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How Long Do Ear Tattoos Take To Heal?

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Tattoos have become a true art form these days, and there is not a part of the body that isn’t considered prime real estate for a tattoo. Ear tattoos are trendy and well suited to those who aren’t ready to go big yet or minimalists who don’t want their tattoos to be overpowering. Novices may be nervous about the pain and the time it takes to heal.

Ear tattoos can take about 2 weeks to heal and up to 4 weeks for the skin to return to normal. About a week after the tattoo has been done, the pain should diminish significantly, and scabbing may occur, possibly indicating healing. Aftercare of the tattoo is vital to avoid inflammation and infection.

Ear tattoos can be delicate and stunning. Although there aren’t endless possibilities for placing them, they can be done on the lobe, the tragus area, and the helix. You can also get tattoos behind the ear. Because the areas are small, fine designs will look the best.

Ear Tattoos And Their Healing Time

People’s bodies heal at different paces, so you can’t put an exact time frame on the healing process. Generally, they take 2-4 weeks if there are no side effects or reactions. It is essential to follow the aftercare instructions that the tattoo artist gives you to ensure a smooth healing process.

The Healing Process Of An Ear Tattoo

On day 1, the person will leave the studio with their tattoo wrapped in plastic or bandaged up, but they will be able to remove it about an hour or 2 later. The skin may be red and painful, and it might ooze a clear liquid mixed with ink. Though this might freak a newbie out, it is completely normal.

To care for your new tattoo, wash it with fragrance-free soap and moisturize with a water-based cream. You could also wrap it again for the first night to prevent stains on clothing and bedding.

During the first week, the pain and redness should lessen. You might notice that the tattoo appears a bit duller. This is an indication that the healing has started. The skin may also start scabbing and peeling, and again this is also not a cause for concern. It is vital that you don’t scratch the scabs. Allergic reactions and infections are more likely to happen initially, so take good care of the tat.

In the second week, the scabs tend to get harder and may peel off by themselves, but it is still essential to not pull them off or scratch them. They could get infected, but it could also disturb the ink underneath. If it is still sore and swollen by this stage, you should see a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

During weeks 3 and 4, the flaking skin and scabs should have disappeared almost completely. It is important to carry on moisturizing the skin to hydrate it. Outer layers of skin regenerate the fastest, so they should be almost completely healed by this stage. The skin underneath could take a bit longer.

Points To Ponder When Getting An Ear Tattoo

Tiny tattoos are trendy, especially amongst women, because, by nature, they are mostly fine and delicate. Famous faces with ear tattoos include Cara Delevingne, Rihanna, and Miley Cyrus. So if you are considering following the trend, here are some points to ponder before you plunge in.

  • Many people experience the area surrounding the ear as one of the most sensitive parts of their bodies, so these tattoos can be extremely painful.
  • There are some serious risks attached to tattooing your ears – temporary jaw lock, migraines, dizziness, and headaches, to name a few.
  • Those who have high pain thresholds say the ear tattoos aren’t that bad, but the noise in their ears is terrible.
  • Some say that tattooing the inside of the ear feels weird because there are little pockets of pain.

Tattoos Behind The Ear

The area behind the ears is a very sensitive part of the body, so a tattoo in this area can be quite painful. Anecdotal evidence suggests that on a scale of 1-10, the pain level rates at about 5+. Most people struggle more with the vibrations from the tattoo machine than the pain from the tattoo.

The mastoid bone is positioned directly behind the ear, and with little flesh to soften the sound, it can be hard to bear. There are also various sensory nerves in that area, and the buzzing sound can be overwhelming.

A lesser-known fact about tattooing behind the ear is that your emotional state can affect the pain levels. Medical research has shown that negativity, stress, anxiety, and depression can increase people’s perception of pain. This, of course, applies to all tattoos and other pain-causing situations.

Tips For Mitigating The Pain From Ear Tattoos

Here are some tips to prevent extreme pain when you have your ears done:

  • Select an experienced and skilled tattoo artist.
  • Stay away from alcohol because it increases pain sensitivity, causes bleeding and dehydration.
  • Practice relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing to repel anxiety and negative emotions, which can heighten your pain levels.
  • Have something to eat, as this also helps lower pain sensitivity and dizziness.
  • Take short breaks during the procedure if it becomes a bit intense.
  • Follow all the aftercare instructions. It will accelerate the healing process.

Some Aftercare Tips

Follow your artist’s advice on caring for your tattoo at home for easy and fast healing.

  • Leave that tattoo covered for the first 2-5 hours, then wash it gently with lukewarm water and gentle liquid soap.
  • Spread a thin layer of fragrance-free moisturizer over it.
  • Cover it with gauze or clingfilm unless your artist has suggested that you leave it open.
  • Make sure it stays clean and dry.
  • Keep out of direct sunlight for as long as possible to prevent the tattoo from fading.
  • Understand that complete healing can take a while and that each person heals at their own pace.
  • Do not scratch the scabs or flaking skin.
  • Go to the studio to have it touched up if necessary. You want to be satisfied with your tattoo, and the artist doesn’t want their reputation ruined by client dissatisfaction.


There isn’t an area that is not suitable for tattoos, including ears and behind the ears. They are often beautiful and dainty because of the small canvas the artist has to work on, suiting people who want a pretty little picture, lettering, or symbols. An ear tattoo will be as much of a masterpiece as any other done elsewhere on your body with proper care.


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