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The Essentials of New Tattoo Aftercare

Congratulations on your new tattoo! You’ve endured the pain, you love the design, and now it’s time to ensure its longevity and vibrancy. This post is about helping you retain the beauty of your body art by giving it the aftercare it deserves.

Tattoos could be looked at as glorified wounds. Don’t be startled, it’s just that the process invades your skin’s sanctity, and the aftercare isn’t vastly different from nursing a wound. The first two weeks post-ink are critical for preserving the aesthetics of your tattoo. During this period, observing any signs of blood, bumps, or persistent redness could indicate an issue. If you notice any of these signs, get in touch with your dermatologist immediately.

Your tattoo artist will cover your new body art with a wrap before you say your goodbyes. It’s crucial to stick with a medical-grade adhesive bandage for the initial three days. Not only is it more breathable, but it protects your skin while letting air reach it. Bonus points for being transparent and waterproof, allowing you to show off your new tattoo without a hitch in your daily routine.

On the third day, it’s time to gently remove the tattoo wrap. Use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser to clean the tattooed area. Keep in mind that you’re dealing with sensitive, broken skin, so your skincare products should be as simple as possible. Over-washing your skin is a no-go as it dehydrates your skin.

While your skin is healing, resist the urge to submerge your body in water, whether it be for a swim or a relaxing bath. You want to minimize the chances of irritation or infection. Instead, keep your skin hydrated with a fragrance-free moisturizer containing soothing ingredients like ceramides. This will not only soften any scab formation but help it fall off naturally.

Messing with your scabs is a big no-no! Picking or peeling at your scabs could end up in infection or scarring, botching the aesthetics of your tattoo.

UV protection is as essential to your skin as it is to your tattoo. As a rule of thumb, try to avoid both direct sunlight and water submersion for the initial healing weeks. Your best bet is to use loose-fitting, sun-protective clothing or a good sunscreen. Daily use of mineral sunscreen with SPF 30 is advised, and if you’re planning on being outdoors for more than an hour, upgrade to SPF 50.

Remember, even after the healing phase, consistent application of sunscreen goes a long way in preventing potential fading caused by UV rays. Your tattoo is an investment, one that reflects your personality, and its lifespan directly correlates with your aftercare practices. So, let’s cherish those tattoos and flaunt them with pride!

So, in conclusion, this is what you need to do to look after your new tattoo!

Step 1: Remove the bandage & change the bandage

Timing: After the first 3-5 hours


  • Wash your tattoo gently with warm water and a mild, fragrance-free soap.
  • Use your hands only, avoiding any abrasive materials like washcloths or sponges.

Step 2: Dry your tattoo


  • Air dry or gently pat your tattoo with a clean paper towel.
  • Do not rub or use a regular towel, as these can harbor bacteria and may irritate your tattoo.

Step 3: Apply moisturizer


  • Apply a thin layer of unscented, hypoallergenic moisturizer or aftercare ointment recommended by your artist.
  • Ensure the product is specifically designed for tattoo aftercare to avoid any adverse reactions.


  • Repeat this process 2-3 times a day, or as advised by your artist, for the first 2-3 weeks.

Step 4: Protect from the sun

Duration: At least 4 weeks


  • Keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight and avoid exposing it to tanning beds.
  • If you need to be in the sun, ensure your tattoo is covered or use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Step 5: Avoid soaking

Duration: First 2-3 weeks


  • Avoid soaking your tattoo in water, including swimming, baths, and hot tubs.
  • Prolonged exposure to water can soften the skin and may cause the tattoo to fade or the ink to run.

Step 6: Monitor your tattoo

Duration: Next 2-3 weeks


  • Observe your tattoo for any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge.
  • If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a dermatologist or your tattoo artist immediately.

Following these steps will help your new tattoo heal properly, ensuring its vibrancy and longevity. Happy healing!

Check out:

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