The healing of a tattoo takes at least 2 weeks on an average base. After these 2 weeks, the top layers of the skin have been healed, it may be that if you are a slow healer, your lower skin layers will need a little longer. However, a lot can go wrong during these 2 weeks. Even if you are extremely careful with your new tattoo, it may happen that you accidentally cut or scratch yourself. At first you will get a reaction of panic, because nobody wants to see that his tattoo is ruined before he has had the chance to heal.
There are several elements that ultimately decide whether or not your tattoo will heal fine.
How well you have taken care for your tattoo
A tattoo must be well cared for, especially in the first 2 weeks. If you have damaged your tattoo on top of the normal healing, you will have to take extra care. In any case, make sure to prevent more damage. Always wash your hands carefully before you take care of the tattoo. Always use a clean towel to dry your tattoo after cleaning it and only use aftercare cream that was prescribed for tattoos. Unless your tattoo is already inflamed, you better not use cream with antibiotics. The purpose of the antibiotics is to eliminate foreign substances out of the body. Since ink of a tattoo is also a foreign substance, it may be that ink will be eliminated by the antibiotics.
A damaged unhealed tattoo may in some cases give additional symptoms. Your new tattoo may need a little longer to heal compared to other tattoos. Always look after your tattoo well, stay a little longer out of water and avoid dirty environments and sun at all times to avoid scarring. A damaged piece in a tattoo is always slightly more likely to be lighter or less sharp afterwards.
In addition to the longer healing time, you may suffer from more scab formation, because some kind of a bleeding may have been caused. Normally this isn’t something to worry about, unless you starting pulling off these scabs which will make the ink to be deleted.
Besides all this, there is always some chance of infection. The better you clean and care for your tattoo, the less chance, but there is always a small chance, as with every wound. If you notice that the tattoo is getting redder and a yellowish discharge begins to develop, go to a doctor and report the cause of the damage.
How good your own healing is
Of course there are always people who have a difficult healing process. Certainly if they have just been ill during this period or have had a hard time emotionally, it may be that the cure is difficult. The slower the healing is, the greater the chance that in the meantime scabs will be unintentionally removed or a new wound formation may occur.
How deep the wound is
Superficial injuries will, although naturally also not desired, do less harm than deep injuries. The deeper the wound goes, the more chance there is of the formation of scar tissue and the possible change of the tattoo. Certainly if the tattoo is still fresh, ink particles can migrate, which will broaden places of, for example, lines. Keeping good care remains the message.
How many bacteria have penetrated the wound
Not every wound is the same. A deep scratch of a cat can often do more damage than a cut by a clean kitchen knife.
Depending on how many bacteria have penetrated the wound, the chance will increase for an infection to be developed and possibly permanently change your tattoo. If proper care was not enough and you notice that an infection starts to develop, you should contact a doctor as soon as possible, the sooner the infection is treated, the less damage it will eventually cause to your tattoo.
How new the tattoo is
The more recently the tattoo was put on, the greater the chance that something could go wrong when damaging the tattoo. The ink particles of the tattoo need about 2 to 3 weeks to settle on the spot that they were tattooed.
Especially with larger wounds, it becomes easier for the ink particles to migrate to a new place and in this way give a new look to your tattoo. That way lines can be widened, colors could fade and details may turn out differently than they first looked.
The longer the tattoo is on, the more solid the ink is settled under the skin and so the less chance you have that permanent damage is caused to the appearance of the tattoo. Of course, this does not mean that this should not be taken care of. Development of scar tissue, blurring and infection can still occur, so proper care is recommended at all times.
If in the end you have developed a wound in or next your tattoo despite your precautions, do not panic immediately. Only after the complete healing period of 2 to 3 weeks it will become clear if damage was caused. A lot of damage can be solved, if well cared for in advance.