All Women's Talk

7 Tips on Caring for a New Tattoo ...

By Lisa

Are you the proud owner of some new ink and in need of some tips for caring for a new tattoo? Caring for your new artwork is important since you want to avoid any infections, scarring or blotchiness. So with that said, let’s go over some essential tips on caring for your gorgeous new tattoo and keep it looking healthy.

1 Leave Your Bandage on Overnight

The first tip for caring for a new tattoo is to leave your bandage on overnight. Some will say you only have to leave it wrapped for a few hours but fresh ink has a tendency to slightly bleed off the area and onto sheets the first night so it’s a good idea to keep it covered.

2 Keep It Clean

The next tattoo aftercare tip is to keep your tattoo clean. Most reputable tattoo shops will clean and cover the tattoo prior to you leaving the shop then it’s up to you to keep it clean. Wash your tattoo with cool or lukewarm water and a mild antibacterial soap and pat or air dry. Avoid letting the water directly hit your tattoo to prevent discomfort and irritation. The best way to look at it is to treat it like a burn- be delicate, keep it moist and clean and protect it!

3 Protect

After washing the area, the next new tattoo tip is to protect it. You’ll want to apply some ointment and allow it to breathe by keeping it uncovered. Depending on where your tattoo is, you may or may not be able to keep it uncovered. If your tattoo is going to be covered by your clothes, you’ll probably want to apply a bandage or cellophane to avoid friction and keep it protected.

4 Bandage Change

If your tattoo happens to still require wearing a bandage, changing it is the next tip for caring for a new tattoo. You’ll want to change your bandage 2-3 times per day and continue to wash it and apply the ointment. With most tattoos, after 3-4 days it should be healed enough where you won’t need to keep it covered and only a thin layer of ointment is necessary to keep it moist. Remember to only keep it covered when you need to protect it, you want to allow it to breathe!

5 Shun Sun

I know we’re in the fall so the next tip for caring for a new tattoo shouldn’t be much of an issue, but it still warrants a mention. Avoid exposing your new tat to the sun or in chlorinated or salt water for at least a month after you get your tattoo to avoid bleaching it out. Once it's totally healed, apply sunblock to protect it from the sun's rays.

6 Don’t Be Picky

Tattoo aftercare rules dictate that if you happen to get some minor scabbing, don’t get picky! They should fall off on their own after 7-10 days and picking at your skin can cause infection, scarring and can lead to blotchiness or possibly damaging the tattoo. So remember to leave the scabbing skin be and let the tattoo heal naturally.

7 Don’t Use Lotion

One of the top tips for caring for a new tattoo is to avoid using lotion. These topical treatments might seem like the most logical choice but ointments like Neosporin can dry out ink, and lotion should only be used after the tattoo has healed over to keep skin moist. Once the tattoo has initially healed, use lotion for at least a month to keep skin moist.

I hope you find these tips for caring for a new tattoo helpful for you! There are many factors that will determine the care necessary for your new tattoo and the very best thing to do is to listen to your tattoo artist’s instructions. These preceding tips apply to most tattoos but the artist’s technique, the size and location of the tattoo can definitely affect some of the aftercare instructions. I hope you’re enjoying your new tattoo! Do you have any aftercare tips?

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