How To Sleep With A New Tattoo On Arm?

How To Sleep With A New Tattoo On Arm
Can you sleep on a new tattoo? – In an ideal world, you would be able to sleep and not have to worry about the tattoo. Actually, tattoos are effectively open wounds. This means that you need to take some precautions. Going days without sleep isn’t an option.

People have different techniques. If you can, you should try to avoid sleeping directly on the tattoo. For instance, if you have a tattoo on your back, try to sleep on your front and let the tattoo breathe.

A lot of tattoo artists recommend sleeping with the wrap that was put on. Others recommend re-wrapping, or just applying healing ointment and keeping the tattoo clean. The important thing is avoiding infection.

Should I cover my new tattoo when I sleep?

This info should guide you through the care of healing your tattoo, but if you have any other questions while it is healing, do not hesitate to contact your artist directly or call the shop for immediate reply. There are no stupid questions about healing.

– After your tattoo is completed, your artist will bandage your tattoo for your trip home. Leave the bandage on for one to three hours. When you take the bandage off, wash it with very warm water (as hot as is comfortable) and mild liquid hand soap (like Dr.

Bronner’s, Dial or Softsoap, just no perfumed or exfoliating body washes). Pat it dry gently with a paper towel, and let it air dry the rest of the way (never scrub the tattoo with a towel or sponge). Then you will apply a very small amount of Aquaphor Ointment or plain, unscented skin lotion (we recommend Aveeno, Lubriderm, Curel, or any of their generics) to the tattoo, just enough to lightly moisturize.

  • Your first night sleeping, your artist might recommend you re-wrap the tattoo with plastic wrap (like Saran Wrap) to sleep without the tattoo sticking to your sheets. This is generally for larger or solid-color tattoos. If your artist did not recommend re-wrapping, just let the tattoo stay exposed to air overnight.
  • Every day from then on, you will wash the tattoo in the morning and at night, and apply lotion 3 times a day or so, or whenever the tattoo feels dry or tight.
  • Always wash your hands before touching the tattoo.
  • DO NOT apply Vaseline, Neosporin, Bacitracin or any other medicated or perfumed product to your tattoo.
  • After a few days, the tattoo will form a thin scab over it, and in about a week the scab will begin to flake off in the shower. DO NOT pick or scratch at the scab, just keep it clean and moist and the scabs will all fall off by themselves in about two weeks. Picking any of the scabs off will cause faded color and damage to the skin.

During healing do NOT:

  • Wrap the tattoo after the first night (wearing breathable clothes over it is fine as long as they are not causing friction. (Keeping tattoos wrapped in plastic or bandages will stop air from getting to the tattoo, slow healing, and make gross stuff grow in there. )
  • Submerge the tattoo in water. This means baths, pools and oceans. Regular showering is fine.
  • Expose it to strong sunlight (Like outdoor activities or beach days. Walking to your car is fine)
  • Shave over the tattoo (ouch!)

When all the scabs fall off and the skin feels smooth again to the touch, it is all healed and you can shave over it again, and swim and everything else. Sometimes after the scab falls off there is a secondary shiny, raised or waxy coat over the tattoo. This is just another healing layer of skin. Continue to moisturize it and it will smooth out by itself over time. If you have any questions about your tattoo while its healing you are always welcome to come by the shop and have us check it out, or email the artist who did the tattoo with “AFTERCARE” in the subject line for an immediate response.

Do not slather a big, thick coat of product over it; just enough for it to stay moist and flexible. If you are using Aquaphor, you can switch to a plain lotion after the first few days. Lotion is generally fine for everyone, your artist will recommend if you would benefit from ointment.

If something doesn’t look perfect After your tattoo is finished healing, we’ll do our best to make it right. Sometimes with excessive scabbing, or other unpredictable reactions during healing, your skin can reject some ink, leaving a “light spot” that is closer to your skin color in the tattoo (or a line might get thinner or lighter in one spot).

This is common as its unlikely your body will accept every spot of pigment uniformly, so just contact your artist via email after your tattoo is finished healing with a photo to see if a small touch up is in order.

Unless you were negligent during the care of your tattoo, touch-ups are very minor and quick, and guaranteed by our artists if you contact them about it within 3 months of getting the tattoo. Because older tattoos that have settled in fully and aged require more work to make uniform, we suggest coming in as soon as possible when it’s healed, as touch ups are performed for a fee at the artist’s discretion after 3 months.

When can I sleep on my arm after tattoo?

Sleep On The Opposite Side Of The Tattoo – This one seems obvious. But many people who toss and turn may not take this advice seriously and may still sleep on the side where they were inked. It’d be the best to sleep on the side. The opposite side of where you tattooed yourself.

  • If you have a back tattoo, however, or you tattooed the rear side of your arm or leg, it’d be best to sleep on your stomach or side;
  • As most people ink the front part of their body, they should sleep on their back, so that they wouldn’t squish their wound, and potentially lead to bleeding or infection;

Editor’s notes : Many people think that spending one night restricted on where you sleep is enough. Still, tattoo aftercare and healing take more time than just one night. It’d be the best to refrain from sleeping on the tattooed side for at least 7 nights.

Can you mess up a tattoo by sleeping on it?

Fresh tattoos can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks to heal. During this healing phase, there are 7 things that can ruin your new tattoo before it has even healed. Bad art from a bad artist It’s possible to ruin your new tattoo by choosing an unskilled artist.

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When speaking about skills, I’m not referring to their artistic skills. This would be about the artists’ tattooing procedure and application skills. Everyone’s skin is different skin. Healthy, unhealthy, plump, loose, tight, oily, or dry.

Our skin’s surface, thickness, and tightness are also different throughout our bodies. These differences can have a detrimental impact on how the ink lays into your skin. An inexperienced artist can further implicate this. Finding and choosing an experienced artist goes without question 2.

Keeping your fresh tattoo covered too long Fresh tattoos are open wounds, and after the tattoo session, the artist will cover your new tattoo. Every artist has a different preference for what they use. Some still use the old school plastic Saran Wrap crap made for sandwiches.

Try to avoid using this food cellophane wrap on new ink. Fresh tattoos should be wrapped with a sterile bandage. The best options are medical-grade adhesive bandages and protective tattoo films like Saniderm or Dermalize. Wrapping a fresh tattoo is essential to help the initial healing while providing protection from environmental contaminants like dirt, germs or anything else that should not go near an open wound.

After the wrap has been on for a few hours, you will start to see blood and plasma underneath. Once this happens, it’s time to remove the wrap, as this can block your skin pores from breathing. This can ruin your new tattoo before the first day is over.

And trust me, I’ve ruined two tattoos by leaving the wrap on too long as per the artist’s instructions. The bandage or wrap should stay on no longer than 6-8 hours max. If using products like Saniderm or Dermalize, you can always remove it, clean the tattoo and apply a new layer.

  • Tattoo Infections As discussed above, the post-procedure wrapping helps protect your skin from getting infected;
  • Once unwrapped, keep your skin clean and follow proper tattoo aftercare instructions;
  • This will ensure your new tattoo heals without getting infected;

During tattoo healing, avoid touching your ink unless washing or applying aftercare. It’s very easy to transfer dirt and germs onto your fresh tattoo (open wound) from dirty hands. Sleeping with a fresh tattoo Getting a goods night’s sleep can be awkward during the tattoo healing process.

  • Even more awkward is the size and location of your new tattoo;
  • Try to avoid laying on the tattoo, and or having it covered under the sheets or blankets;
  • Covering a fresh tattoo under blankets or sheets can cause a risk of infection;

The bed is a great place for hidden germs that you do not want to get into an open wound. The same as above, your skin needs to breathe, so not covering up under the sheets helps. Then there’s the issue of laying on the tattoo. You risk having the tattoo stick to the bed or pick up dirt and germs.

You can always lay down a clean towel on the bed if you need to. Another option for sleeping is applying a breathable medical wrap like Saniderm. Make sure to remove it as soon as you wake up so that there’s not too much blood and plasma accumulation.

Cleaning and excess water exposure Keeping a fresh tattoo clean goes without question. So never submerge a fresh tattoo underwater. Also, avoid excessive water exposure while showering. Our skin is like a sponge and it will absorb the water, which can damage the tattoo.

When it comes to cleaning your new tattoo, make sure you do this several times a day. You can read our 17 Best Tips To Heal New Tattoos here. Picking or scratching itchy or peeling skin During the tattoo healing stages, some people experience itchy and scabby skin.

The reason for this to happen is part of your skin’s healing process. But whatever you do, resist the urge to pick or peel your skin as this can damage the color and lines of your new tattoo. To avoid or end any itchy peeling skin during tattoo healing, always use a good aftercare product.

Keep your tattoo clean and moisturized several times throughout the day. Don’t let your tattoo get dry, and only apply a thin layer of tattoo aftercare after every cleaning. Now, in regards to peeling and itchy skin, I have never suffered from this.

I followed the above directions and none of my 21 tattoos have ever peeled or got itchy. Excessive sun exposure Excessive sun exposure is a fast way to ruin a new tattoo. Be aware of any direct sun exposure on your fresh ink. If you must be outside, always keep your tattoo covered, for at least the first 40 days.

  1. Cover Up with clothing or try to stay out of the sun;
  2. Never apply any sunscreen on a fresh tattoo;
  3. Some of these products have ingredients that are not good for your fresh ink during healing;
  4. A list of nasty skincare ingredients will be for another blog;

After your new tattoo has healed, make sure to keep it protected with quality sunscreen product if going outside. Excessive direct UVA/UVB sun exposure  accelerates skin aging, which causes tattoo fading.

How can I protect my new tattoo while sleeping?

Can you sleep on a new tattoo? – In an ideal world, you would be able to sleep and not have to worry about the tattoo. Actually, tattoos are effectively open wounds. This means that you need to take some precautions. Going days without sleep isn’t an option.

People have different techniques. If you can, you should try to avoid sleeping directly on the tattoo. For instance, if you have a tattoo on your back, try to sleep on your front and let the tattoo breathe.

A lot of tattoo artists recommend sleeping with the wrap that was put on. Others recommend re-wrapping, or just applying healing ointment and keeping the tattoo clean. The important thing is avoiding infection.

Can my new tattoo touch my sheets?

USE A SPARE BED SHEET – If you don’t rewrap the tattoo for those first few nights, you may want to pull out a spare bed sheet that you are okay with getting ink on. Not only does that help to keep the tattoo clean, but it will protect from germs, sweat, and bacteria that may have accumulated on a sheet that is not freshly laundered.

Which part of tattooing hurts the most?

Can I sleep on my tattoo after 5 days?

Download Article Download Article You’ve researched a tattoo, found an artist, gone under the needle, and now it’s time to rest. If you got a tattoo on your back, chest, or side, you’ll need to protect the tattoo while you sleep. This means putting clean sheets on the bed, letting air circulate around the tattoo , and changing your sleep position. Fortunately, your tattoo will heal quickly if you get lots of quality rest and you’ll soon be sleeping like normal.

  1. 1 Put fresh sheets on your bed before you go to sleep. Old sheets contain dead skin cells and bacteria that could cause infection, especially when you stop covering your tattoo. Change your bedding before sleeping with your new tattoo. [1]
    • If you have enough sheets, put clean sheets on the bed every night.
    • Use dark bedding instead of light-colored sheets since ink from your tattoo might stain the sheets.
  2. 2 Follow your tattoo artist’s care recommendations about wrapping. Ask your tattoo artist if you need to keep the tattoo covered while you sleep and when you should remove the wrapping. They might advise you to keep their bandage on for the first night before removing it. To put a new bandage on at home, you may be told to put a sterile absorbent bandage on the tattoo. [2]
    • If the bandage doesn’t have adhesive, use medical tape to secure the bandage around the tattoo. Ensure that you don’t apply tape to the tattoo, which would be painful to remove.
    • Avoid wrapping the tattoo with plastic clingfilm because it traps sweat and bacteria against the tattoo.

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  3. 3 Choose a sleeping position that keeps you off of the tattoo. Your tattoo needs circulating air in order to heal faster. If you lie on the tattoo, you’ll irritate the skin and trap moisture against it as you sleep. If you got a tattoo on your: [3]
    • Back, sleep on your belly.
    • Side, lie on your opposite side.
    • Chest, sleep on your back.
    • Leg, raise your leg with a pillow or cushion.
  4. 4 Wait 4 to 7 days before you sleep on your tattoo. Your tattoo will ooze and bleed for a few days after you get it. Avoid sleeping on the tattoo at this point since it needs air circulation. Once the new layer of skin has formed over your tattoo, usually after 4 to 7 days, you can begin to sleep on it. [4]
    • You’ll also see the old skin scab and flake off, which can make the tattoo feel itchy.
  5. 5 Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep. Since your body treats a tattoo like a wound, it’s important to get more sleep than usual. This gives your body more time to recover and helps your tattoo heal faster. [5]
    • Remember that your immune system is responding to the tattoo, so support it by eating nutritious foods as well.
  6. 6 Wet any bedding that sticks to your tattoo during the night. If you wake up and see that your top bedsheet is sticking to your tattoo, do not pull it off, which could slow the healing process. Instead, hold the sheet and carefully walk to a sink. Get the sheet wet to loosen it and then remove the sheet. [6]
    • To prevent the bottom fitted sheet from sticking to your tattoo, lay a clean towel or cloth under you before you go to sleep. Then, replace the towel or sheet if it sticks to you during the night.
    • If the sheet is stuck to a tattoo that’s in a hard to reach place, such as on your back, get in the shower with the sheet stuck to you.
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  1. 1 Wear loose clothing that doesn’t rub against the tattoo. Your tattoo site is extra sensitive and might still be painful, which can make it difficult to sleep. Prevent scratchy fabric from pressing hard against the tattoo and wear loose, soft clothing to bed instead. [7]
    • If you prefer, don’t wear pajamas if they cover your tattoo.
  2. 2 Arrange pillows under your knees to make sleeping on your back more comfortable. You’re more likely to stay off of your tattoo if you have pillows or cushions that support you as you sleep. If your tattoo is on your chest and you’re trying to sleep on your back, put small pillows or rolled-up towels under each of your knees.
    • Add extra pillows under your head if you feel like you’re leaning too far back on the bed.
    • Raising your knees with the pillows supports your lower back so it’s more comfortable.
  3. 3 Put a pillow under your chest if you need to sleep on your belly. If your tattoo is on your back and you find that laying on your belly and chest is uncomfortable, slide a pillow under your chest. The pillow raises you up a little so you’re not putting as much pressure on your chest
    • If you’re still uncomfortable, buy a specialized stomach sleeper pillow or a face-down pillow that has a hole for you to lay your head in.
  4. 4 Place pillows in front and behind you if you’re sleeping on your side. If you got a tattoo on 1 of your sides, lie on your opposite side. To prevent you from rolling over onto your other side, arrange a long pillow, bolster, or sleeping wedge near your chest. Put another 1 right behind you along your back.
    • If it’s difficult for you to position the pillows, ask a friend to help.
  5. 5 Sleep alone for the first few nights after getting the tattoo. If you share your bed with a partner, ask them to sleep in another room so you can get good sleep. This is especially important if your partner is a restless sleeper or you’re getting used to different sleep positions.
    • You might find that your support pillows take up a lot of space and there isn’t as much room for your partner.
    • If you have pets that get into bed with you, try to keep them out of your bed for the first few days after getting your tattoo. This will prevent animal dander and germs from getting into your new tattoo.
  6. 6 Create a soothing bedtime routine before you go to sleep. To help you fall asleep easier, avoid bright light from televisions, phones, or computer screens in the hour before you go to bed. Instead, do a relaxing activity, such as reading, yoga, or talking with a friend. [8]
    • Consider cutting back on caffeine during the day so you have an easier time drifting off to sleep.
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Add New Question

  • Question How do you wash a new tattoo? Grant Lubbock Tattoo Artist & Co-Owner, Red Baron Ink Grant Lubbock is a Tattoo Artist and Co-Owner of Red Baron Ink, a tattoo salon based in New York City. Grant has over 10 years of tattooing experience and he specializes in neo-traditional, black/grey, and color tattoos. Red Baron Ink’s main goal is for each tattoo coming out of their studio to be one of a kind custom pieces that will look good throughout a lifetime. Tattoo Artist & Co-Owner, Red Baron Ink Expert Answer First, follow your artist’s instructions. Every tattoo artist has a different process so whatever they tell you trumps whatever instructions you find on the internet. As a rule of thumb, you should wash your tattoo with antibacterial soap twice a day. Lightly hydrate the tattoo with a tattoo ointment three times a day to keep it from drying out.

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  • If you’re traveling or staying in a hotel after getting the tattoo, bring your own clean bedding instead of relying on the hotel’s cleanliness.

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How do you shower with a new tattoo on your arm?

– Yep. It’s fine if your tattoo gets a little wet, but it shouldn’t be submerged in water or left under running water for long periods of time. Keep time in the shower to a minimum, and be gentle to avoid irritating your newly tattooed skin. This means skipping the loofah or washcloth — at least over the inked area, anyway.

  1. Getting your rub-a-dub on elsewhere is totally fine;
  2. In addition to being abrasive on freshly inked skin, loofahs, sponges, and washcloths can harbor bacteria and increase your chance of an infection;
  3. Wash the area gently using only a mild, fragrance-free soap;

Products with alcohol and certain chemicals can irritate and dry out the skin. This can lead to scarring and slower healing. If you have strong water pressure, try not to focus the spray directly on the inked area. Standing under a shower and letting the water run over you or using your clean hands to rinse the tattoo is fine as long as you don’t linger longer than you need to.

What do you do first 24 hours after 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).

What should you not do after a tattoo?

How long after a tattoo can you shower?

How Soon After a Tattoo Can I Shower? – Your first shower after a new tattoo can be the day after you got the tattoo. That could be between 12 and 48 hours. Sometimes, the tattoo becomes messy after a night of oozing blood and ink. In order for the tattoo to start healing properly, you need to give it a light wash with antibacterial soap and lukewarm water.

After 48 hours, your tattoo should be good for water exposure, but only once or twice a day. During the first week, it is essential not to expose the tattoo to the water for longer periods. This will prevent the tattoo from drying and forming a new skin layer.

In such a case, your tattoo could get infected. Note : we also recommend you avoid sweat-inducing activities, like working out, jogging, etc. Sweat carries bacteria that can infect the tattoo. Furthermore, sweating prevents the tattoo from drying out, which could also lead to an infection.

Can I move my arm after tattoo?

– After finishing your tattoo, your tattoo artist will most likely suggest that you wait at least 48 hours before strenuous physical activity and heavy sweating. The important words are “at least. ” It generally takes 4 to 6 weeks for a wound to heal.

How many nights should you wrap a new tattoo?

How Long Should I Wrap My New Tattoo? – A common error when wrapping a new tattoo has to do the length of time that it is actually wrapped. Most bandages and other wraps can be worn for a bit longer than cling film. Suggested Time Frames for Wrapping Your Tattoo

  1. Wrap your tattoo for the first hour or two, for the journey home. Once home, wash and let your tattoo air dry before applying any aftercare cream.
  2. Wrap tattoo during sleep for approximately three to five days. When you wake, remove wrapping the and wash immediately with anti-bacterial foam wash.
  3. Stop wrapping your tattoo when your tattoo has completely sealed itself naturally with a healthy layer of skin.
  4. If you’re wrapping your tattoo to avoid a dirty environment, only remove the wrapping once you have washed your hands and are in a clean place.

What do you do first 24 hours after 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).

Can I wrap my tattoo with paper towel?

Tattoo aftercare starts the moment you leave the tattoo shop. Once the tattoo is done, the artist will apply a thin layer of Grumpy Bosco’s E-Ointment (or A&D ointment) over the entire tattooed area. Your artist will then cover the area completely with plastic wrap or a bandage (paper towel is normal).

  • This covering protects the open skin from bacteria, sunlight, and from rubbing against clothing;
  • As tempting as it can be to remove the protective cover to look at the tattoo, the bandage or plastic wrap should stay on for at least an hour after the process;

The length of time will depend on the size and location of the tattoo. Plastic wrap must be removed within 2 hours. Bandage can stay longer but may be stuck to the tattooed area. DO NOT pull it off. Wet the backing of the bandage with warm water to remove easily.

After a thorough hand-washing with antibacterial soap (dish soap is fine), a person can gently wash the tattoo with antibacterial soap and warm water. The ointment on the skin will come off, and the tattoo may appear as if it is oozing ink or a thick, sticky substance.

This reaction is not cause for concern; it’s just the excess fluid and ink from the tattoo process. After washing, pat the skin with a clean paper towel and allow it to air-dry for up to an hour. When the area is completely dry, apply a very thin layer of Grumpy Bosco’s E-Ointment (or A&D ointment) to the tattoo, and leave it uncovered to allow the skin to breathe.

Repeat this process at least 3 times daily. We highly recommend Grumpy Bosco’s E-Ointment. If you can’t find it, use A&D Ointment. Products like Aquaphor, Lubriderm, Aveeno, Curel, Eucerin etc. are discouraged by this shop.

Use them at your own risk. Note:   Always wash first and keep your dirty fingers off of it (this accounts for of 98% of infections). ​ DO NOT apply ointment over an existing layer! WASH IT FIRST! No excessive alcohol use for 24 hours. No pool, No hot tub, No saltwater for at least 10 days.