How To Sleep With A Tattoo?
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.
- 0.1 Should I cover tattoo when sleeping?
- 0.2 How long until I can sleep on my new tattoo?
- 0.3 Can you mess up a tattoo by sleeping on it?
- 1 Can my new tattoo touch my sheets?
- 1.1 What do you do first 24 hours after a tattoo?
- 1.2 Which part of tattooing hurts the most?
- 1.3 How long is tattoo pain?
- 1.4 How long should I wrap my tattoo at night?
- 1.5 Sleeping Is Your New Tattoos Worst Nightmare! Tips ON Sleeping With A New Tattoo
Should I cover tattoo when sleeping?
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.
How long until I can sleep on my new tattoo?
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 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. 
- 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 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. 
- 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.
- 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: 
- 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 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. 
- You’ll also see the old skin scab and flake off, which can make the tattoo feel itchy.
- 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. 
- Remember that your immune system is responding to the tattoo, so support it by eating nutritious foods as well.
- 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. 
- 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.
- 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. 
- If you prefer, don’t wear pajamas if they cover your tattoo.
- 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 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 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 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 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. 
- Consider cutting back on caffeine during the day so you have an easier time drifting off to sleep.
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.
How should I sleep with a fresh tattoo?
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.
- 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.
Cover Up with clothing or try to stay out of the sun. Never apply any sunscreen on a fresh tattoo. Some of these products have ingredients that are not good for your fresh ink during healing. 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.
Can my new tattoo touch my sheets?
The best tips to sleep on the new tattoo – Let’s explore how not to worry about the tattoo condition when you wake up. There are also tips to ensure that you don’t get the ink from your tattoo on your bed sheets or end up ruining them!
- Applying ointment can be a way to create a barrier between the tattoo and anything that will potentially cause infection. Don’t use vaseline as this will not let your tattoo breathe. Specific tattoo ointments are required.
- Change your bedsheets and use old sheets for sleeping. It’s not unusual for some seeping to take place. If your tattoo comes in touch with the sheets then you can ruin your bedsheets, ink is not designed to wash out. It’s a good idea to sleep using old sheets you don’t mind throwing away.
- You can shower before you sleep, but keep showers short, and do not put the showerhead directly over the area you have had tattooed, as this can cause damage to the tattoo and skin, plus it can hurt.
- Talk to your tattoo artist. They should give you a guide to aftercare. Depending on whether they have decided to wrap the tattoo and what they have used to create the tattoo may influence how the tattoo needs to be cared for.
- Elevate the tattoo if you can. This helps the blood flow and can allow the tattoo to heal much quicker. This makes sleep easier and means you don’t have to worry so much about sleep.
- Moisturize your tattoo. This can make your sleep much more comfortable and easy. If you don’t, the skin can get tight and itchy, and this can make it hard to even get to sleep.
- Germs are the enemy. The absolute worst-case scenario is getting an infection. Keeping your tattoo clean is absolutely imperative, otherwise, it can cause you health issues.
Aftercare is absolutely vital for your tattoo and you should always follow the tips that your tattoo artist gives you. Keep the tattoo clean and moisturized, as well as wrapping and re-wrapping to keep it isolated. Your tattoo should never be subjected to germs or bacteria or you might end up with a trip to a doctor or emergency room. If the tattoo doesn’t start to heal or if it seeps up then you may have to seek medical attention or at least contact the tattoo shop where you got inked.
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.
- Be sure your artist covers your new tattoo in a thin layer of petroleum jelly and a bandage.
- Remove the bandage after 24 hours. Gently wash the tattoo with antimicrobial soap and water and be sure to pat dry.
- Apply a layer of antibacterial/Vaseline ointment twice a day, but don’t put on another bandage.
- Gently wash your tattoo area twice a day with soap and water and gently pat dry before reapplying the antibacterial/Vaseline ointment.
- 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).
Which part of tattooing hurts the most?
Should I wrap my new tattoo at night?
Like any art, we tend to have divergent opinions when it comes to tattoo aftercare methods. One of the most discussed subjects is whether tattoo wrapping is necessary before bed. Yes, you should wrap your tattoo before bed, but only if recommended by your tattoo artist, as they know best for your own personal situation.
What should you not do after a tattoo?
How often do you moisturize a 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.
How long is tattoo pain?
– Your tattoo will be somewhat painful after your appointment. Here’s what you can expect:
- Days 1 to 6. Your tattoo will be sore and swollen. It might feel like a moderate-to-severe bruise or sunburn.
- Days 7 to 14. You’ll feel less soreness and more itchiness. Your tattoo may feel like it’s burning, which is irritating but normal.
- Days 15 to 30. Your tattoo will be significantly less painful and itchy.
After your session, your tattoo might keep oozing blood for up to two days. It’s best to avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) during this time. NSAIDs can thin your blood, which may increase bleeding and slow healing. Typically, the outer layer of your skin will heal in two to three weeks. The deeper layers can take up to six months.
Should I wrap my new tattoo in cling film at night?
Should I cover my tattoo with cling film when I sleep? You should wrap your tattoo in cling film, even while sleeping for the first couple of nights. This helps keep the germs out and helps with keeping fabric off of the tattoo to reduce rubbing/chafing.
How long should I wrap my tattoo at night?
Sleeping Is Your New Tattoos Worst Nightmare! Tips ON Sleeping With A New Tattoo
How to Wrap Your Tattoo Before Sleeping: A Step-by-Step Guide – Although we don’t recommend wrapping your own tattoo, below is a list of steps that will allow you to wrap the area while keeping risk factors to a minimum.
- Wrap/Bandage: Your tattoo artist will disinfect the area with soap and cover the skin with a bandage. Your artist will likely recommend you to keep the bandage on for at least five hours, but usually no more than 24 hours to avoid infections.
- Remove the bandage: Take off the bandage carefully. In case the bandage is sticking to your skin, apply some lukewarm water and proceed slowly.
- Wash : Cleanse the tattoo with a bar of antibacterial, unscented soap and lukewarm water to remove the shiny coat that might have formed on top of your tattoo. Be sure to remove as much dried blood and plasma as possible, while still being gentle (the area will be very sore).
- Dry: Allow your tattoo to air dry for 15 minutes. Pat the inked area gently with a clean paper towel. Avoid any harsh cloths — loofahs, towels or washcloths can irritate the skin and transfer bacteria to the area. Ensure that the area is completely dry.
- Tattoo cover: Wrap the tattoo with clean, fresh plastic without using any ointment lotion or moisturizer.
- Remove the wrap: Remove the wrap when you wake up, wash the tattoo and dry it as explained from step 3.
- Repeat : Redo this full wrapping and cleaning process for up to three nights.
Can I cover my tattoo with clothes?
So, What Kind Of Clothes Should I Wear Over a New Tattoo? – After getting a tattoo, and during the healing process, which can last between 2 weeks and a month in its initial and most important stage, you should be wearing loose-fitting clothes. That is of course if the tattoo is placed on your body apart from the neck, head, and feet.
For those areas, you need to pay special attention, especially in the case of feet tattoo (the issues of wearing socks and shoes). Loose clothes will cover the tattoo so much so that it stays protected. There is a lower chance the fabric will stick to the tattoo and introduce contaminants as well.
There will be minimal or rubbing of the fabrics against the tattoo, which will significantly minimize healing issues or the chance of an infection. Note: After getting a new tattoo, it will be wrapped and well protected. You can wear loose clothes over the wrap and not really worry about it.
Should I keep my tattoo covered?
Your tattoo needs to breathe, so once you remove the original bandage — usually it’ll be bandaged in clear plastic or surgical wrap by the artist — it’s best not to cover it. Wrapping it may result in extra moisture and a lack of oxygen, which can cause scabbing and slow healing.