Stick and poke tattoos, also known as hand-poked tattoos, have gained popularity in recent years as a unique and personal form of body art. Unlike professional tattoos done with a machine, stick and pokes are created by manually poking the skin with a needle and ink. While this method produces stunning results, it’s crucial to understand the healing process and how long it takes for these tattoos to fully heal.
Stick and poke tattoos typically take longer to heal compared to machine tattoos. The healing time can vary depending on factors such as the size of the tattoo, the depth of the needle, the skill of the artist, and individual skin type. On average, stick and poke tattoos take around two to three weeks to heal completely.
During the healing process, it’s essential to keep the tattoo clean and moisturized to prevent infection and promote proper healing. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth healing journey:
1. Keep the tattoo covered with a sterile bandage for the first few hours after getting it done.
2. Gently wash the tattoo with mild, fragrance-free soap and lukewarm water twice a day.
3. Pat the tattoo dry with a clean towel or let it air dry.
4. Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or a specialized tattoo aftercare cream to keep the area moisturized.
5. Avoid scratching, picking, or rubbing the tattoo to prevent scarring and color loss.
6. Avoid exposing the tattoo to direct sunlight, swimming pools, or hot tubs until it’s fully healed.
7. Wear loose-fitting clothing to prevent friction on the tattooed area.
8. Avoid excessive sweating, as it can cause irritation and prolong healing time.
Now, let’s address some frequently asked questions about the healing process of stick and poke tattoos:
1. Can I shower with a fresh stick and poke tattoo?
Yes, but make sure to keep the tattoo covered for the first few hours. Avoid soaking the tattoo directly under the showerhead.
2. How long does it take for a stick and poke tattoo to scab?
Scabbing usually starts within a few days after getting the tattoo and can last up to a week. It’s crucial not to pick or scratch the scabs, as it can damage the tattoo.
3. Can I go swimming while my stick and poke tattoo is healing?
It’s best to avoid swimming until the tattoo is fully healed to prevent infection from pool water or seawater.
4. When can I start exercising again after getting a stick and poke tattoo?
Wait until the tattoo is fully healed before engaging in any intense physical activities that may cause excessive sweating or friction on the tattooed area.
5. Is it normal for a stick and poke tattoo to feel itchy during the healing process?
Yes, mild itching is a common part of the healing process. However, refrain from scratching the tattoo, as it can disrupt the healing and cause infections.
6. Can I apply sunscreen to a healed stick and poke tattoo?
Yes, it’s essential to protect your tattoo from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to prevent fading and damage.
7. Can stick and poke tattoos leave scars?
When done properly and with proper aftercare, stick and poke tattoos should not leave noticeable scars. However, improper healing or picking at scabs can lead to scarring.
8. How long should I wait before touching up a stick and poke tattoo?
Wait at least six to eight weeks before considering a touch-up, as it takes time for the tattoo to settle and the skin to fully heal.
9. Can stick and poke tattoos get infected?
Yes, like any tattoo, a stick and poke tattoo can get infected if not properly cared for. Be vigilant about cleanliness and follow aftercare instructions.
10. Can I shave over a stick and poke tattoo?
It’s best to avoid shaving directly over the tattooed area until it’s fully healed to prevent irritation and potential infection.
11. When can I wear tight clothing or jewelry over a stick and poke tattoo?
Wait until the tattoo is fully healed before wearing tight clothing or jewelry to prevent rubbing and irritation on the tattooed area.
Stick and poke tattoos can be a beautiful and meaningful form of self-expression. By understanding the healing process and following proper aftercare, you can ensure a stunning and long-lasting result. Remember, patience is key, and caring for your tattoo during the healing process is crucial for its final outcome.