I recently completed goal #21 on my list and got my first tattoo.
Besides the small amount of information from my tattoo artist and a little bit of research on the internet, I didn't really know a lot about the healing process of a new tattoo. So I've decided to write an article on what I experienced.
Day 1: I got my tattoo on the Tuesday night. It's the next day and it hurts far more than it did last night immediately after getting it. The redness has gone down alot. It hurts to touhc, a bit like sunburn. I bought some Nivea Moisturiser and apply that quite often. I have heard that Bepanthin ointment works well.
Day 2: Today my tattoo is less sore, just a slight stinging every now and again. I keep applying moisturiser often.
Day 3: My tattoo was extremely itchy today. I spoke to someone who has a lot of tattoos, and they said their's have never been itchy, but it does happen to a lot of people. I assume that since it is itchy it means it's healing.
Day 4: Today my tattoo isn't so itchy, instead of scratching it's best to gently tap the spot that is itchy. I notice little cracks in it, and it's a bit dry. I was a little worried, but I keet moisturising it and that seems to help.
Day 5: My tattoo is very dry today and starting to scab and fall off. It's not itchy much at all. The top layer of the tattoo is falling off, so the tattoo is still underneath (something I worried about at first!).
Day 6 & 7: A week later and the top layer is flaking off quite a lot now. I'm trying my best to resist picking at it and keeping it moisturised.
Day 8: Most of it has flaked off now, and parts are flat and smooth. It's looking good!
I would say it took about 9 days for my tattoo to look fully healed. I continue to moisturise it about 2-3 times a day, or when it looks dry (which it still does sometimes). They say it can take something like 6 weeks for it to be fully healed.
I'm still really happy with it (a good sign!) and I'm really glad I put a lot of effort into it and decided what I really wanted.