Tattoo Aftercare: Do’s and Don’ts
Welcome to the permanently inked club. The tattoo session is over but your journey with tattoo aftercare has only just begun.
From which soaps to use to what activities to avoid, we came up with some tattoo aftercare tips that’ll help protect your precious piece. If you want to know how to take care of a tattoo, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are the top tattoo Dos and Donts.
- Listen to your artist! They’ll cover your tattoo with a sterile absorbing pad and bandage after your session, then give you instructions on how to uncover and clean your piece at home. Some adhesives may cause irritation, so be sure to disclose any allergies with your artists.
- Wash your tattoo with a mild antibacterial soap. Some soaps, like Hush Foam Soap + CBD, are specifically designed for tattoo aftercare.
- Dry your tattoo with a fresh towel paper towel or (ANTI-MICROBIAL WASHCLOTHS FOR TATTOOS)
- Apply an anti-inflammatory balm to reduce swelling and redness. Pain-relieving gels and creams may provide additional comfort.
- Use topical anesthetic spray on new tattoos to reduce excessive pain.
- Keep your tattoo exposed as much as possible for quicker healing.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing, if possible, to prevent the fabric from pressing against your tattoo.
- Wear your tattoo with pride.
- Don’t remove your bandage too soon! Keep your tattoo covered for as long as your artist recommends. The bandage absorbs excess blood, ink, topical anesthetics, ointments, etc
- Don’t use hot water to clean your new tattoo; wash with warm water instead. Hot water will cause your pores to open, leaving new tattoo susceptible to bacterial infection and ink leakage.
- Don’t put your new tattoo directly under running water—don’t soak it either.
- Never rip the bandage off! Use a bit of cold water to break down the adhesive until it’s no longer painful to remove.
- Don’t re-bandage or cover your new tattoo. Tattoos need to breathe and stay dry to heal.
- Don’t pick the scabs—yuck! Aside from that being a terrible habit, your fingers could transfer bacteria. Your tattoo is an open wound and vulnerable to infection during the healing process. Let the scabs fall off by themselves or gently wash them off in the shower.
- Don’t go tanning. Limit your tattoo’s exposure to sun, if possible. If you must be outside, find a tattoo-specific sunscreen with at least 30 SPF.
- Don’t swim, soak, sweat, or sauna for at least 6-weeks after your tattoo! That may be easier said than done, but wet tattoos don’t heal properly.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE A TATTOO TO HEAL?
So how long does it take a tattoo to fully heal? According to Healthline, the outer layer of your skin (the skin you see) will heal within 2-3 weeks. However, the skin underneath can actually take up to 6 months to fully heal. The healing process occurs in stages and can vary for different people. Applying the above Do’s and Don’ts tattoo aftercare tips can help the process.
Your tattoo is fine art but will require a lifetime of aftercare. Listen to your tattoo artists about best practices to ensure your body art heals properly, and only use trusted tattoo aftercare products.
¡Viva el tattoo!