To ensure your beautiful piece of body art remains healthy and vibrant, it’s important to know how to look after it properly.
Read on for six must-know tips for caring for a new tattoo that will help keep it looking sharp and captivating for years to come. Whether you’re taking the plunge with your first tattoo or adding to an existing collection, following these guidelines is essential for optimal healing and preserving the life of your ink.
1. Follow Your Tattoo Artist’s Advice
It is important to take your tattoo artist’s advice regarding aftercare. Every artist’s recommendation may vary, so it is important to follow their specific instructions. Your artist will likely provide you with a printed leaflet of their advice, which should be followed for the best results.
This may include washing the newly-inked area with mild soap and water two to three times a day and applying a thin layer of fragrance-free lotion.
2. Wash The Tattoo
After the initial two to five hours of covering your new tattoo, it is important to remove the covering and gently wash the area with lukewarm water and mild liquid soap. To begin, use your fingertips to carefully remove the covering and then rinse the area with lukewarm water.
Squeeze a small amount of mild liquid soap into your hands and then lather up around the newly inked area, being careful not to rub or scrub too hard. Rinse off any excess soap with lukewarm water and pat dry with a clean towel. This process should be repeated two to three times a day for optimal results.
Be sure to avoid using hot water as this may cause irritation and even infection. Additionally, never re-use old bandages or towels as these can harbour bacteria which can lead to health problems down the line. L
3. Apply A Thin Layer Of Unscented Moisturising Cream
It is important to moisturise your new tattoo to keep it looking its best. After washing the area described above, apply a thin layer of an unscented moisturising cream such as Bepanthen (nappy rash cream).
This will help retain moisture and prevent the skin from drying out, which can lead to cracking and scabbing. Ensure you don’t apply too much; otherwise, it could cause the ink to bleed and blur. Additionally, be sure to avoid any lotions or creams with fragrances, as these can irritate the area.
Apply a thin layer of moisturising cream two to three times per day for optimal results.
4. Keep The Tattoo Clean And Dry
It is important to keep your new tattoo clean and dry to promote healing and prevent infection. After washing the area with lukewarm water and an unscented, liquid antibacterial soap (such as Dial or Cetaphil), make sure you pat it dry with a clean towel or paper towel. Do not rub the area, as this could cause irritation and damage to the skin.
Avoid soaking the tattoo in water for at least a month after getting it done, including swimming pools, hot tubs, lakes or oceans. Showers are fine, but baths should be avoided if possible.
5. Avoid Direct Sunlight
When it comes to caring for a new tattoo, avoiding direct sunlight is essential. Sun exposure can cause discolouration and fading of the ink, as well as burning and blistering of the skin. It’s important to keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight during the healing period (at least 4–6 weeks) by wearing loose clothing that covers up the area.
If you must go outside in the sun during this time, be sure to apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 over your tattoo and re-apply every two hours. This will help protect the ink from UV damage. After your tattoo has fully healed, you can still enjoy some sun but make sure to apply extra sunscreen if you plan on spending prolonged periods outdoors. Additionally, use moisturisers with SPF protection to prevent any further fading or discolouration from occurring.
6. Be Patient With Healing Times
Tattoos take time to heal, and the process can be quite long. Depending on the size of your tattoo, as well as how your skin reacts to the ink, healing times can range anywhere from a week to several months. It’s important to be patient during this time and follow all aftercare instructions provided by your artist.
During the healing period, you may notice some scabbing or flaking around the area of your tattoo. This is normal and should not be picked off; instead, gently wash it with lukewarm water and soap and pat it dry with a clean towel. You may also experience itching or tenderness in the area, which can usually be alleviated with moisturiser or lotion applied sparingly over the top.
It’s also important to keep up with regular check-ups at your artist’s studio just to make sure everything is healing properly. Doing so will ensure that any problems are dealt with quickly before they become more serious. With patience and proper care, you’ll have a beautiful new piece of art that will last for years to come.
Taking care of a new tattoo is crucial to ensure that it heals properly and looks its best in the long term. Tattoo aftercare is essential to promote healing, prevent infection, and preserve the appearance of the tattoo. It’s important to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist and to keep the area clean and dry until the tattoo has fully healed.
Should I wrap my new tattoo at night?
You’ll want to keep the tattoo wrapped for at least the first night because it will take a while for it to settle down and stop leaking. You don’t want an open wound like that touching your bed sheets, getting blood everywhere, or dirt and dust getting into the wound itself.
What not to put on a new tattoo?
It is important not to use any scented creams or lotions. Harsh chemicals can irritate the wound and damage the tattooed skin. A person should also avoid using sunscreen on a tattoo until it is fully healed, as this can clog the pores and trap bacteria.
Should I wash my tattoo right before bed?
Too much washing can wash away your body’s natural bacteria, which helps your skin to heal. Washing the tattoo in the morning and night before you go to bed is sufficient. For the first day, the tattoo will “ooze” clear plasma.