Four Tattoo Healing Stages

During the tattoo healing process, there are several events that occur. These events include the exfoliation of the skin to expose new skin, the healing of any wounds, and finally the removal of any tattoo marks. The entire process can take from four to fourteen days depending on your tattoo, your location, and your skin type. Below you will find some of the more common tattoo healing processes that take place during this time period.


This is the actual peeling process where the top layers of skin are removed to expose the fresh new skin. The scabs are usually light in color, while red, pink, or even white lines can be present depending on the ink used, infection, and many other factors. While in some cases, the scabs diminish after healing, in other cases the scabs remain until the ink fades away. Scabs that are too deep or that are difficult to get rid of will result in a scar.

Step One Of The Process

The first step of the tattoo healing process is to make sure the skin is clean and free of any scrapes, cuts, or redness. This will also help to prevent infection by making sure there is no foreign material that has entered into the wound. After cleaning the area, apply a small amount of antiseptic cream to help alleviate any itching, burning, or pain from the wound. Scrubbing the area may also be helpful.

Stage One And Two Of Healing

The next two stages of the tattoo healing process involve peeling off the outer layer of the skin, called the derma, in order to expose healthier layers. These layers will heal the tattooed area more quickly. During the second stage of peeling off, your artist will use a Q-tip or other small sharp instrument to remove the dead skin. Do not try to scrape at this point. Do not scrape too hard, as the skin may heal with broken scars or open holes.

Stage Three

The fourth stage of the tattoo healing process, called scabbing, is when the scabs that remain heal. In this stage, the scabs are actually very good for your tattoo because they contain healthy layers of new cells that have been newly applied. This gives them a nice, even look and allows you to work with the area more easily. The scabs may also contain new, loose scars, so be sure to watch for this as well.

Stage Four

The fifth and final stage of the tattoo healing process is called peeling off. Here, your artist will take the leftover ink that is still in the scabs and use it to create another color of ink to be placed in the area. Some people might find this unappealing, but in general, it is the only way to create a color of tattoo that is the exact color of your skin. Since some people are allergic to some of the ingredients used in these colors, this may not be the best option for you.

This post was written by J Michael Taylor. J Michael Taylor is an artist and owner of Black Amethyst Tattoo Gallery. Black Amethyst is the best amongst St Pete tattoo shops. They provide an art-first approach to custom tattooing in a gallery setting.


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