How Long Should You Wait Between Tattoo Sessions?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on August 17, 2019
    Last Updated: November 27, 2020

You should wait at least 2–3 weeks after your last appointment before getting tattooed again.

These important factors contribute to this:

  • Healing time
  • Tattoo size
  • Pain threshold
  • Immune system
  • Saving up
  • Artist availability
  • To avoid bad choices

On average, it takes at least 2–3 weeks for a tattoo to heal, at least on the surface. During this time, your tattoo should have gone through most of the hurdles associated with the healing process. 

Healing after getting a tattoo can be quite uncomfortable. It could include pain, redness, tightness and itchiness; all of which aren’t life-threatening but are expected. This waiting period helps to rule out any issues that would normally happen when the tattoo’s still fresh.

Why You Should Wait Between Tattoo Sessions

Getting body art is a bucket list item for most people. It’s a huge achievement that comes with a surge of adrenaline. This may make you feel invincible enough to want to have multiple tattoos at a go.

Even so, apart from putting a strain on your body and immune system, the below areas all play a part in this period between sessions.

Tattoo Size

Naturally, the smaller a tattoo is, the faster the time of healing, just as a small cut would heal faster than a bigger one.

If your tattoo is large, your body will have to work harder to heal it. Your immune system will be entirely focused on preventing any infections to this site.

If you choose to get another tattoo too soon, the chances of catching an infection may become higher. This is because your immune system will be overstretched and may not perform optimally. 

Pain Threshold

Let’s face it; getting a tattoo is no walk in the park. Even the most pain-hardened tattoo enthusiasts will feel the prick of the needle each time they go in.

The pain associated with tattoos isn’t just the initial discomfort, though. With healing comes more discomfort, as there could be swelling, itching and even tenderness. Your body will also have aches and pains that could make doing ordinary, everyday tasks more difficult than usual. 

Allow your body time to heal and return to its optimal or near-optimal state. After this, you can choose to go under the needle again. 

Your Immunity

You need to build up your immunity between tattoo sessions if you want to heal up fast. This is why it is recommended that you wait at least 2–3 weeks before your next tattoo appointment.

If your job involves working with people, especially children, this is vital to protect yourself from catching an infection. Catching an infection with a weakened immune system can have near-fatal consequences.

Eating right, daily exercise and getting enough rest are a few ways to boost your immunity and encourage faster healing. Taking lots of water is also great for your body and immunity in general.

Saving up for the Next Tattoo

While you may have saved up for your first tattoo, the chances are that you have expended all that cash. Despite the desire to get your next tattoo almost immediately, your focus should first be on the more important and urgent bills.

Paying off your mortgage, car payments and feeding your family should top your priority list. After putting aside your savings, any cash left over can go into your tattoo kitty.

Getting a tattoo should not be a project that makes you break the bank. Have a plan and save with a reasonable timeline as your goal. You may surprise yourself by superseding your goal!

Availability of Your Tattoo Artist

Getting a tattoo booking must have included setting up an appointment weeks, and maybe even months, in advance.

Professional tattoo artists are in demand, and their calendars are usually full, so you’ll have to work your schedule around your tattoo artist’s availability. This can greatly delay the time between your tattoo sessions.

Don’t be tempted to walk into a cheaper parlor if your tattoo artist’s overbooked. Patience is the name of this game. Besides, the longer you wait, the better your healing will be.

To Avoid Bad Choices

A tattoo is a pretty permanent thing to do, so you want to be sure about it. Sometimes, the excitement and endorphin rush that comes with getting a tattoo could cloud your judgment. 

Taking time between tattoos will help you think clearly about whether you really want another tattoo or not. It will also help you to think about what kind of tattoo you want. A short break between your first and second tattoo session will give you some clarity before your next appointment.

In Conclusion

Be sure to keep your exciting tattoo journey and achievement as memorable as possible by waiting for 2–3 weeks between tattoo sessions. Tattoos will last forever, so there’s no point in rushing the process.

Remember that the main reason for this wait is to ensure that you heal properly. There’s no point in putting your health at risk for your tattoo. Even if you reach three weeks and it hasn’t healed, hold off from going back under the ink.

Other factors will naturally delay your waiting time, but stick to your preferred artists and don’t rush back in — your skin will thank you for it.