After you get your tattoo done, you need to take good care of it while it heals. It’s a process that can take up to two weeks, depending on your skin and the type of tattoo you have, and here’s what you should be avoiding in that period.
First of, listen to your tattoo artist. Ideas and practices around tattoo aftercare can differ, so it’s important for you to trust the artist that did your tattoo to provide you quality advice on how to take care of it.
The duration of the healing process depends greatly on the size of the tattoo, techniques and styles used. Smaller, simpler tattoos will heal in a matter of days, larger tattoos can take 2-3 weeks.
Avoid Taking Baths & Swimming
While taking a quick shower is just fine, do not submerge your fresh tattoo under water or expose it directly to the shower stream. It will damage your healing tattoo. Just wash it gently, and do not use hot water.
Same goes for swimming, weather it’s in a swimming pool, lake or the ocean, don’t do it until your tattoo has had the chance to heal. Not only can you damage the tattoo or interfere with the healing process, you could end up with a nasty infection.
Same goes with saunas or other conditions that can lead to the tattoo being wet, submerged under water and similar.
Avoid Aggressive Soaps and Medical Ointments
When washing the fresh tattoo, use only lukewarm water and a mild soap. Unscented, antibacterial soaps are best for the job. Medical ointments can accelerate the healing process, and while that sounds like a good thing, it can actually make the tattoo heal improperly and you might need some touching up.
Do NOT Pick those Scabs, do NOT Scratch
Us telling you not to pick it just makes you want to pick it more, doesn’t it? Well, don’t!
As the tattoo heals, some scabbing will gather. At the same time, the tattoo will start to itch, a lot. Just hang in there, use an aftercare cream for relief, and don’t itch and pick the scabs. You can damage the tattoo, and you might even cause an infection.
Do not Expose Your Fresh Tattoo to Sunlight
Direct sunlight is always best avoided, especially when you have tattoos as it will make them fade faster. In the case of a fresh tattoo, avoid direct sunlight at all costs. The feeling of the heat on your freshly inked skin is not pleasurable at all, and it can also interfere with the healing process. Use sunscreen when you can’t avoid the sun.
Do not Rewrap or Over-moisturize
Once you take off the protective wrap your artist put on after the session, do not rewrap the tattoo. It now needs to ‘breathe’ and dry out, and wraping it in plastic at this point would just create moisture and ideal conditions for bacteria to develop. again, we don’t want that tattoo to get infected, do we?
Avoid the temptation to over-moisturize. Apply tin layers of a moisturizing creme/lotion a few times per day, but make sure to let the skin ‘breathe.
Avoid Excessive Workout and Sweating
Go easy on yourself for the first couple of weeks. Working out excessively and sweating all over your new tattoo will do it no god. Take a break!
Avoid Tight Clothes, Jewelry…
Anything that can damage the newly inked tat, should be avoided. Tight clothes, bracelets rubbing against the tattoo, shoes… depending on where your tattoo is, make sure to leave it free to breathe, use clothes to protect it from the sun.
Stick to the advice above, and your tattoo should heal quickly and look great. If you see something weird, excessive redness around the tattoo, mucus, pain… talk to your tattoo artist or a medical professional as soon as possible.
Once your tattoo has healed – show it off!