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Is a Tattoo Going to be Painful the Next Day?

Updated on May 17, 2010

And you thought the pain was over...

It's going to be more than likely unpleasant when you get tattooed, but don't expect the pain to stop when you get out of the tattoo studio.  It won't be terrible pain the few days following the tattoo, but it will be noticeable.  To sum it up shortly: Yes it will be painful for a couple of days.

How much will it hurt?

This depends on a couple of factors.

1.  Where is the tattoo placed?  In my opinion this is what is going to determine the healing pain the most.  If the tattoo is on an area of skin that gets a lot of movement, such as the inner calf it is going to hurt more during the healing process.  The skin is trying to repair itself and at the same time it is stretching and can make the healing process a bit unpleasant.  I have a large calf tattoo myself, and it is highly worked.  I remember limping about for a few days whenever i had gotten up from sitting or laying down.

2.  How big is the tattoo?  The big tattoos will hurt more and take longer to heal.  There is no way out of this.  Because it will take longer to fully heal you should expect the pain to last more than just the day after.  If you just had a large back piece done, and you bump into a corner or worse someone comes up and smacks you on the back YOU ARE GOING TO NOTICE IT!  And if you have say a little star tattoo on your wrist and you rub against a desk or something, it's really not going to be painful.  Size does matter with the pain during healing.

3.  Are you keeping the tattoo lubed?  A moist tattoo isn't going to get dry.  When the tattoo starts to dry out the skin gets very tight and can cause some discomfort.  It can actually get pretty bad in those areas that get a lot of motion.  You do need the tattoo to breath however, so keeping it doused in lube is no good either.  Keeping the tattoo moist during the healing process will help to take away a lot of the discomfort.

4.  Did the tattoo artist dig you up?  This is out of your control =P ... Sometimes a tattoo artist will be a bit overzealous and really go to town on a tattoo.  This can overwork the skin and cause a longer healing time.  It will also hurt a lot more healing than if it wasn't overworked.  All you can do to avoid this is make sure you've found a good artist to give your skin to.


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