The healing process of a tattoo follows a predictable pattern. The whole process will likely last anywhere from three to four weeks depending on colors used, size of the art, and the location. A tattoo may fail to heal if one or more of the healing stages are interrupted, so you’ll need to take special care of your new body art during this time to ensure it looks its best once that healing has finished. Understanding the healing stages of tattoos gives you a better idea of what to expect in the days and weeks to come. The normal tattoo healing stages include:
- Pain or Inflammatory stage – Blood vessels at the site constrict (tighten) to prevent blood loss and platelets (special clotting cells) gather to build a clot. Once the clot is completed, blood vessels expand to allow maximum blood flow to the tattoo area. This is why a healing tattoo at first feels warm and looks red. White blood cells flood the area to destroy microbes and other foreign bodies. Skin cells multiply and grow across the wound. This is when a fresh tattoo is described as feeling similar to a sunburn or a sting. This is completely normal and TAT Balms many All Natural properties often greatly reduce these issues.
- Itching or Fibroblastic stage – Collagen, the protein fiber that gives skin its strength, starts to grow within the tattoo. The growth of collagen encourages the edges of the wound to shrink together and close. Small blood vessels (capillaries) form at the site to service the new skin with blood. For Fibroblastic relief TAT Balm has many helpful all natural properties. This second stage of healing is usually known for it’s itching. At this point, the scabs are well formed and probably just beginning to flake off – this process will likely continue for a week. The skin around the tattoo may become a bit dry. Most people will experience some sort peeling, it’s all part of the natural healing process. Please avoid peeling the skin and allow it to come off naturally. Scratching your tat will do more harm than good.
- Healing or Maturation stage – During this stage the body constantly adds more collagen and refines the tattoo area. By this point, most or all of the scabs will have fallen away from your tattoo, however it still might be tender or dry. You may notice that your TAT no longer looks as vibrant as it did when it was first finished, and that is also to be expected. Typically there is still a layer of dead skin over the tattoo. This final stage may take months or even years. This is why scars tend to fade with time and why we must take care of tattoo’s for some time after they have healed.
Barriers to Tattoo healing Factors that can slow the tattoo healing process include:
- Dead skin (necrosis) – Dead skin and foreign materials interfere with the healing process.
- Infection – An open wound may develop a bacterial infection. The body fights the infection rather than healing the tattoo area. This is where the Beeswax and Emu in TAT Balm is very effective.
- Hemorrhage – Persistent bleeding will keep the tattoo area margins apart. Aloe Vera is a solution that protects TAT Balm clients from this effect.
- Mechanical damage – For example, a person who is immobile is at risk of bedsores because of constant pressure and friction.
- Diet – Poor food choices may deprive the body of the nutrients it needs to heal the tattoo, such as vitamin C, zinc and protein.
- Medical conditions – Such as diabetes, anemia and some vascular diseases that restrict blood flow to the area, or any disorder that hinders the immune system.
- Age – Tattoos tend to take longer to heal in elderly people.
- Medicines – Certain drugs or treatments used in the management of some medical conditions may interfere with the body’s healing process.
- Smoking – Cigarette smoking impairs healing and increases the risk of complications.
- Varicose veins – Restricted blood flow and swelling can lead to skin break down and persistent ulceration.
- Dryness – Tattoos that are exposed to the air are less likely to heal. The various cells involved in healing, such as skin cells and immune cells, need a moist environment. The many essential oils of TAT Balm help to protect the tattoo from early dryness.
Treatment options The treatment recommended by your doctor will depend on your age, health and the nature of your wound. General medical care may include:
- Cleaning to remove dirt and debris from a tattoo area. This is done very gently and often in the shower.
- Stay away from creams or balms that cause numbing
- Vaccinating for tetanus may be recommended in some cases.
- Relieving pain with TAT Balm. Pain can cause the blood vessels to constrict, which slows healing. If your tattoo is causing discomfort, tell your doctor.
- Treating signs of infection include pain, pus, and fever. The doctor will prescribe antibiotics and antimicrobial dressings if necessary. Take as directed.
- Using aids such as support stockings. Use these aids as directed by your doctor.
- Treating other medical conditions, such as anemia, that may prevent your wound healing.
- Improving the blood supply with TAT Balm as other conditions related to poor blood supply prevent tattoo healing.
Use All Natural ingredients, be guided by your doctor, but self-care suggestions for slow-healing tattoos include:
- Make sure to eat properly. Your body needs good food to fuel the healing process.
- Include foods rich in vitamin C in your diet. The body needs vitamin C to make collagen. Fresh fruits and vegetables eaten daily will also supply your body with other nutrients essential to wound healing such as vitamin A, copper and zinc. It may help to supplement your diet with extra vitamin C.
- Keep your tattoo covered. Tattoos heal faster if they are kept warm. Try to be quick when changing dressings. Exposing a tattoo to the open air can drop its temperature and may slow healing for a few hours.
- Have regular exercise because it increases blood flow, improves general health and speeds Tattoo healing. Ask your doctor for suggestions on appropriate exercise.
- Manage any chronic medical conditions such as diabetes.
- Do not smoke.
- Use TAT Balm before your Tattoo is applied.