Tattoo Placements: Which Ones Take Longest to Heal?

So you’ve just gotten inked, and are becoming intimately familiar with the tattoo healing process and all that it entails. You’re probably wondering how long you’ll have to endure this process, which is starting to feel like more than just a minor inconvenience…

Well, the answer can vary depending on the kind of tattoo you have, as well as the placement of your tattoo. Let’s take a look at the tattoo healing process.

The Tattoo Healing Process

The typical tattoo healing process looks like this:

  • First day: After your tattoo session, your tattoo artist will ask that you leave your bandages on for anywhere between 2 and 24 hours. The tattoo wound and skin around it will be fresh and incredibly sensitive during this time.
  • First week: Once you remove your bandages you’ll need to wash the tattoo with warm water and a gentle soap. You should then apply some moisturizer at intervals throughout the day. Some swelling may occur during your first week. Repeat this washing process daily for the rest of the week.
  • Second week: The swelling should have subsided, but some scabs may be visible on the surface of your skin. These scabs will naturally fall off in a few weeks and should not be picked at. You should still moisturize regularly during this stage.
  • Third week: Most the scabs should be gone, and the skin should be forming new layers that look shiny and waxy. Don’t forget too moisturize!
  • Fourth week: Your skin should have mostly healed by now.
  • Sixth week: Your tattoo should appear close to fully healed. However, the complete healing process could take several months.

Which Tattoos take longest to heal?

The timeline for these events can vary depending on the size of your tattoo and its placement on your body.

It is believed that smaller tattoos heal faster than larger tattoos because your skin cells have to put in less effort to heal your skin. So consider getting a smaller tattoo your first time around if you’re concerned about healing times.

The type of tattoo can also affect healing times. Outline tattoos generally heal faster than full color or black/grey tattoos because the surface area of skin affected by the tattooing process is smaller.

Tattoos on or close to joints heal slower than tattoos farther from them because the movement of these joints partially disrupts the healing process.

Other factors can affect the healing times such as the general sensitivity of your skin. However, tend to vary from person to person.

To speed up the healing process you should be moisturizing regularly with an aftercare product such as our premium tattoo aftercare cream and avoid exposing your tattoo to direct sunlight.

For more tips and facts related to tattoo after care, check out our blog here.