How to Tell When Your Tattoo Has Healed

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When Does a Tattoo Has Heal?

With tattoos more popular that ever before, Inside Out asked Dr. Neinstein to outline how someone with fresh ink will know when their tattoo has healed.

“Tattoos consist of thousands of large particles of pigment suspended in the skin,” explains Dr. Ryan Neinstein of Neinstein Plastic Surgery.

Similar to surgical procedures, it takes about two weeks for the body to heal, says Neinstein. “Initially, there is an inflammatory phase where you will see redness, swelling, and tenderness as the body brings in chemical mediators and extra blood vessels to assist in the healing,” he adds.

There’s also a few different stages that the body will go thru during that healing process, and all are normal and to be expected. Of course, you need to know what to expect. Your tattoo artist will probably give you guidelines and warn you about the steps, and it’s important to pay attention.

“There may be scabbing and flaking as the body prunes these extra things it brought in to help heal. It’s important to follow the directions to prevent any complications, such as infection and pigment changes that were not intended,” says Neinstein.