How To Sleep With New 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 Is it OK to sleep on a new tattoo?
- 0.2 How long until I can sleep on my new tattoo?
- 0.3 What do you do first 24 hours after a tattoo?
- 0.4 Can I drink 2 days after getting a tattoo?
- 0.5 Does drinking water help heal a tattoo?
- 0.6 What should you not do with a new tattoo?
- 0.7 What should you avoid after getting a tattoo?
- 0.8 How long should you wrap a tattoo at night?
- 1 Can you wrap your tattoo the first night?
Should I wrap my 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.
Is it OK to sleep on a new 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.
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.
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).
Can I drink 2 days after getting a tattoo?
Drinking before or after – That drink beforehand is not smart. Bruno Vincent/Getty Images If you’re thinking about downing some liquid courage before taking the plunge, think again. Drinking before and after getting a tattoo is a no-no. Alcohol thins your blood, which means excess bleeding. When you bleed more than normal, it can cause visibility issues for the artist, potentially compromising the quality of the design.
- Excess bleeding can also thin the ink;
- Of course, there’s also the fact that alcohol impairs judgment, and you don’t want to make permanent decisions while impaired;
- And it’s not cute if you have to stop and puke in the middle of a four-hour tattoo session;
Furthermore, drinking after the fact can compromise the healing of the tattoo because of its effects on your blood, so take it easy for a bit.
Which part of tattooing hurts the most?
Does drinking water help heal a tattoo?
WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOUR TATTOO… Stay hydrated! Be sure to drink water during the 48 hours before your tattoo. Staying properly hydrated helps the healing progress and greatly increase your comfort level DURING the the tattoo process. The second part of staying hydrated is to not drink alcohol the night before you get tattooed.
- Even a few drinks can significantly increase how much you bleed, and greatly compromises the density of the pigment going into your skin;
- Also, having a hangover never made for a good tattoo experience;
- If you cancel for being hungover, you’re definitely losing your deposit;
Stay out of the sun and sunblock carefully for a full week before your tattoo. If you’re skin is even a little pink, it can prevent us from being able to do your tattoo. Again, if you come in sunburnt on the day of your appointment, you’ll lose your deposit.
- Eat a meal! Don’t gorge yourself, but MANY people have gotten light headed, passed out, and/or vomited from getting tattooed on an empty stomach;
- Get a baby sitter;
- Our zoning does not permit minors in our tattoo studio for more than the briefest of times, and bored children are a massive annoyance;
Cancelling at the last minute because you don’t have your kids covered will cost you your deposit. Dress appropriately. We’re worried about doing your tattoo well, not keeping pigment off your favorite white shorts. BASIC AFTERCARE 1. Leave the bandage on until the following morning unless otherwise instructed by your artist.
Remove the bandage and wash your tattoo with warm water and unscented antibacterial bar soap with your fingertips. Rinse and gently repeat until all discharge has been removed. DO NOT use a washcloth, and DO NOT use the liquid or gel form of antibacterial soap! 3.
Gently pat the area dry with a dry, clean towel. DO NOT RUB! 4. Dry with a fan or a hair dryer using the cold button until your tattoo is dry to the touch with no damp or tacky spots. If your tattoo starts to “weep” and get damp while you’re drying it, repeat step 3 as needed, and continue with step 4.
- * 5;
- Do NOT re-bandage your tattoo, and DO NOT apply lotion for the first 48 hours after removing your bandage;
- ** After the first 48 hours, begin lightly applying a small amount of lotion twice a day;
- To avoid causing a moisture rash, be careful to not lotion heavily and to not apply lotion more than three times a day;
For every shower after the initial cleaning, lightly wash your tattoo with warm water and unscented antibacterial bar soap, then repeat steps 3 and 4 ADVANCED AFTERCARE *ONLY USE THIS METHOD IF SPECIFICALLY TOLD TO BY YOUR ARTIST * If your tattoo was completed and wrapped AFTER 6pm, leave your wrap on overnight and then follow the steps below.
- * If your tattoo was completed and wrapped BEFORE 6pm, wait until one hour before you go to bed, and then follow the steps below;
- Remove the bandage and wash your tattoo with warm water and unscented antibacterial bar soap with your fingertips;
Rinse and gently repeat until all discharge has been removed. DO NOT use a washcloth, and DO NOT use the liquid or gel form of antibacterial soap! 2. After your shower, pat the area gently with a dry, clean towel to get off water from the shower. DO NOT RUB! 3.
Dry with a fan or a hair dryer (using the “cold” button) until your tattoo is dry to the touch with no damp or tacky spots. If your tattoo starts to “weep” and get damp while you’re drying it, pat the area off with a dry, clean towel again, and then continue to dry with the fan or a hair dryer using the “cold” button.
Wait one hour and then re-bandage your tattoo, but DO NOT APPLY LOTION! *** It is CRITICAL that you let your tattoo breathe for one hour between wraps to avoid moisture rash. HELPFUL HINT: Set an alarm on your phone so you don’t forget to re-wrap after one hour of drying.
Repeat steps 1-3 at LEAST three times (morning, about halfway through your day, and before going to bed), or four times if you can manage it (morning, 4-5 hours later, 4-5 hours later, and before bed).
On the second morning after you were tattooed, follow steps 1 and 2, but do NOT re-bandage your tattoo unless instructed by your tattoo artist, and do NOT apply lotion! * Wait 48 hours after removing your FINAL bandage to begin lightly applying lotion twice a day.
** To avoid causing a moisture rash, do not lotion heavily or apply lotion more than three times a day. For every shower after the FINAL wrap is removed and the tattoo is cleaned, very lightly wash your tattoo with warm water and unscented antibacterial bar soap, then repeat step 2 and 3.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER YOUR TATTOO Once you leave the shop, it is up to you to follow these instructions and make every effort to take proper care of your tattoo. If you’re not sure about any instructions concerning the healing process, contact your artist directly with any concerns or additional questions.
As it heals, your tattoo will dry, get itchy, begin to scab and flake up, then peel off for the next 7 to 14 days. Your scabs and peelings WILL be in the colors of your tattoo! This does NOT mean you’re losing color.
It’s just the damaged skin that was also colored during the tattoo process, so… DO NOT PICK YOUR TATTOO! If for the most part your tattoo has healed, but you still have a few stubborn spots, DO NOT STOP CARING FOR YOUR TATTOO. This doesn’t mean that any particular spot is going to lose color.
- Be patient, and continue to clean, dry, and apply lotion until those stubborn spots come off in their own time;
- If the color looks milky when those stubborn spots come off, continue to apply lotion to the area twice a day until those spots fully recover and stop being shiny and/or discolored;
A few things that can help you be more comfortable while your tattoo heals: The most important is to drink water for the whole duration of the healing process! To reduce swelling while your tattoo is covered by a bandage during the first 24-48 hours, you can also use an icepack for about 5 minutes per half hour as long as you place a thin, clean towel or wash cloth between the bandage and the icepack.
THINGS TO AVOID ADVICE: Your friends do not tattoo for a living, so don’t follow an amateur’s instructions…follow ours. If you have any questions not covered in these instructions, please contact the artist that did your tattoo.
SOAKING: Normal showers are permitted, but DO NOT SOAK YOUR TATTOO! While healing your tattoo you should avoid pools, spas, hot tubs, the beach, and baths. SUN: Avoid the sun completely or cover your tattoo with clothing until your tattoo is healed. To prolong the life of your colors once it is fully healed, always use sunblock when your tattoo is exposed to sun.
- Also, consider using a sun shade shirt or rash guard with 50 SPF fabric to add another layer of protection for your tattoos;
- LOTION: DO NOT use heavy medicated products with aloe or high petroleum content like Eucerin, Aquaphor, vaseline, A&D ointment, Bacitracin, Neosporin, or any antibiotic ointment;
Currently the brand our clients are having the best results with is CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion for normal to dry skin. You can find it at Target, Walgreens, Walmart, and online. Other brands of hand lotion commonly used by our clients with good results are Lubriderm, Aveeno, and Palmer’s cocoa butter.
What should you not do with a new tattoo?
What should you avoid after getting a tattoo?
How long should you wrap a tattoo at night?
You’ll need to keep your tattoo wrapped in cling film from one to three days. Depending on the size of your artwork this may be longer and your artist will let you know but a general rule of thumb is: Small line-work pieces – keep the cling film on for one to two days.
Should I wrap my new tattoo in cling film at night?
Should You Re-Wrap Your Tattoo With Cling Film? – Some tattoo artists will say that you can use cling film or plastic foil to re-wrap your new tattoo. However, this is also highly debatable. Many think that tattoos wouldn’t be wrapped with plastic foils in the first place, while others believe the re-wrapping should be done with something medical-grade, like wrappings that are specifically made for tattoos with proper hygiene and sanitation.
- So, instead of re-wrapping your tattoo with cling film, we recommend you go for; TattooMed’s tattoo protection film – this is a waterproof, breathable protection film or bandage specifically made for tattoos;
Also known as the ‘second skin’ tattoo bandage, this film will ensure proper tattoo protection, and breathability, so your tattoo dries naturally and starts healing without any delay or issues. It is generally recommended to re-wrap a new tattoo with a sterile bandage or a cheese/muslin cloth to keep the tattoo protected and mess-free in the first 24 hours.
Can you wrap your tattoo the first night?
Many artists will recommend sleeping with your tattoo wrapped for the first few nights (up to 3-4). This protects it from bacteria, your sheets, and accidental picking or ripping of the scabs. Use only a good wrap developed specifically for tattoo healing, which should be breathable, anti-bacterial, and waterproof.