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How long does it take a new tattoo to heal?

A new tattoo usually takes ten to fourteen days to heal.

The healing process depends on several factors. The placement of the tattoo and the way you care for it can have an effect on how long it takes your new tattoo to heal.

If your tattoo is on a fleshy area of your body, such as the upper arm, you should experience fewer difficulties than with one that is closer to the bone, such as on the foot. The tattoo on the upper arm is easier to protect and cover, while one on the foot may be more prone to infection or soreness because of difficulties in keeping it covered and free of chafing from clothing.

The healing process will go better if you follow the advice from your tattoo artist on how to care for it. Avoid scratching the tattoed area (it can itch!) or picking at it if a scab forms. The skin will probably become flaky and peely, like it would after a mild sunburn. It may also be sore or a bit swollen.

Keep the bandage on for the amount of time recommended by your tattoo artist, and apply a tattoo aftercare product as instructed. Usually you should do this for a day or two, after which time a good moisturizing lotion will be sufficient. If you keep the area ckean and moisturized, your tattoo should easily heal in two weeks or less.


For more information on tattoo care, see the other FAQs on 'How To Take Care of Your New Tattoo.'

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