How to Know if Your Tattoo Is Healed Up

By Donny Quinn ; Updated July 27, 2017

You paid a lot of money for your art, and now you want to keep it as beautiful as ever. However, if you don’t allow your tattoo to heal properly, you can end up damaging the ink and spending even more money getting the piece fixed. Although the healing process is fairly regular, each person heals at a different rate and in a different way. Because of this, you should give yourself at least a week or two after all indications of healing are complete before participating in any activity that could change the appearance of your ink.

Verify that two weeks have passed since the date you got your tattoo. Many tattoos take up to two weeks to heal. Larger tattoos with more colors, or tattoos on the hands and feet, can take as much as a month to completely heal.

Look for any scabs or dried skin on or around the tattoo. These indicate that your tattoo is healing, but has not completed the process. Do not pick at scabs, as this could damage your tattoo and cause scarring.

If any loose flakes of skin hang off of your tattoo, the Art of Tattoo suggests brushing your fingertips lightly over the tattoo. If the skin does not fall off after a few fingertip brushes, do not pull at the skin. Instead, apply a small amount of healing antiseptic ointment.

Check to see if your tattoo itches. Itching is a sign that your tattoo is continuing to heal. If your tattoo itches, apply unscented lotion.


To help your tattoo heal, apply antibacterial ointment for the first four days, then move to unscented moisturizer.

If you did everything you could but you still have a bare spot on your tattoo, many shops give free touch ups.


During and after your tattoo’s healing process, avoid sunlight and irritants that can bleach the colors of your ink. Additionally, during the healing process, avoid tight clothing.

Do not apply too much moisturizer or antibacterial ointment, as this could damage your piece or prolong the healing process.

bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

Related Articles

More Related