Is A Tattoo An Open Wound? (5 Important Facts Revealed)

If you are getting a new tattoo, or have just had one done and want to know about how a tattoo will heal, there is a lot to consider before you get one.

Here Is Why A Tattoo Is A Open Wound:

Any skin that has been penetrated by a needle is considered a open wound. It will remain this way until it is fully healed. This is why you need a aftercare product to be used in the weeks after you get a tattoo.

This will help to avoid any infection and throughout the scabbing up period of the healing process.

In this article we are going to discuss open wounds, and how your tattoo should heal, with all the below information.

Is A Tattoo An Open Wound?

A new tattoo is considered to be an open wound. Technically, it is not, because the skin is not breached and opened by a tattoo, but it will still feel incredibly sore, just like an open wound.

Because of this, you need to care for a fresh tattoo as you would an open wound.

Any skin that has been penetrated in some way can be considered an open wound, though your tattooed skin should not actually open up like a deep, gaping wound would. Here is a good article on what to do if a tattoo bleeds.

The penetration is minimal, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be sore! And with any sore wound, you need to be patient, gentle, and kind to it, otherwise the wound will not get better.

It will be bandaged immediately to protect it while it heals and your arm will feel swollen and painful. Your body will begin the healing process, as it would if you obtained an open wound.

A tattoo should be perceived and cared for with the same level of concern as an open wound.

The majority of tattoos will heal perfectly and in a decent amount of time, but there is the possibility of complication with some.

Your tattoo artist will give you all the information that you need to try and prevent complications, including a proper aftercare routine. You would clean and cover an open wound to prevent infection, and it is no different with a tattoo.

Your tattooed skin will feel very tender and achy, but doing all of the appropriate aftercare will speed up the healing process. This is akin to the closing up of an open wound when it is healed, and the area will stop feeling painful.

Once the tattoo is covered, you can remove the bandage (or plastic wrap covering) and expose the skin, the same as you would when an open wound has closed and is no longer at risk of infection.

How Long Is A Tattoo An Open Wound?

Considering a tattoo as an open wound, it will remain an open wound until it has completely healed. For the outer layer of skin, this is usually around 3 weeks, but remember that wounds do take time to heal completely.

You wouldn’t rush to expose a still-open wound, so why would you do the same with a sore tattoo?

Your skin will ache as it repairs itself from the trauma caused by the needle, and it is important to keep up with your aftercare routine even if you do start noticing healed skin around 3 weeks afterwards.

To be completely safe, remember that it can take as long as 6 months for a tattoo to be wholly healed. Continue caring for the area, even if it is not technically an open wound’ anymore after the outer layer of skin has healed.

How Exactly Does A Tattoo Heal?

The healing process of a tattoo is not very pleasant, but, if there are no complications, it will not go on for too long.

Straight after getting the tattoo, you will notice pain and swelling, though those symptoms do calm down a bit in a few days.

The tattoo will still feel tender though because your skin has been wounded and needs to repair itself.

A tattoo will start to heal that skin by scabbing over. You will likely notice peeling and itchy skin, which is a sign that the skin is starting to recover because a new layer of skin has formed and it is shedding off the old skin.

You should try to keep your tattoo covered when it is scabbing and peeling to protect the skin and prevent it getting further traumatized, and resist that urge to itch!

After that new skin has completely sealed over your tattoo, you should feel the incessant itchiness subside. The skin may feel dry, which will also make your tattoo appear a bit dull, but that will naturally come away too.

You can apply a gentle moisturizer to the area to coax it to become softer if you like, though it will naturally go away.

The best way to speed up the healing process and sooth your tattoo is to care for it. Ensure that your hands are clean every time you touch the area because you don’t want to risk infection, then be careful when you remove the covering.

You can bathe your tattooed skin in lukewarm water and even use a little soap, if you choose.

It is advisable that you shower with your fresh tattoo covered because the water may be too hot, harsh, or painful for it, so stick to gently bathing it separately yourself.

Try to avoid baths and public pools too because submerging wounded skin in dirty water is a recipe for disaster! Keep it covered in hot weather to prevent sunburn and drink lots of water so that you don’t dehydrate yourself and your skin.

When you sleep, try to avoid laying on the tattooed area. If it is on your back, sleep on your front or side, and if it is on an arm or shoulder, try not to roll onto it.

The initial soreness of the tattoo will put you off laying on it, but you should try not sleep on it after that has subsided because you might irritate the skin.

When your skin feels completely smooth and painless, you’ll know that your tattoo has healed.

You’ll be able to showcase your tattoo in all its glory without worrying about scabs, dry skin, itchiness, or causing further trauma, but you should continue with the recommended aftercare routine. Your tattoo artist knows best, so listen to them!

Is a tattoo a deep or puncture wound?

A tattoo is not a deep wound because the needle does not penetrate very far. It should only go between 1mm and 2mm into your skin, so that the ink is deposited into the dermis layer.

A tattoo needle going deeper than that causes something called a tattoo blowout, in which the ink is injected into the fat layer below the dermis, blowing out the appearance of the tattoo.

So, a tattoo is not a deep wound. It is, however, a series of puncture wounds. This is because the needle used to create the tattoo is a sharp object being used to penetrate your skin, just as a medical injection is considered a puncture wound.

A serious, deep wound typically takes longer to heal than a fresh tattoo, and a tattoo has a simpler healing process.

You won’t require medical attention unless you get an infection, or unless the pain and swelling does not subside. The puncture wounds caused by the needle will be sore, but the skin will not open up into a large crater like a deep wound would.

Regardless of it being less serious than a deep wound, you still need to look after tattooed skin because it is a type of wound and will not repair itself without your help.

Luckily, it is just a new layer of skin that needs to form and then your tattoo will be fine. If you do notice anything that looks wrong with it, consult with a medical professional.

Do All Tattoos Scab?

In short, yes. All tattoos will scab because the scabbing is an essential part of the healing process.

Some people may notice less scabbing than others, but if there is no scab then you may need to consult a professional to see if your skin is not repairing a new layer over the punctured old skin.

The scab is a sign that the new skin is forming, but it also acts as an immediate barrier between your tender skin and anything it may come into contact with.

Keeping a small bandage or other covering over the tattoo provides a second barrier, but the scab will defend your wounded skin from infection.

However, minimal scabbing does not mean that there is something wrong.

If you have been regularly bathing and moisturizing the tattooed skin, as well as staying hydrated and being gentle with the area, then you’re probably just caring for it very well. If you are helping your skin to heal itself then it will not need to scab as much.

On the other hand, maximized scabbing does not necessarily mean that you are doing a bad job of the aftercare. A bigger tattoo will scab more, as will a more detailed one that required longer use of the needle. Every tattoo is different and every person’s body will heal itself differently too.

If the scab is seemingly not appearing at all, or if it seems to be very extreme, or if it remains for longer than it typically should, then a medical professional or tattoo artist should be consulted.

It is likely nothing serious, but you need to keep an eye on wounded skin because it will be much more vulnerable to trauma or infection than the rest of your body.

And if you haven’t been doing the appropriate aftercare, you should also consider seeing a professional to make sure that everything is fine.

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