How long does it take for a tattoo to heal completely? What should you pay attention to during tattoo healing? Can you do sport wearing a freshly engraved tattoo? Every tattoo healing goes through different phases. Below we explain what you should definitely look out for during tattoo healing and when a tattoo is healed.

What to bear in mind as for tattoo healing after getting a tattoo

Every tattoo healing goes through different phases in the healing process, which depends on the size of the tattoo and its colours, as well as your skin type, lifestyle and physical condition. Therefore, every tattoo healing is an individual process.

In general, initially every tattoo feels like an abrasion after being pierced, which results in burning, maybe bleeding a little and producing wound fluid. After getting inked, the tattoo is covered with cling film, which you can remove after a few hours. After removing the foil, you should handle the freshly engraved tattoo very carefully. To help the tattoo heal, now it should be kept and not exposed to direct sunlight. Swimming, sports or saunas are completely forbidden. Sweat and bacteria in swimming pool water could make tattoo healing more difficult and lead to inflammation.

Around the second day of the tattoo healing process, a crust forms on the tattoo. The uppermost layers of the skin start the healing process and seal the skin for the next healing steps. The tattoo is still very sensitive, so it should not be touched and it should be kept clean.


How long does a tattoo itch during its healing process?

Part of the tattoo healing process is its itching. Sometimes the tattoo itches more, sometimes less. The good thing is that the fact that the tattooo itches is a signal that the body is actively healing. Obviously, you should avoid scratching the tattoo at all costs, as this interrupts its healing process, or the wound may even become infected.

As the crust is a kind of protective layer and helps the skin to heal, rubbing against the crust should be avoided. Prolonged bathing is just as counterproductive, as water softens the crust and, consequently, bacteria can penetrate the tattoo and lead to inflammation.

How long does the skin remain encrusted during tattoo healing?

In the second week of the tattoo healing process, the crust is slowly removed and a new skin layer becomes visible. However, this new skin layer is still very fresh and, therefore, should be treated with care. Moreover, only the upper skin layer has already regenerated. The lower skin layers are still in the process of healing, which is why swimming and bathing should be avoided. Nevertheless, light sporting activities are permitted again as long as they do not affect the tattoo.

How long should I refrain from doing sport during the tattoo healing process?

As every tattoo takes a different amount of time to heal, there is no general answer to this question. In general, however, it can be assumed that the upper skin layer will have healed after around three weeks and you will be able to do sport again.

Nevertheless, sports that could irritate the tattoo should be avoided. It is also important that you protect yourself from direct sunlight while doing sport, as the new thin skin layer cannot protect itself sufficiently from UV radiation. The tattoo should be cleaned and moisturized before and after sport.

You should avoid going to the sauna for about a month after getting the tattoo.


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When is the tattoo healing process completed?

The tattoo healing process is already relatively advanced after around four weeks: Your tattoo looks healed and the skin feels even again. Anyway, be careful: the underlying skin layers still need a while to heal completely. However, you no longer need to take special care of the tattoo.

Your tattoo healing should be completed after about six months: All skin layers will have completely healed and the tattoo colours will have been absorbed by the skin. Now you can treat the tattoo like the rest of your skin. You should always make sure to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation with sun cream, which also applies to tattooed skin.



Every tattoo healing is individual, as every person and every tattoo are different. In general, it can be assumed that a tattoo will be completely healed after six months. After getting a tattoo, you should make sure you clean it properly, avoid any sport that could damage the crust and refrain from swimming and bathing extensively!