How Often Should I Wash My Tattoo After Getting It?
Download Article Download Article Taking good care of your new tattoo right after you get it will help it heal quickly and stay vibrant. Keep the bandage that your tattoo artist applied on for at least a few hours before gently removing it, washing your tattoo with lukewarm water and antibacterial soap, then patting the skin dry. By keeping your skin evenly moisturized and clean, staying out of the sun, and avoiding picking or itching your new design, your tattoo will heal beautifully.
- 1 Leave the covering on for 2-3 hours. Once the tattoo is complete, your tattoo artist will clean the area, apply an antibacterial ointment and cover the tattoo with a bandage or plastic. Once you have left the tattoo parlor, resist the temptation to open the bandage. The bandage is there to protect your tattoo from dirt and bacteria and should be left on for up to 3 hours before you remove it. 
- Since different tattoo artists have different methods of wrapping new tattoos, ask your tattoo artist when they recommend removing the bandage. Some artists may not wrap the tattoo at all, depending on the products and technique they use.
- If you leave the bandage on longer than the artist suggests, you are more prone to infection and the ink may bleed.
- 2 Wash your hands before carefully removing the bandage. Washing your hands beforehand will help prevent your tattoo from getting infected when you go to touch it. To remove the bandage more easily, you can apply warm water to it to prevent the bandage from sticking to your skin. Pull the bandage off slowly and carefully so you don’t damage your new tattoo. 
- Throw away the used bandage.
- 3 Wash the tattoo with lukewarm water and antibacterial soap. Instead of soaking your tattoo in water, cup your hands together and scoop lukewarm water over it. Use a mild, unscented liquid antibacterial or antimicrobial soap to rub the tattoo gently with your fingers, removing all traces of blood, plasma, or leaked ink. 
- Do not use a washcloth, loofah or any sponge to clean the tattoo, as these may harbor bacteria. Do not resume use of the items until the tattoo has healed completely.
- Avoid holding the tattoo directly under the water—the stream of water from the faucet may be too harsh on your new tattoo.
- 4 Let the tattoo air dry or pat it dry with a clean paper towel. While it’s best to let your skin air dry after the tattoo has been cleaned, you can also use a clean, dry paper towel to gently blot the tattoo until it’s dry. Avoid rubbing the tattoo with the paper towel to avoid irritating your skin. 
- Regular towels can irritate your tattoo or cause little bits of fluff to get stuck in them, so it’s best to only use a paper towel for drying.
- 5 Apply a non-scented antibacterial cream. Once your tattoo is fully dry, apply a little moisturizing ointment, preferably an all-natural aftercare, to the tattoo. Make sure to apply only a very thin layer and pat it in gently until it’s absorbed by the skin. If you’re not sure what kind of ointment to use, ask your tattoo artist what they recommend for your skin. 
- Aquaphor is a good, recommended option for a moisturizer.
- Don’t use petroleum-based products, such as Vaseline or Neosporin, as these are too heavy and may clog the pores.
- Once your tattoo is clean and moisturized, avoid rewrapping it.
- 6 Listen to your tattoo artist’s advice. Your tattoo artist will explain how you should care for your tattoo immediately after getting it, so try to follow their instructions. The way they bandage your tattoo may be different from other tattoo artists, so take the advice they give you seriously to ensure your tattoo heals correctly. 
- Write down the instructions they give you on a piece of paper or type them up on your phone so you don’t forget.
- 1 Wash and moisturize your tattoo daily until the scabs are gone. You should continue to wash your tattoo 2-3 times a day with antibacterial soap and lukewarm water until it’s fully healed. This can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the size and location of the tattoo. 
- While moisturizing is important, be careful not to smother the tattoo in lotion or ointment—a thin layer is all you need.
- Continue using an unscented mild soap when washing.
- 2 Avoid scratching or picking at your tattoo. As it heals, your tattoo will start to scab over, which is normal. Let the scabs dry out and fall off by themselves, and don’t speed up the process by picking or scratching at the scabs. This can cause the scabs to fall off too soon, which can leave holes or light spots on the tattoo. 
- Dry, scabbing or peeling skin can become very itchy, but scratching at your tattoo may also cause scabs to fall off.
- Keep using moisturizing ointment to combat itchiness if it is a problem.
- 3 Keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight. The harsh rays of the sun may cause your skin to blister and bleach some of the colors from your tattoo. For this reason, it is best to keep your tattoo covered and away from the sun for at least 3 to 4 weeks until the initial healing is complete. 
- Once your tattoo is healed, you’ll want to wear sunscreen to prevent the tattoo from fading.
- 4 Avoid soaking the tattoo in water. Until your tattoo is fully healed, don’t swim in a pool or the ocean. Avoid soaking in the bathtub as well. Exposing your tattoo to lots of water can pull the ink out of your skin and do damage to the tattoo’s appearance. The water may also be carrying dirt, bacteria, or other chemicals that can infect your tattoo. 
- It will be safe to resume these activities once your tattoo is healed, but for now you should stick to rinsing your tattoo in the sink or shower.
- 5 Wear clean, loose-fitting clothing to avoid irritating your tattoo. Try not to wear tight or restrictive clothing on the area with your new tattoo, especially at first. As your tattoo heals, it will seep plasma and excess ink, which may cause the clothing to stick to the tattoo. The clothing will then be painful to remove and may rip off any freshly formed scabs. 
- If your clothing does stick to your tattoo, do not pull! First wet the area with water, which should loosen the clothing to where it can be removed without damaging your tattoo.
- Tight clothing will prevent enough oxygen from getting to your tattoo, and oxygen is essential for the healing process.
- 6 Wait for your tattoo to heal before doing strenuous workouts. If the tattoo covers a large surface area or is near your joints (such as elbows and knees), it may take longer to heal if the skin is forced to move around too much during physical activity. The movement will cause the skin to crack and become irritated, prolonging the healing process. 
- If you work in a job that involves physical activity, such as construction or dance, you may want to consider having your new tattoo done right before you have a day or 2 off so it has time to heal before you return to work.
- 0.1 How often should I wash and moisturize my new tattoo?
- 0.2 What should you avoid after getting a tattoo?
- 1 Is washing a tattoo 3 times a day too much?
- 2 How soon after a tattoo can you shower?
- 3 Is it OK to wear clothes over a new tattoo?
- 4 How do tattoos heal in a week?
- 5 When can I stop washing my tattoo every day?
- 6 When should I stop moisturizing my tattoo?
How often should I wash and moisturize my new tattoo?
Should I apply lotion to my tattoo? What kind of tattoo care products do you recommend? – Yes! Moisturizing your tattoo regularly is extremely important. You should moisturize your clean tattoo 3 – 6 times per day, for roughly two weeks (though proper skincare is always important, and most tattoo enthusiasts moisturize their tattoos daily for life!). A white cream lotion or moisturizer, preferably unscented, should be used! We recommend these fragrance-free, white cream lotions: Aveeno , Curel , and Eucerin . Be warned: your favorite fragranced lotion is not a good option for moisturizing your tattoo – this can cause an excruciating burning sensation when applied to the tattoo, which is essentially an open wound. The fewer chemicals in the product, the better! Pure cocoa butter or shea butter is also popular for darker skin tones and is a fine option. There are some manufacturers who design products specifically for tattoo aftercare that work well for long-term care (such as Tattoo Goo , H2Ocean , and Hustle Butter ). Do NOT use aloe vera gel to moisturize, and we don’t recommend A&D ointment either, as the oil in these products can extract some of the ink from your tattoo.
Can you wash your tattoo too much?
Moisturize – Washing your skin often, especially with antibacterial soap, can cause excessive drying. We want to avoid drying out our skin too much because dry skin heals slower than moisturized skin. Each time you’ve washed your tattoo, put your choice of moisturizing, fragrance-free lotion on the area.
Don’t use a lotion that you share or have dipped your fingers into many times. The best tattoo lotion I’ve ever personally used is a vegan aftercare product called After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion. This stuff works amazingly well during the healing process; not only by keeping your tattoo really well hydrated but also by soothing any annoying itching and irritation.
When using it from the very start of the healing process, this lotion will help to decrease tattoo healing times and work towards eliminating any lingering dryness and scabbing. Ensure the area is completely dry before applying the lotion as you don’t want any water becoming trapped underneath it. A bubbling tattoo.
What should you avoid after getting a tattoo?
What is the best tattoo aftercare?
Should I cover my tattoo at night?
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 washing a tattoo 3 times a day too much?
What do I need to do? – Good aftercare is the single most important thing you can do to protect your tattoo. While it is healing, NEVER touch your tattoo without first washing your hands with a mild, liquid antibacterial soap. Initially, leave your bandage on for 1-3 hours. Until the surface of the tattoo is healed (at a minimum of two to three weeks), wash the area gently 2-3 times per day. After cleaning the tattoo during this two to three week period, gently apply a thin coat of a lotion-based care product. We recommend After Inked tattoo moisturizer and aftercare lotion. Gently rub the product into the tattoo area. DO NOT allow the area to dry but NEVER apply more than a thin layer of aftercare product at one time.
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).
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.
Is it OK to wear clothes over a new tattoo?
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.
How do you shower with a new tattoo?
– 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.
Getting your rub-a-dub on elsewhere is totally fine. In addition to being abrasive on freshly inked skin, loofahs, sponges, and washcloths can harbor bacteria and increase your chance of an infection. 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.
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.
How do tattoos heal in a week?
How can I make my tattoo heal faster?
Take Quick Showers During the tattoo healing process, you will have to get used to quick showers. If you want the tattoo to heal fast, you cannot expose it to water. Otherwise, the tattoo will be damp ore than it should, which will make it hard for the skin to dry out and heal.
Do I have to wash my tattoo every time I put lotion on it?
Generally, a tattoo artist will tell you to wash your tattoo two to three times a day. You should moisturize after each washing. Though it may seem odd, timing when you wash and moisturize your tattoo can be very important. You should generally wash your tattoo in the morning.
When can I stop washing my tattoo every day?
You should never stop washing your new tattoo with soap. After the tattoo has healed, you should continue to wash it just as you would any other piece of skin on your body. That being said, you can definitely ease up on your tattoo cleansing routine as soon as the area has fully healed. This is the point in which germs and bacteria will no longer be able to successfully infiltrate the wound. As part of the healing process, you can stop washing your tattoo with soap after:
- The tattooed area has completely finished scabbing and peeling
- Your artist has confirmed it’s ok to do so
- Your doctor has advised you to stop
When should I stop moisturizing my tattoo?
The tattooed area might still look dry and dull. Keep moisturizing until the skin looks hydrated again. By the second or third week, the outer layers of skin should’ve healed. It may take 3 to 4 months for the lower layers to completely heal.
What happens if you don’t moisturize your tattoo?
It’s a tricky line to tread, looking after your new tattoo and making sure it doesn’t get infected, while also leaving it alone to do its healing without being fiddled with! Too much balm can be problematic, as skin needs to breathe while healing, but what happens if you don’t put any on at all?
- Itchiness Without moisturiser, there’s a risk that healing skin will get very dry, tight and itchy, and itchy skin that you can’t scratch – that in fact you shouldn’t touch at all – is not much fun! If you do itch then you risk damaging the new tattoo.
- Tightness and Scabbing Dry skin can also cause very tight scabs to form; these can flake and fall off easily, pulling the ink away with them, which you also really want to avoid.
- Infection Lastly, uncovered skin can be more open to infection, which can also damage the design; a fine layer of breathable balm works like a sticking plaster to protect against irritants and microbes.
Your skin needs to be looked after whether it’s been tattooed or not; it goes through the same natural cycle of repair and regeneration every 3-4 weeks, rebuilding its outer layer so that it can provide a robust barrier to the outside world.