Tattoo Healing Timeline: What to Expect Day by Day

Getting a new tattoo is an exciting experience, but ensuring it heals properly is crucial for maintaining its vibrancy and beauty. The healing process can be complex, and knowing what to expect and how to care for your tattoo each step of the way can make all the difference. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the tattoo healing process day by day and highlight how our collection of tattoo aftercare products at Onyx Tattoo Supply can help you achieve the best results.

Day 1: Fresh Ink

What to Expect

Immediately after your tattoo session, your artist will clean the area and cover your new tattoo with a protective bandage or film. The tattooed area will likely feel tender, sore, and slightly swollen.

How to Care

  • Leave the Bandage On: Keep the protective covering on for the first few hours, as instructed by your tattoo artist. This helps to protect the tattoo from bacteria and reduce bleeding.
  • Initial Cleaning: After removing the bandage, gently wash the tattoo with lukewarm water and a mild, fragrance-free soap. Pat dry with a clean, soft towel.

Onyx Tattoo Supply Tip: Use our Onyx Tattoo Film to keep your tattoo protected during the initial healing phase. It provides a breathable barrier that prevents infection and promotes faster healing.

Days 2-3: The Healing Begins

What to Expect

During these days, your tattoo will start to scab. It may appear red and slightly swollen, and you might notice some oozing of plasma and ink. This is completely normal.

How to Care

  • Keep It Clean: Gently wash your tattoo twice a day with mild soap and water. Avoid soaking it in water.
  • Moisturize: Apply a thin layer of a high-quality, fragrance-free tattoo aftercare balm to keep the skin hydrated and prevent cracking.

Onyx Tattoo Supply Tip: Our Onyx Tattoo Aftercare Cream is specially formulated to provide essential moisture and nutrients to aid in the healing process.

Days 4-7: Scabbing and Peeling

What to Expect

Your tattoo will start to form scabs and may begin to peel, similar to a sunburn. It might also feel itchy, but it’s crucial not to scratch or pick at the scabs.

How to Care

  • Moisturize Regularly: Continue to apply a tattoo aftercare balm 2-3 times a day to keep the skin hydrated and reduce itching.
  • Avoid Picking: Let the scabs and peeling skin fall off naturally. Picking at them can cause scarring and loss of color.

Onyx Tattoo Supply Tip: To soothe itching and promote healing, try our Onyx Tattoo Aftercare Cream, designed to keep your tattoo moisturized and reduce discomfort.



Days 8-14: Mid-Healing

What to Expect

The scabs will continue to peel off, revealing a layer of dry, new skin underneath. Your tattoo may look a bit dull during this phase as the new skin regenerates.

How to Care

  • Gentle Washing: Continue washing your tattoo gently with mild soap and water.
  • Consistent Moisturizing: Keep applying your aftercare balm or lotion to maintain skin hydration and promote healing.

Onyx Tattoo Supply Tip: Use our Onyx Tattoo Foam for washing your tattoo gently and continue to use Onyx Tattoo Aftercare Cream which helps to speed up the healing process and restore the vibrancy of your tattoo. 

Days 15-30: Final Stages

What to Expect

By now, most of the scabs and peeling should be gone. Your tattoo will start to look more vibrant as the new skin fully heals. However, it may still feel slightly dry or itchy.

How to Care

  • Long-Term Moisturizing: Continue to use a hydrating lotion to keep your skin moisturized and your tattoo looking its best.
  • Sun Protection: Protect your tattoo from direct sunlight. UV rays can fade the colors, especially in the early stages of healing.

Onyx Tattoo Supply Tip: Our Onyx Tattoo Sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection to keep your tattoo safe from harmful UV rays.

Long-Term Aftercare Tips

Even after the initial healing period, proper care is essential to keep your tattoo looking vibrant and healthy. Here are some long-term aftercare tips:

  • Regular Moisturizing: Keep your skin hydrated with a daily lotion to prevent dryness and maintain the tattoo's color.
  • Sun Protection: Always apply sunscreen to your tattoo when exposed to the sun to prevent fading.
  • Healthy Lifestyle: Stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet, and maintain good overall skin health to support your tattoo's longevity.

Expert Advice and Resources

For those seeking expert advice on tattoo aftercare, we recommend checking out You tube experts who provide in-depth guides on tattoo healing and aftercare. Their videos offer valuable insights and tips to help you care for your new ink properly.


The tattoo healing process is a critical period that requires careful attention and proper aftercare to ensure your new ink looks its best. By following this day-by-day guide and using high-quality aftercare products from Onyx Tattoo Supply, you can support your tattoo's healing and maintain its vibrancy for years to come. Trust Onyx Tattoo Supply for all your tattoo aftercare needs and enjoy peace of mind knowing your new ink is well-protected.

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