do that, your body requires proper nutrition and hydration.
So, before the tattooing and during the healing process, make sure to pay attention to your diet and water intake. Focus on protein-rich foods, energizing meals, and proper water intake, with a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day. This will help the body deal with the stress and ensure the ‘wound’ is healed quickly and effectively.
By nourishing your body, you will also ensure it fights off any bacteria, inflammation, and infection easier and quicker as well.
Other Useful Information
- Your tattoo will take between 2 and 3 weeks to heal initially, on the surface. There is no way to make this process be any quicker. The minimum time the tattoo requires to heal on the surface is 2 weeks. However, it may take up to 4 to 6 months for the tattoo to be fully and completely healed.
- Other than following our tips for fast healing, there isn’t much you can do. The body needs a certain amount of time to deal with any wound-like stress. In this case, the time is between 2 to 3 weeks. So, you have to be patient.
- If your tattoo doesn’t become less painful and less red in the first few days, make sure to check with your tattooist or doctor whether the tattoo is infected. If you experience increased pain, rashing, swelling, oozing, bleeding and fever, make sure to seek immediate medical attention, since the tattoo is surely infected.
- During the healing process, avoid using lotions and creams that contain fragrance or essential oils. The same goes for sunscreens. Go for natural, organic, and ingredient-displaying products. Opt for antibacterial lotions and ointments, and avoid petroleum-based products.
We hope that our quick insight was helpful and informative. For more information about proper and fast tattoo healing, make sure to talk to your tattoo artist, dermatologist, or medical professional.
Make sure to get tattoos by a professional tattoo artist, who uses clean and sterilized tools and works in a proper environment. This can also be an important factor in fast tattoo healing. When the tattoo is done properly, by a person who makes sure everything is properly cleaned and disinfected, chances are the tattoo will also heal quickly and properly.