Should I Cover 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.
- 1 How long should I cover my tattoo when I sleep?
- 2 Will sleeping on a tattoo ruin it?
- 3 How often should you moisturize a new tattoo?
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.
How long should I cover my tattoo when I sleep?
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.
Should I cover my tattoo or let it breathe?
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.
Will sleeping on a tattoo ruin it?
Don’t sleep on your tattoo – This is the difficult part – especially if you always sleep in the same position and have a very awkwardly-placed tattoo. What you will ideally want to do is keep your tattoo free from touching anything as much as possible, and definitely don’t be lying on top of your tattoo so that it’s pushing against your mattress.
- This could not only cause the tattoo to stick to the sheets while you’re sleeping, but it could also starve the area of oxygen, which can delay healing times;
- Your wound needs good, fresh air in order to breathe and regenerate effectively;
Finally, if your tattoo is pressed firmly into your mattress all night, it’s likely to get hot and sweaty , and this warm, humid environment is a perfect breeding ground for germs and bacteria – therefore try to keep your tattoo as open and free as you possibly can. Try to sleep in a position where your tattoo will not likely get stuck to any bedding.
Can my new tattoo touch my clothes?
Avoid Tight Clothing –
One of the most important things you should do to go through a smooth recovery is to let your fresh tattoo breathe. As you can imagine, tight clothing prevents this from happening and can, consequently, cause damage to your tattoo. You are also exposing your tattoo to a plethora of risks, including infections caused by moisture (sweat). Rather than wearing tight clothes, opt for loose clothing, preferably made of cotton, to let your fresh piece breathe and heal properly.
How often should 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.
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).
Should I wrap my tattoo at night with cling film?
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.
What should you not do after a tattoo?
How soon 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 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.
How long should I keep my tattoo covered with cling film?
Can I keep my tattoo wrapped for three days in cling film? – My tattoo hurts when wrapped in cling film No. Cling film holds moisture to the skin for extended periods, which is not recommended because it can cause excess ink blurring (tattoo blowout) and premature fading. This usually happens after three days. It is advisable to keep your tattoo wrapped in cling film for two hours but not longer than 12-24 hours.