Can You Finish A Tattoo The Next Day?

Once you discover the fun of getting tattooed, you might want to move on to a bigger piece. This is when you might want to be patient, as bigger tattoo pieces may take more than just one tattooing session to complete your piece. Can you finish a tattoo the next day?

Hypothetically, you can finish a tattoo the next day, but if your body undergoes an immense amount of trauma for two days in a row, your immune system will get compromised. Your immune system has to heal a big part of your body, and your skin may get infected. Other factors may also come into play.

Stay with us as we discuss in-depth why it would be unwise to finish a tattoo the next day and why it could be difficult because of other factors as well.

Can You Finish Your Tattoo The Next Day?

Let’s begin with an example: imagine you are getting a large-sized tattoo to cover your stomach, back, ribs, or arm. Considering the size, it is only logical that it will take much more than just one tattooing session to finish your tattoo piece.

Now, if it’s going to take more than one session (multiple days) to complete your tattoo design, it is advised to take a break from tattooing for two to three weeks before finishing your piece. If your tattoo piece needs working on the same area, you should first allow your skin to heal fully before getting under the needle again.

Most of the registered and experienced tattoo artists are aware of this problem, and they will likely suggest that you the necessary time for your tattoo to heal completely. Other than this, even after getting your new tattoo done, you might notice a few flaws you might be unhappy with.

Maybe it doesn’t look as detailed as you’d want it to be or as vibrant as you’d hoped. This kind of problem can also be easily solved by simply getting your tattoo redone. This is also not advised to be done the next day, and you would have to wait for at least two to three weeks to heal your tattoo before you can have it redone.

Risks Of Finishing Your Tattoo The Next Day

Now that you know that it’s not advised to finish your tattoo the following day, let’s look at all the risks you will run if you do decide to finish your tattoo the next day:

The Increased Risk Of Infection

After getting a tattoo, your body is already fighting extremely hard to heal the piece as well as fighting any infection. Because getting a tattoo can be seen as an open wound, it is exceptionally prone to infection and disease caused by bacteria getting into the area.

So, while your tattoo might look healed on the outside, your inner body is still working on trying to recover it completely. How damaged your skin is going to depend on the overall size of the tattoo ultimately, but a good rule is to wait until your tattoo has fully healed before you finish it off.

Increased Risk Of Illness

If you come down with the flu, a common cold, or any other type of illness quite frequently, you will want to boost your immune system before getting your tattoo finished. This is also applicable if you work with small children.

The infections that could come into tattoos can get severe quickly and even become limb- or life-threatening if they aren’t treated professionally or promptly.

Availability Of The Tattoo Artist

If you have your heart, soul, and mind set on a specific tattoo artist, you will need to fall in with their schedule. This will ultimately mean that no matter if you would like to have your tattoo finished the following day, that you will have to wait.

Some tattoo artists, especially the really good ones, can be booked for weeks or even months ahead. On top of this, some artists may only have a contract for a certain amount of time at a parlor, and they may be fully booked until their time is over.

If you have a preferred tattoo artist, it would always be best to wait for an opening at their convenience. It is never advised to let another artist finish your tattoo, as it may be regarded as disrespectful, and it is not guaranteed that the two different artists will have the same style or vision for your masterpiece.

So, How Long Should You Wait To Finish Your Tattoo?

To make sure that you keep your tattooing journey as satisfactory and pleasant as possible, it is advised by most tattoo artists to wait for at least two to three weeks between sessions. Keep in mind that your tattoo is permanent, so it would be best not to rush the process.

The primary and most crucial reason for this waiting period is to ensure that your skin has healed properly. There is no positive outcome when you choose to put your health at risk for your tattoo.

People are different, and their skin will take different times to heal. If you have reached three weeks and your tattoo has not healed correctly, it would be best to postpone your tattoo session.


When your tattoo starts to heal, it will itch a whole lot. This is the time where your skin is actively healing itself. However, do not stress as itchiness is just an average side effect. Two to three weeks later, you will be in perfect shape! You will be able to go under sunlight again, have fun or even go swimming without worrying about your piece!

So, two to three weeks is the least amount of time to wait before finishing your tattoo. However, keep in mind that only the outer layer of your skin will be healed and not the deeper layer. This is why it is advised still to take care of your tattoo for six months after it has been finished.

Some of my favorite designs, tattoo books, and aftercare products, selected for you

working on tattoo at my studio
Working at the studio on one of my projects

Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.

Design and tattoo ideas

For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):

Tattoo meaning

If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).

Tattoo aftercare

The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):


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