How Often Should I Apply Lotion To My Tattoo?

How Often Should I Apply Lotion To My Tattoo

Applying lotion or other tattoo aftercare products to your tattoo at least 3 times a day should work to keep it well hydrated and in good condition to heal quickly and efficiently.

How often should you lotion new tattoo?

Should I apply lotion to my tattoo? What kind of tattoo care products do you recommend? – Yes! Moisturizing your tattoo regularly is extremely important. You should moisturize your clean tattoo 3 – 6 times per day, for roughly two weeks (though proper skincare is always important, and most tattoo enthusiasts moisturize their tattoos daily for life!). A white cream lotion or moisturizer, preferably unscented, should be used! We recommend these fragrance-free, white cream lotions:  Aveeno , Curel , and Eucerin . Be warned: your favorite fragranced lotion is not a good option for moisturizing your tattoo – this can cause an excruciating burning sensation when applied to the tattoo, which is essentially an open wound. The fewer chemicals in the product, the better! Pure cocoa butter or shea butter is also popular for darker skin tones and is a fine option. There are some manufacturers who design products specifically for tattoo aftercare that work well for long-term care (such as Tattoo Goo , H2Ocean , and Hustle Butter ). Do NOT use aloe vera gel to moisturize, and we don’t recommend A&D ointment either, as the oil in these products can extract some of the ink from your tattoo.

Can you put too much lotion on a tattoo?

What Are The Risks of Over Moisturizing a Tattoo? – By applying thicker layers of lotion or ointment, several times a day (or every hour or two as some people do), you’re risking over-moisturizing a tattoo. By over-moisturizing a tattoo, you can cause the following problems;

  • Due to excess moisture, the tattoo won’t be able to dry and heal
  • Excess moisture can create a perfect environment for bacteria and germ growth
  • Over moisturizing can lead to tattoo inflammation and infection
  • Excess moisture can cause clogged pores since the moisturizer prevents the skin from breathing
  • Excess moisture can cause the tattooed skin to break out

To avoid these issues, make sure to follow the moisturizing rules we mentioned before. However, make sure to not under moisturizing your tattoo as well. Some people are afraid they might over-moisturize their tattoo, so they leave it dehydrated, which results in heavy scabbing and tattoo dryness. So, make sure to stay in the middle and simply apply a thin layer of lotion/ointment twice a day.

Should I put lotion on my tattoos everyday?

Looking to Visit a Dermatologist? – Learning to care for your tattoo will help it look better longer, and the added bonus is that what’s good for your skin art is good for the rest of your skin, too. Contact U. Dermatology Partners to learn more about how to take great care of your skin.

Do I have to wash my tattoo every time I put lotion on it?

Generally, a tattoo artist will tell you to wash your tattoo two to three times a day. You should moisturize after each washing. Though it may seem odd, timing when you wash and moisturize your tattoo can be very important. You should generally wash your tattoo in the morning.

How do you tell if your tattoo is too dry?

Why Does Tattoo Cracking Happen? – When your tattoo begins to  scab over  in the healing process, the area around the tattoo generally becomes scaly , extremely dry, and also very itchy. Some tattoos will scab very lightly where the scabs are hardly visible, and some will scab heavily, with thick prominent crusts. How Often Should I Apply Lotion To My Tattoo A tattoo beginning to crack When the scabs lose moisture within them, they will become so dry that they begin to split, break apart, and often bleed. This is what is known as tattoo cracking. Below are the main reasons why your new ink may begin to crack:.

When should I stop moisturizing my tattoo?

The tattooed area might still look dry and dull. Keep moisturizing until the skin looks hydrated again. By the second or third week, the outer layers of skin should’ve healed. It may take 3 to 4 months for the lower layers to completely heal.

Should I let my tattoo dry out and peel?

The takeaway: – Peeling is normal (to an extent) but that doesn’t mean you should peel it yourself. Let your skin do its thing for the two-ish weeks and keep the tattoo clean and dry while it heals for the best results. If you experience any scabbing that seems abnormal (like thickening over the entire tattoo or green or yellow areas that fill up with puss), see your doctor to address the infection.

  1. A poorly healed tattoo sucks but an infection left untreated would be way worse than that, trust;
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Why is my tattoo coming off?

– Peeling is a normal and expected part of tattoo healing. Tattoo needles penetrate the epidermis , or the outer layer of skin, and the dermis, which lies beneath. This process creates thousands of small wounds that damage skin cells. Tattoos usually take about 2 weeks to heal, but it can take longer for the skin to fully recover.

  1. Peeling usually occurs a few days after getting the tattoo, as the skin begins to heal and regenerate itself;
  2. The regeneration process involves the skin removing dead and damaged cells;
  3. As the skin exfoliates itself, a layer of dead skin cells and ink pigment peels off, allowing new cells to grow;

Although some peeling is normal, excessive peeling could indicate a problem, especially if there are symptoms of infection and inflammation.

What happens if you dont moisturize tattoo?

How Often Should I Apply Lotion To My Tattoo It’s a tricky line to tread, looking after your new tattoo and making sure it doesn’t get infected, while also leaving it alone to do its healing without being fiddled with! Too much balm can be problematic, as skin needs to breathe while healing, but what happens if you don’t put any on at all?

  • Itchiness Without moisturiser, there’s a risk that healing skin will get very dry, tight and itchy, and itchy skin that you can’t scratch – that in fact you shouldn’t touch at all – is not much fun! If you do itch then you risk damaging the new tattoo.
  • Tightness and Scabbing Dry skin can also cause very tight scabs to form; these can flake and fall off easily, pulling the ink away with them, which you also really want to avoid.
  • Infection Lastly, uncovered skin can be more open to infection, which can also damage the design; a fine layer of breathable balm works like a sticking plaster to protect against irritants and microbes.

Your skin needs to be looked after whether it’s been tattooed or not; it goes through the same natural cycle of repair and regeneration every 3-4 weeks, rebuilding its outer layer so that it can provide a robust barrier to the outside world.

Will lotion fade a new tattoo?

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY. com may receive an affiliate commission. So you’re a guy with tattoos. It might come as a shock, but you’re not alone. As of 2019, it’s said that three out of 10 Americans have at least one tattoo.

That’s around 30% of the U. population. The trend is only growing as tattoos become more acceptable amongst professionals. As tattoos become increasingly popular, keeping your tats in with the best tattoo lotion is essential.

For tattooed folk, it’s no surprise that tattoos begin to fade after a while — especially for those with colored tattoos. It’s just something that comes with the gig. But you use a moisturizer on your face — why not extend the same kindness to your ink with a lotion for tattoos? You don’t want your favorite tat looking like a blob of mud down the road.

Thankfully, there isn’t just one best tattoo lotion. Depending on your skin type, kind of tattoo and ingredient preferences, there are loads of tattoo lotions to choose from. No matter what you prefer or need in terms of your tattoo lotion, it exists and will keep your tattoo looking as fresh as the day you were inked.

You might be interested:  When Should You Wash Your Tattoo?

Remember that all of the best tattoo lotions are (for the most part) completely fragrance-free. You do not want to be lathering any scented lotions on your tats because that might mess with the ink — and nobody wants that. As likely the most tattooed member of the SPY team, I’m happy to make it my duty to help steer you in the right direction.

  1. I’ve been getting tattooed since I turned 16 and even have a couple of stick and poke tattoos , so I’ve tried several tattoo soaps and lotions over the years;
  2. While researching tattoo aftercare products for SPY;

com, I’ve also spoken with dermatologists, tattoo artists, and even tattoo soapmakers to make sure I’m only recommending the best possible products. Personally, I’m sure my tattoos would be nothing without the best lotion for tattoos. Without further ado, check out the best tattoo lotion to keep that ink looking crystal clear.

How do I keep my tattoo looking new?

Does lotion keep tattoos from fading?

Download Article Download Article Tattoos are a cool form of artistic expression, a fashion statement, and a unique image you get to wear on your skin all the time. You may wonder how you can keep your tattoos looking vibrant and beautiful for years to come, especially in the summer months when you can show them off in all their glory. To stop your tattoos from fading, you should apply moisturizer and sunscreen as well as clean and maintain them properly.

  1. 1 Use a dye- and fragrance-free moisturizer. Fragrances may make moisturizers smell good, but they will can cause skin irritation and slow down healing. Check that the moisturizer has no chemicals or preservatives, as these can break down the color in your tattoos. Keeping your tattoos moist can prevent them from fading.
    • Look for a dye-free, fragrance-free moisturizer at your local drugstore or online.
  2. 2 Get a cream sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher. The sun is one of the biggest causes of fading for tattoos. Protect your tattoos from the sun by using a cream-based sunscreen rather than a spray, powder, or oil, as they may not spread properly on your skin.
    • Make sure it has broad spectrum protection against UV/UVA and UVB rays. It should also contain zinc or titanium dioxide for maximum protection against the sun.
    • If you are fair-skinned, use a higher SPF, such as SPF 30 or 60, on your tattoos.
    • Use a waterproof sunscreen if you plan to go swimming.

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  3. 3 Apply a thin layer of moisturizer and sunscreen once a day. Do not glob on a thick layer of lotion or sunscreen on your tattoos, as this can drain out the color. Instead, apply a thin layer of moisturizer, followed by a thin layer of sunscreen. Do this once a day, or multiple times a day if you plan to be in the sun for a prolonged period of time. [1]
    • Get into the habit of moisturizing your tattoos in the morning or evening so they stay fresh and bright.
    • Do not go into the sun without first applying sunscreen to your tattoos, especially if they are new.

    EXPERT TIP Burak Moreno is a Professional Tattoo Artist with over 10 years of experience. Burak is based in New York City and is a tattoo artist for Fleur Noire Tattoo Parlour in Brooklyn. Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, he has worked as a tattoo artist throughout Europe. He works on many different styles but mostly does bold lines and strong color. Burak Moreno Tattoo Artist The color and placement of your tattoo might affect how quickly it fades. White and yellow tattoos tend to fade the fastest, but it also depends on where the tattoo is. If the tattoo is on your hand or finger, for instance, it might fade as fast as 6 weeks.

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  1. 1 Wash your tattoos with antibacterial soap once daily. Use soap that does not contain any harsh chemicals, dyes, or fragrances.
    • If your tattoo is new and still healing, make sure you wash it well twice a day with the soap for the first few weeks.
  2. 2 Use a tattoo brightening cream once a day. Look for a brightening cream that contains natural products like vitamin E, lavender oil, and other essential oils. Make sure the cream does not contain bleach or any other harsh chemicals that can damage your skin and your tattoo.
    • Some tattoo brightening creams will take time to work effectively, usually a few weeks to one month. If you do not see results after one month, you may want to try a different brand.
  3. 3 Keep makeup, oil, and chemicals away from your tattoos. Avoid applying these products directly on your tattoos, as they can irritate your skin and fade the coloring of your art. Make sure you wash your tattoos if they appear oily or have come in contact with makeup or chemicals so they stay clean and fresh. [2]
    • If you do end up applying makeup to your tattoos to cover them up temporarily, use antibacterial soap to remove the makeup and moisturize your tattoos with lotion right away.
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  1. 1 Stay out of direct sun as much as possible. Exposing your tattoos to direct sunlight can drain out the color and fade them. Try to spend the least amount of time possible in direct sunlight, especially if your tattoo is new and still healing.
    • Wear long sleeves or pants if you go outside in the sunlight to keep your tattoos covered.
    • Always put sunscreen on your tattoos to protect them if you go outdoors in the sunlight.
  2. 2 Avoid pools, hot tubs, and long baths. Pools and hot tubs contain chemicals that can fade your tattoos. Soaking in a bath can also cause your tattoos to fade over time. Take light showers and do not scrub hard at your tattoos, as this can potentially damage them.
    • Avoiding pools, hot tubs, and long baths is especially important when you first get your tattoo, as they can impede skin healing.
  3. 3 Maintain a stable weight to prevent stretching or fading. If you have tattoos on your stomach, arms, legs, or chest, they may stretch or fade if you gain or lose significant weight in these areas. Stay fit and at the same weight by working out regularly and eating healthy so your tattoos are not at risk of becoming warped. [3]
    • If you have tattoos on your hands, wrists, feet, ankles, and the back of your neck, they may not be affected by weight gain or weight loss.
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How long after a tattoo can I shower?

Download Article Download Article You have a new tattoo, and you love it! Now you need to take proper care of it to keep your skin healthy and your tattoo looking nice. Because of the way the ink is applied, a fresh tattoo is an open wound, and you must take care to allow it to heal properly. Start by taking off the bandage the tattoo artist put on, and then clean your tattoo. You’ll need to follow the artist’s instructions for cleaning your tattoo 3 times a day for at least 2 weeks.

  1. 1 Listen to the tattoo artist about when to take off your bandage. Tattoos heal at different speeds, depending on things like your skin sensitivity and how big or deep the tattoo is. Your tattoo artist will tell you how long you should keep your bandage over your tattoo. [2]
    • If they don’t tell you, ask them.
    • When the artist finishes your tattoo, they will wash it off and treat it with an antiseptic. They will then apply a bandage to your tattoo, which will help keep bacteria away from it.
  2. 2 Wait 2-3 hours to take off the bandage if you’re not given a time period. If you forget to ask or can’t get a hold of the tattoo artist, a good waiting period is 2-3 hours. If your tattoo is really large, you can wait up to 6 hours. That gives your tattoo time to get over the initial shock before you shower.
    • Be sure to remove the bandage within the first day, as bacteria can breed in the moist environment underneath it. [3]
  3. 3 Remove the bandage applied by the tattoo artist before showering. Before touching the bandage, scrub your hands thoroughly. Wash them in warm water with soap for at least 20 seconds. Then, you can peel back the bandage that’s covering your tattoo. [4]
    • Don’t try to shower with the bandage in place. The water will soak into the bandage, and the bandage will hold it against your tattoo, which can introduce bacteria to it.
  4. 4 Take the bandage off in the shower if it’s sticking to your tattoo. Sometimes, the bandage will stick to the tattoo, which can be painful when you try to take it off. Run the bandage under indirect, warm water in the shower, which will help loosen the adhesive. Then move on to cleaning up your tattoo.
  1. 1 Wait up to 24 hours to shower. Talk to your tattoo artist about how long it’s best to wait. Generally, though, you can shower within the first 24 hours after getting your new ink.
    • Waiting 2 days gives your skin more time to form a barrier over the tattoo. [5]
  2. 2 Use lukewarm water. Hot water can make your tattoo sting, so it’s best to avoid it. Hot water too soon after getting a tattoo can also make you lose color from your tattoo, as it opens your pores, so it’s best to avoid it. [6]
    • Try running cold water on the tattoo for 30 seconds at the end of your shower to tighten your pores.
  3. 3 Turn the spray to gentle or keep your tattoo out of the spray. Don’t use a hard spray on your tattoo, as it can irritate it. If you only have a showerhead with a heavy spray, let the water run over the tattoo indirectly.
    • You can also use a clean cup or your hand to pour a gentle stream of water over your tattoo.

    EXPERT TIP Burak Moreno is a Professional Tattoo Artist with over 10 years of experience. Burak is based in New York City and is a tattoo artist for Fleur Noire Tattoo Parlour in Brooklyn. Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, he has worked as a tattoo artist throughout Europe. He works on many different styles but mostly does bold lines and strong color. Burak Moreno Tattoo Artist Keep your shower short, as well. When you first have a new tattoo, don’t take very long or very hot showers, and don’t take baths while it’s healing.

  4. 4 Use your hands to apply a mild, unscented soap to your tattoo. Any mild soap will do, including bar soap or liquid hand soap. You can use antibacterial soap if you prefer. Lather the soap in your hands, then apply it to the tattoo. [7]
    • Just rub it in gently with your fingers. Avoid using loofahs and sponges until the tattoo heals, as they can carry bacteria.
    • Your tattoo will likely have dried blood and other debris on it, which you need to remove. However, you should not scrub it, as that can irritate it.
  5. 5 Rinse the tattoo off gently with water. Once you rub the soap into your tattoo, pour water over it to rinse the soap off. If you need to, use your fingers to gently rub the soap off under the water. [8]
    • Hop out of the shower quickly. When in the shower, your tattoo comes in contact with steam, water, and soap. That can be painful and irritating for your tattoo, so avoid staying in the shower too long. Also, try to keep your tattoo out from under running water when washing the rest of your body for at least a week. [9]
  6. 6 Pat the tattoo dry with a clean, soft towel. Don’t rub the tattoo with the towel, as that could irritate it. Simply dab at the tattoo gently, until it’s dry. You may notice a little bit of blood, which is fine. [10]
    • You can use paper towels if you don’t have a newly cleaned towel on hand or if your usual bath towel leaves fibers on your skin. Dirty towels can introduce bacteria.
  1. 1 Wash your tattoo 3 times a day for the first week to keep it clean. While your tattoo is healing, you need to practice good hygiene to keep it from getting infected. Wash with a mild, unscented soap, and use your fingers to rub it in. Rinse it off gently with water. [11]
    • Pat it dry with a clean towel.
  2. 2 Use a moisturizing ointment on your tattoo once it’s dry. Pick one that’s scent-free and preferably hypoallergenic so it won’t irritate your tattoo. Gently rub it in with clean hands. [12]
    • Start with an ointment. You can try a lotion after a week or so.
  3. 3 Let your tattoo breathe by leaving the bandage off. Don’t re-bandage your tattoo once you’ve applied the moisturizer. You only need to keep a bandage on for the first day. After that, it’s better to let your tattoo get fresh air. [13]
  4. 4 Avoid getting in the tub while your tattoo is healing. Sitting a tub full of water can introduce bacteria to your tattoo. Stick to showers instead, which are less likely to introduce bacteria. [14]
  5. 5 Skip the swimming pool and lakes. Large bodies of water are teeming with bacteria, and you don’t want those bacteria getting in your tattoo. Wait until your tattoo is completely healed before you go swimming. [15]
    • Healing can take 45 days to 6 months, depending on the size and depth of your tattoo. [16]
    • You should also avoid going to the gym so that sweat and bacteria don’t build up on your skin.

Add New Question

  • Question I just got a finger tattoo, how can I shower with that? Kiara Hamed is a Tattoo Artist based in Dallas, Texas. She has over nine years of tattoo designing experience. She received her Tattoo Artist Certification in 2010 and a BS in Computer Information Systems from Clark University Atlanta in 2013. Tattoo Artist Expert Answer You can shower regularly; just be careful. Finger tattoos are hard because they get wet so often
  • Question Will my tattoo peel if I wash it on the second day after getting it done? Kiara Hamed is a Tattoo Artist based in Dallas, Texas. She has over nine years of tattoo designing experience. She received her Tattoo Artist Certification in 2010 and a BS in Computer Information Systems from Clark University Atlanta in 2013. Tattoo Artist Expert Answer The tattoo shouldn’t peel on the second day. If you see peeling, it could be your ink coming out.

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  • If a bath is the only way you are able to wash yourself, take as brief a bath as possible and wash your tattoo afterward.
  • Don’t soak the tattoo in the ointment. Put it on lightly so your tattoo is still able to breathe.
  • Avoid letting your tattoo soak in water until it heals.

When can I shower normally after a tattoo?

– This depends on the type of covering the artist uses on your tattoo and how long they recommend keeping it on. If the tat is wrapped in plastic or a piece of regular bandage, you’ll need to wait until it’s off to shower. This can be anywhere from 1 to 24 hours, depending on the location and size of your ink.

How long do tattoos take to heal?

How long does it take for a tattoo to heal? After getting a tattoo, the outer layer of skin (the part you can see) will typically heal within 2 to 3 weeks. While it may look and feel healed, and you may be tempted to slow down on the aftercare, it can take as long as 6 months for the skin below a tattoo to truly heal.

Should I put lotion on a peeling tattoo?

Should I put cream on my tattoo when it’s peeling? – This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. During the first two-ish days, you’re gonna want to avoid lotions , but once you start to feel some tightening, drying, and peeling a couple of days after application, that’s when you’ll want to start using light layers of lotion after washing it.

But—and this is important—don’t reach for just any old lotion. Roman says you want to stick with a tattoo lotion , like the Skin Dip Beauty Thirst Trap CBD Tattoo Balm , which uses CBD to also help with the inflammation, or a fragrance-free formula to avoid irritation.

If you follow all of this advice to a T, keep it clean and moisturized with light layers of moisturizer, then you might even avoid itching, peeling, or scabbing entirely.

Should I let my tattoo dry out?

Are There Any Disadvantages to Dry Healing a Tattoo? – For every argument in favor of dry healing, you’ll find a counter-argument. Critics of dry healing will point out, for instance, that it does nothing to relieve the itchiness that comes when your skin is healing after a tattoo.

That would be bad enough if it simply means you’ll spend a few weeks being more uncomfortable, but it’s worse than that. If you have a hard time putting up with the  itchiness  and you give in to the urge to scratch your tattoo, you can damage your skin before it has fully recovered.

If that’s the case, using an ointment that relieves the itchiness is likely a better alternative. The best tattoo lotion I’ve ever personally used is a vegan aftercare product called  After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion. This stuff works amazingly well during the healing process; not only by keeping your tattoo really well hydrated but also by soothing any annoying itching and irritation.

When using it from the very start of the healing process, this lotion will help to decrease tattoo healing times and work towards eliminating any lingering dryness and scabbing. Some people allege that those in favor of dry healing may have simply used the wrong types of ointments.

It’s true that some lotions have harsh chemicals or don’t contain enough of the ingredients that are friendly to your skin. However, if you do a bit of research you should be able to find creams that will deliver the  vitamins  your skin needs without any unnecessary additives. How Often Should I Apply Lotion To My Tattoo A tattoo that is so dry that the scabs have cracked and are now bleeding While proponents of dry healing profess that it speeds up the healing process, it could also tighten the skin, which makes it more likely that scabs will break. This, of course, will extend the amount of time it takes for your tattoo to heal, and could cause minor blemishes.

What is the best aftercare for a tattoo?

Aftercare for Your Tattoo – So, how can you make sure that new tattoo is something you don’t end up regretting? Follow these steps while your new tattoo heals.

  1. Be sure your artist covers your new tattoo in a thin layer of petroleum jelly and a bandage.
  2. Remove the bandage after 24 hours. Gently wash the tattoo with antimicrobial soap and water  and be sure to pat dry.
  3. Apply a layer of antibacterial/Vaseline ointment twice a day, but don’t put on another bandage.
  4. Gently wash your tattoo area twice a day with soap and water and gently pat dry before reapplying the antibacterial/Vaseline ointment.
  5. Keep applying a moisturizer or ointment after you clean it to keep it moist.

You should repeat this process for 2 to 4 weeks. Also try not to wear clothes that will stick to your tattoo, and avoid swimming and the sun for about 2 weeks. And take cool showers. Scalding hot water will not only hurt, but it can also fade the ink. Wear a physical blocker sunscreen  with at least 7% zinc oxide sunscreen during the daylight hours and/or cover it up (with clothing, a bandage).

How many times a day should you wash a new tattoo?

Download Article Download Article Taking good care of your new tattoo right after you get it will help it heal quickly and stay vibrant. Keep the bandage that your tattoo artist applied on for at least a few hours before gently removing it, washing your tattoo with lukewarm water and antibacterial soap, then patting the skin dry. By keeping your skin evenly moisturized and clean, staying out of the sun, and avoiding picking or itching your new design, your tattoo will heal beautifully.

  1. 1 Leave the covering on for 2-3 hours. Once the tattoo is complete, your tattoo artist will clean the area, apply an antibacterial ointment and cover the tattoo with a bandage or plastic. Once you have left the tattoo parlor, resist the temptation to open the bandage. The bandage is there to protect your tattoo from dirt and bacteria and should be left on for up to 3 hours before you remove it. [1]
    • Since different tattoo artists have different methods of wrapping new tattoos, ask your tattoo artist when they recommend removing the bandage. Some artists may not wrap the tattoo at all, depending on the products and technique they use.
    • If you leave the bandage on longer than the artist suggests, you are more prone to infection and the ink may bleed.
  2. 2 Wash your hands before carefully removing the bandage. Washing your hands beforehand will help prevent your tattoo from getting infected when you go to touch it. To remove the bandage more easily, you can apply warm water to it to prevent the bandage from sticking to your skin. Pull the bandage off slowly and carefully so you don’t damage your new tattoo. [2]
    • Throw away the used bandage.

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  3. 3 Wash the tattoo with lukewarm water and antibacterial soap. Instead of soaking your tattoo in water, cup your hands together and scoop lukewarm water over it. Use a mild, unscented liquid antibacterial or antimicrobial soap to rub the tattoo gently with your fingers, removing all traces of blood, plasma, or leaked ink. [3]
    • Do not use a washcloth, loofah or any sponge to clean the tattoo, as these may harbor bacteria. Do not resume use of the items until the tattoo has healed completely.
    • Avoid holding the tattoo directly under the water—the stream of water from the faucet may be too harsh on your new tattoo.
  4. 4 Let the tattoo air dry or pat it dry with a clean paper towel. While it’s best to let your skin air dry after the tattoo has been cleaned, you can also use a clean, dry paper towel to gently blot the tattoo until it’s dry. Avoid rubbing the tattoo with the paper towel to avoid irritating your skin. [4]
    • Regular towels can irritate your tattoo or cause little bits of fluff to get stuck in them, so it’s best to only use a paper towel for drying.
  5. 5 Apply a non-scented antibacterial cream. Once your tattoo is fully dry, apply a little moisturizing ointment, preferably an all-natural aftercare, to the tattoo. Make sure to apply only a very thin layer and pat it in gently until it’s absorbed by the skin. If you’re not sure what kind of ointment to use, ask your tattoo artist what they recommend for your skin. [5]
    • Aquaphor is a good, recommended option for a moisturizer.
    • Don’t use petroleum-based products, such as Vaseline or Neosporin, as these are too heavy and may clog the pores.
    • Once your tattoo is clean and moisturized, avoid rewrapping it.
  6. 6 Listen to your tattoo artist’s advice. Your tattoo artist will explain how you should care for your tattoo immediately after getting it, so try to follow their instructions. The way they bandage your tattoo may be different from other tattoo artists, so take the advice they give you seriously to ensure your tattoo heals correctly. [6]
    • Write down the instructions they give you on a piece of paper or type them up on your phone so you don’t forget.
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  1. 1 Wash and moisturize your tattoo daily until the scabs are gone. You should continue to wash your tattoo 2-3 times a day with antibacterial soap and lukewarm water until it’s fully healed. This can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the size and location of the tattoo. [7]
    • While moisturizing is important, be careful not to smother the tattoo in lotion or ointment—a thin layer is all you need.
    • Continue using an unscented mild soap when washing.
  2. 2 Avoid scratching or picking at your tattoo. As it heals, your tattoo will start to scab over, which is normal. Let the scabs dry out and fall off by themselves, and don’t speed up the process by picking or scratching at the scabs. This can cause the scabs to fall off too soon, which can leave holes or light spots on the tattoo. [8]
    • Dry, scabbing or peeling skin can become very itchy, but scratching at your tattoo may also cause scabs to fall off.
    • Keep using moisturizing ointment to combat itchiness if it is a problem.
  3. 3 Keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight. The harsh rays of the sun may cause your skin to blister and bleach some of the colors from your tattoo. For this reason, it is best to keep your tattoo covered and away from the sun for at least 3 to 4 weeks until the initial healing is complete. [9]
    • Once your tattoo is healed, you’ll want to wear sunscreen to prevent the tattoo from fading.
  4. 4 Avoid soaking the tattoo in water. Until your tattoo is fully healed, don’t swim in a pool or the ocean. Avoid soaking in the bathtub as well. Exposing your tattoo to lots of water can pull the ink out of your skin and do damage to the tattoo’s appearance. The water may also be carrying dirt, bacteria, or other chemicals that can infect your tattoo. [10]
    • It will be safe to resume these activities once your tattoo is healed, but for now you should stick to rinsing your tattoo in the sink or shower.
  5. 5 Wear clean, loose-fitting clothing to avoid irritating your tattoo. Try not to wear tight or restrictive clothing on the area with your new tattoo, especially at first. As your tattoo heals, it will seep plasma and excess ink, which may cause the clothing to stick to the tattoo. The clothing will then be painful to remove and may rip off any freshly formed scabs. [11]
    • If your clothing does stick to your tattoo, do not pull! First wet the area with water, which should loosen the clothing to where it can be removed without damaging your tattoo.
    • Tight clothing will prevent enough oxygen from getting to your tattoo, and oxygen is essential for the healing process.
  6. 6 Wait for your tattoo to heal before doing strenuous workouts. If the tattoo covers a large surface area or is near your joints (such as elbows and knees), it may take longer to heal if the skin is forced to move around too much during physical activity. The movement will cause the skin to crack and become irritated, prolonging the healing process. [12]
    • If you work in a job that involves physical activity, such as construction or dance, you may want to consider having your new tattoo done right before you have a day or 2 off so it has time to heal before you return to work.
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