What Does Bad Tattoo Aftercare Look Like?

What Does Bad Tattoo Aftercare Look Like?

Mar 14, 2022 | Grow_SEO Account

We know you plan to take care of your new tattoo, but you may be neglecting your new ink without even realizing it. We’re here to lay it all out there. The good, the bad, and the ugly of tattoo aftercare. Keep scrolling for what you need to know.

What Is Tattoo Aftercare?

Tattoo aftercare is the process of caring for your tattoo at home after you get your new ink. You may not get the instructions you need for one reason or another, and you are left to your own devices (which is why we’re here!) How often do you clean your tattoo and moisturize it, and do you replace the bandage? Tattoo aftercare is crucial to maintain healthy skin, preserve your new ink, and avoid infection. Aftercare also affects the overall healing and look of the tattoo in the end. So, what does that look like, and what actions should you take to preserve your masterpiece for the long run?

What Is Bad Tattoo Aftercare?

We realize that no one intentionally sets out to mistreat their new tattoo. Come on, you’ve waited for what seems like an eternity to get that ink; now you have it, so what’s next? Even people with the best intentions may accidentally mistreat their tattoo, sacrificing its integrity (and even appearance) in the process. Here are some things you shouldn't do when caring for your new ink:

Is Dry Healing a Tattoo Bad?

The dry healing method is a controversial one—some people say that moisturizers trap bacteria in the wound, but if you use the correct tattoo moisturizer, this should not happen. Dry healing may cause:
  • Itching - Dry skin leads to itchy skin, especially when healing. Itchy skin leads to the temptation to scratch or pick at the area, and this may cause scarring, impact the design, and cause bacterial infection. Keep those claws away from your ink!
  • Tight Skin and Scabs - Dry skin often becomes tight and cracks, forming scabs that distort your tattoo.
  • Infections - The most common bacterial infections that tattoos develop are streptococcus and staphylococcus (yikes). Keep your tattoo moisturized with a tattoo balm that soothes dry, healing skin. It’s almost like we thought of that

Can You Use a Loofah To Wash Your Tattoo?

Negative. Do not use a loofah, sponge, washcloth, or other abrasive items to clean your new tattoo. A fresh tattoo is a wound, so you must treat it as such. Scratchy, rough loofahs exfoliate the skin and may cause infection or bleeding on the tattoed area. Gently wash the tattoo with your clean hands and a tattoo foam soap and pat it dry with a lint-free towel. Make sure the tattoo is dry before applying moisturizer to the area. Comprende?

Can You Take a Bath With a New Tattoo?

No way, Jose. Don't submerge your new tattoo in bathwater, swimming pools, hot tubs, or any other kind of open water whatsoever. Avoid the gym, saunas, and any other warm, moist environment for at least a few weeks post-tattoo service. Water and moist environments often contain bacteria and organisms that enter the wound and cause infection. Opt for a lukewarm shower instead. Do not allow the heavy stream of water to flow over the tattoo. Instead, gently cup water over it. Gently. Doing this will keep it clean without allowing water to remain on the tattoo for an extended period of time.

How Much Ointment Should You Use On a New Tattoo?

A thin layer of a moisturizing balm is all you need to cover your new tattoo effectively. Applying too much may cause bacteria to become trapped underneath, causing a lack of fresh air to the tattoo. Apply moisturizer to your clean, dry tattoo two to three times per day for optimal healing.

Can You Scratch a New Tattoo?

No. It may be tempting to scratch that itchy ink, but trust us when we say, don’t do it. Scratching, peeling, or picking your tattoo leaves light patches in the tattoo from ink loss, scarring, and possible infection. If you just can’t resist the urge, gently pat the tattoo with the palm of your (clean!) hand or apply a little more moisturizer.

Can You Step Outdoors Sans Sunscreen With a New Tattoo?

No one is stopping you, but we don’t recommend stepping outside without sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Your new tattoo is already raw, so allowing its exposure to the sun is like chicharrones in a frying pan. Ouch! The sun may cause blistering or alter the color of your tattoo, not to mention pain. Opt for a mineral sunscreen when possible, and wear light, loose, cotton clothing over the tattoo. When your tattoo heals, always cover it with sunscreen to prevent color and line fading.

Can You Exercise With a New Tattoo?

Intense workouts cause your muscles and joints to move around excessively. Large tattoos, especially those around joints (knees and elbows), take longer to heal. Repeated workouts cause repetitive movements that irritate new tattoos, causing the skin to become red and cracked, and possibly prolonging the healing process. Take a couple of rest days, gym bro.

Can You Wear Sandals With a New Tattoo?

It is crucial to shield all new tattoos from dirt, especially foot tattoos. Avoid wearing sandals that expose your feet to dirt, or wearing tight shoes that rub against the tattoo. Opt for loose, close-toed shoes instead — slip-on shoes or tennis shoes are good options. Make sure you clean your tattoo several times per day, and once it heals, you are free to wear whichever shoes you fancy (even if they’re a fashion hazard).

Can You Shave Over a New Tattoo?

It only takes one swipe of a razor to answer this question for yourself. Shaving over your new tattoo is never a good idea for many reasons.
  • Razors harbor bacteria, so prevent infection by not shaving over your tattoo.
  • Shaving over scabs is never a good idea; again, infection.
Keep your tattoo covered, and don’t stress over a bit of leg hair for a week or two. Your tattoo is worth the wait, chica. Let it grow.

Can You Touch Your New Tattoo?

Touchy-feely is great and all, but not on a new tattoo. Beware of admirers that are tempted to touch your ink. Don’t allow anything, including hands, to come in contact with your new tattoo. Hands have germs and bacteria that can cause infections. Wash your hands before you clean your tattoo to ensure you aren’t spreading germs.

Do You Have To Follow Tattoo Aftercare?

If you want your tattoo to remain vivid in color, with crisp detail, and healthy skin, then yes, you must follow tattoo aftercare instructions. Quite possibly, the worst tattoo aftercare is none at all. You must clean, dry, moisturize, and protect your new tattoo several times every day for a few weeks until it heals. Use high-quality tattoo numbing and aftercare products designed specifically for your new tattoo to soothe and clean the area.

How Do You Know If You Have an Infection?

Bad tattoo aftercare often leads to infection, so listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut. See a doctor immediately if you develop any of the following uncomfortable symptoms:
  • Excessive redness, bumps, or rash
  • Excessive pain or irritation
  • Blisters or boils
  • Oozing pus (remember, a tiny bit of plasma oozing is OK, but pus — no bueno)
  • Chills or fever
If your tattoo shows any of these signs, see your doctor immediately because it may be the sign of an infection. Doctors generally treat these conditions with antibiotics, so it is important to see a doctor immediately.

Things To Do Before Getting a Tattoo

Before heading to get your ink, consider these tips to ensure a healthy tattoo before the ink even touches your skin.
  • Por favor, consult your doctor before getting a tattoo if you suffer from any disease.
  • Do your research to find a reputable artist who practices in a state-licensed, clean and sterile environment.
  • Avoid alcohol the day before your tattoo session, and drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.
  • Eat a healthy meal that does not upset your stomach before your session, so your stomach is full and comfortable.
  • Have your tattoo aftercare products ready so your cleaning protocol runs smoothly.

To Sum It Up

Tattoo aftercare is crucial if you want your tattoo to remain healthy and keep its vibrant color and crisp design. Neglecting your tattoo affects the overall quality of the work, leaving you with lots of regrets. So, keep it clean, dry, and moisturized while considering the above precautions, and your new tattoo will be healed in no time.

HUSH Numbing & Aftercare

HUSH anesthetic tattoo numbing and aftercare products provide you with quality, affordable tattoo skincare products. Whether you are the tattoo artist or the client receiving the ink (or both), our products serve a purpose in your tattoo experience that helps you focus on the art instead of the ouch. Sources: Tattoos: 7 unexpected skin reactions and what to do about them | American Academy of Dermatology Sunscreen FAQs | American Academy of Dermatology Tattoo Artist Licensure | Florida Department of Health