Tattoos heal the same way as an abrasion or scrape. Depending on the size of the tattoo and where on the body it is placed, heavy scabbing and ink loss can occur. Having a professional tattoo artist apply your tattoo can help reduce the risk of wearing a faded tattoo with missing ink after healing.
A professionally done tattoo, performed on a healthy person, will take approximately two weeks to completely heal.
If the skin is overworked during a tattoo, heaving scabbing may occur. The result of this may be loss of ink when the scab falls off.
Ink loss is common from scabs in body parts that bend or are in constant motion. Elbows, knees, wrists and the back of the neck commonly have this issue.
Picking and Pulling
Pulling or picking a heavy scab off of a tattoo will result in the loss of ink. Do not pick or pull at the scab; let it heal and fall off naturally. Picking and pulling can result in an infection from dirty hands or heavy loss of ink, and a touch-up will be void from a tattoo artist if the tattoo is noticeably tampered with.
Professional tattoo artists guarantee their work. They have knowledge as to how the body heals a tattoo, and an understanding that some scabbing and ink loss will occur. A free session to replace the ink that has fallen out will be offered and provided if necessary.
Following the aftercare given to you by your tattoo artist is important. Applying products to your tattoo that are not advised by your tattoo artist can result in heavy scabbing, burning, scarring and ink loss.
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Maude Coffey retired after 10 years working as a professional body modification artist in the tattoo industry. She is certified in principles of infection control and blood-borne pathogens. Coffey received additional training and classes, such as anatomy, jewelry standards and aftercare, from the Association of Professional Piercers. Coffey aims to educate about safe tattooing and piercing practices while writing for various websites.