Published on 29 January 2023 at 14:26

Congratulations! You’ve just got a new piece of artwork that’ll stay on your body forever! Now you probably want to admire your new tattoo and take pictures for the world to see. But wait a second! The last thing you want to do is mess up the healing process or the tattoo itself. Or worst case scenario, ending up with an infection.


A tattoo is more than just a piece of art and a way to assert your personal style. It’s a medical procedure too, since the artist uses a needle to insert the ink underneath your skin.

New tattoos are considered open wounds, so taking care of them is not only necessary for maintaining its beauty, but also your health. A lot of people experience infection, swelling, inflammation or other symptoms due to negligence or lack of proper information. 


Aftercare starts as soon as your tattoo is done. Taking good “aftercare” of your new tattoo is quite a simple and straightforward process. Below we will share do’s, don'ts and tips regarding the best aftercare for your new tattoo!

Don’t remove the bandage too soon. (We know this is tempting).

Usually, your tattoo artist will apply a thin layer of ointment on your tattoo, then cover it with a bandage or plastic wrap. This is to keep the tattoo protected from irritation, bacteria and infection. Don’t remove this plastic firm too soon or reapply it once it’s off. Your tattoo artist should tell you how long you should cover your tattoo up for – generally, they’ll tell you two to four hours.

Wash gently

Treat your tattoo like a healing wound (because it is.) For the first 48 hours you should try to keep your tattoo dry. However after you have removed the bandage or plastic wrap, you’ll probably want to wash your skin, do so with warm/mild water and/or antibacterial and fragrance free soap. Make sure you are washing it clean at least 2 times a day. Be gentle, don’t scrub and pat dry. When you wash your tattoo, always use products with ingredients meant for tattoos. You should not swim or soak your tattoo in a bath until your tattoo is completely healed. 

Avoid water

With the above information in mind, keep away from swimming, bathing, jacuzzis, hot tubs and the ocean - aka avoid being submerged in the water all together for at least the first two weeks after getting tattooed. And if you’re reading this during summer while your friends are enjoying themselves on the beach, take a moment of silence for yourself and for that next tattoo, maybe aim for spring instead.

Moisturize baby!

For healthy, healing and vibrant ink, keeping your new piece moisturized should be part of your daily routine. Following cleaning your tattoo it is recommended that you use moisturizer to keep your skin protected and help it to heal (make sure to avoid things like petroleum jelly or oil-based products). Apply whenever your skin feels dry, for about at least a week, depending on how quickly your skin goes back to normal. Just a thin layer will be effective.

No picking, rubbing or scratching at your tattoo.

Your tattoo will likely itch and peel during the healing process. We know how tempting it can be, but don’t itch your tattoo! It is completely normal for your skin to feel itchy, however, try and touch your tattoo as little as possible until it is completely healed. (When you do touch your tattoo, at least make sure your hands are clean).

Picking at your tattoo could remove the ink from the area and result in faded patches or the ink being removed altogether. Hence this means let any scabs or flakey skin fall off naturally!

Block those UV rays.

This one is important, and probably one of the most common mistakes new tattoo owners make. New tattoos cannot be exposed to direct sunlight until the tattoo is completely healed. After that period, if you want to avoid getting touch ups often, remember to use sunscreen of SPF 30 or above.

If you do go out in the sun while your tattoo heals, choose loose fitting clothes that are sun-protective.

Ditch the tight clothing… For now

Time to bust out those hammer pants. During the first two weeks of healing, you should avoid wearing anything tight. Think of it like having a scrape or burn – you wouldn’t want clothing to be rubbing against it all day.

No shaving over your tattoo - sorry not sorry.

You’re going to have to live with a little bit of body hair for about a month, or until your tattoo is healed. Running a razor over a healing tattoo is equivalent to shaving over a fresh, open wound. It could yank off healing scabs and put a detour in your healing process.

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