When Can I Wash My Tattoo With Soap?
The first wash – After usually no less than 5 hours, it is safe to remove the bandage and wash the tattoo. After thorough hand-washing, a person can gently wash the tattoo with hypoallergenic soap and warm water using their fingers. The moisturizer 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 usually a cause for concern, as it is just the excess fluid and ink from the tattoo process. After washing, a person should 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, they can apply a thin layer of moisturizer to the tattoo, but leave it uncovered to allow the skin to breathe.
- 0.1 Can I wash my tattoo with soap after 3 days?
- 0.2 Can I wash my new tattoo with soap?
- 0.3 When can I start showering with a new tattoo?
- 1 What soap is safe for tattoos?
- 2 Do color tattoos hurt more?
- 3 How many days should I wash my tattoo?
Can I wash my tattoo with soap after 3 days?
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
Can I wash my new tattoo with soap?
Using a mild, fragrance-free soap (Dove, Dial, and Neutrogena ); gently wash all excess blood, ointment, ink, and plasma from your tattoo. Only use your hand – DO NOT use a washcloth or loofah as they can harbor bacteria.
When can 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.
How do I know my tattoo is healed?
You will know that your tattoo is completely healed when there are no scabs, the texture of your skin where the tattoo was placed is the same as a similar surface of skin, and the colors on your tattoo are no longer faded.
When can I start showering with a new tattoo?
Download Article Download Article You have a new tattoo, and you love it! Now you need to take proper care of it to keep your skin healthy and your tattoo looking nice. Because of the way the ink is applied, a fresh tattoo is an open wound, and you must take care to allow it to heal properly. Start by taking off the bandage the tattoo artist put on, and then clean your tattoo. You’ll need to follow the artist’s instructions for cleaning your tattoo 3 times a day for at least 2 weeks.
- 1 Listen to the tattoo artist about when to take off your bandage. Tattoos heal at different speeds, depending on things like your skin sensitivity and how big or deep the tattoo is. Your tattoo artist will tell you how long you should keep your bandage over your tattoo. 
- If they don’t tell you, ask them.
- When the artist finishes your tattoo, they will wash it off and treat it with an antiseptic. They will then apply a bandage to your tattoo, which will help keep bacteria away from it.
- 2 Wait 2-3 hours to take off the bandage if you’re not given a time period. If you forget to ask or can’t get a hold of the tattoo artist, a good waiting period is 2-3 hours. If your tattoo is really large, you can wait up to 6 hours. That gives your tattoo time to get over the initial shock before you shower.
- Be sure to remove the bandage within the first day, as bacteria can breed in the moist environment underneath it. 
- 3 Remove the bandage applied by the tattoo artist before showering. Before touching the bandage, scrub your hands thoroughly. Wash them in warm water with soap for at least 20 seconds. Then, you can peel back the bandage that’s covering your tattoo. 
- Don’t try to shower with the bandage in place. The water will soak into the bandage, and the bandage will hold it against your tattoo, which can introduce bacteria to it.
- 4 Take the bandage off in the shower if it’s sticking to your tattoo. Sometimes, the bandage will stick to the tattoo, which can be painful when you try to take it off. Run the bandage under indirect, warm water in the shower, which will help loosen the adhesive. Then move on to cleaning up your tattoo.
- 1 Wait up to 24 hours to shower. Talk to your tattoo artist about how long it’s best to wait. Generally, though, you can shower within the first 24 hours after getting your new ink.
- Waiting 2 days gives your skin more time to form a barrier over the tattoo. 
- 2 Use lukewarm water. Hot water can make your tattoo sting, so it’s best to avoid it. Hot water too soon after getting a tattoo can also make you lose color from your tattoo, as it opens your pores, so it’s best to avoid it. 
- Try running cold water on the tattoo for 30 seconds at the end of your shower to tighten your pores.
- 3 Turn the spray to gentle or keep your tattoo out of the spray. Don’t use a hard spray on your tattoo, as it can irritate it. If you only have a showerhead with a heavy spray, let the water run over the tattoo indirectly.
- You can also use a clean cup or your hand to pour a gentle stream of water over your tattoo.
EXPERT TIP Burak Moreno is a Professional Tattoo Artist with over 10 years of experience. Burak is based in New York City and is a tattoo artist for Fleur Noire Tattoo Parlour in Brooklyn. Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, he has worked as a tattoo artist throughout Europe. He works on many different styles but mostly does bold lines and strong color. Burak Moreno Tattoo Artist Keep your shower short, as well. When you first have a new tattoo, don’t take very long or very hot showers, and don’t take baths while it’s healing.
- 4 Use your hands to apply a mild, unscented soap to your tattoo. Any mild soap will do, including bar soap or liquid hand soap. You can use antibacterial soap if you prefer. Lather the soap in your hands, then apply it to the tattoo. 
- Just rub it in gently with your fingers. Avoid using loofahs and sponges until the tattoo heals, as they can carry bacteria.
- Your tattoo will likely have dried blood and other debris on it, which you need to remove. However, you should not scrub it, as that can irritate it.
- 5 Rinse the tattoo off gently with water. Once you rub the soap into your tattoo, pour water over it to rinse the soap off. If you need to, use your fingers to gently rub the soap off under the water. 
- Hop out of the shower quickly. When in the shower, your tattoo comes in contact with steam, water, and soap. That can be painful and irritating for your tattoo, so avoid staying in the shower too long. Also, try to keep your tattoo out from under running water when washing the rest of your body for at least a week. 
- 6 Pat the tattoo dry with a clean, soft towel. Don’t rub the tattoo with the towel, as that could irritate it. Simply dab at the tattoo gently, until it’s dry. You may notice a little bit of blood, which is fine. 
- You can use paper towels if you don’t have a newly cleaned towel on hand or if your usual bath towel leaves fibers on your skin. Dirty towels can introduce bacteria.
- 1 Wash your tattoo 3 times a day for the first week to keep it clean. While your tattoo is healing, you need to practice good hygiene to keep it from getting infected. Wash with a mild, unscented soap, and use your fingers to rub it in. Rinse it off gently with water. 
- Pat it dry with a clean towel.
- 2 Use a moisturizing ointment on your tattoo once it’s dry. Pick one that’s scent-free and preferably hypoallergenic so it won’t irritate your tattoo. Gently rub it in with clean hands. 
- Start with an ointment. You can try a lotion after a week or so.
- 3 Let your tattoo breathe by leaving the bandage off. Don’t re-bandage your tattoo once you’ve applied the moisturizer. You only need to keep a bandage on for the first day. After that, it’s better to let your tattoo get fresh air. 
- 4 Avoid getting in the tub while your tattoo is healing. Sitting a tub full of water can introduce bacteria to your tattoo. Stick to showers instead, which are less likely to introduce bacteria. 
- 5 Skip the swimming pool and lakes. Large bodies of water are teeming with bacteria, and you don’t want those bacteria getting in your tattoo. Wait until your tattoo is completely healed before you go swimming. 
- Healing can take 45 days to 6 months, depending on the size and depth of your tattoo. 
- You should also avoid going to the gym so that sweat and bacteria don’t build up on your skin.
Add New Question
- Question I just got a finger tattoo, how can I shower with that? Kiara Hamed is a Tattoo Artist based in Dallas, Texas. She has over nine years of tattoo designing experience. She received her Tattoo Artist Certification in 2010 and a BS in Computer Information Systems from Clark University Atlanta in 2013. Tattoo Artist Expert Answer You can shower regularly; just be careful. Finger tattoos are hard because they get wet so often
- Question Will my tattoo peel if I wash it on the second day after getting it done? Kiara Hamed is a Tattoo Artist based in Dallas, Texas. She has over nine years of tattoo designing experience. She received her Tattoo Artist Certification in 2010 and a BS in Computer Information Systems from Clark University Atlanta in 2013. Tattoo Artist Expert Answer The tattoo shouldn’t peel on the second day. If you see peeling, it could be your ink coming out.
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- If a bath is the only way you are able to wash yourself, take as brief a bath as possible and wash your tattoo afterward.
- Don’t soak the tattoo in the ointment. Put it on lightly so your tattoo is still able to breathe.
- Avoid letting your tattoo soak in water until it heals.
What soap is safe for tattoos?
The All-Around Best Tattoo Soap – Across the board, “Dial Gold is the classic go-to,” says Bryce. Every single piercer or tattooer I’ve ever met has recommended this bathroom staple as the all-around best tattoo cleanser. It’s inexpensive and ultimately, one of the most effective soaps on the market for making sure your tattoo stays clean and free of infection.
Something to keep in mind for folks with more sensitive skin is that while this soap is pretty much the holy grail of tattoo cleansers, it’s also not fragrance-free. If you’re prone to irritation from scented products, it might be best to steer clear of this fan-favorite and opt for something completely unscented, like the option below.
“Dial is the standard for keeping bacteria and germs at bay. I use it every day and it does not dry out my skin,” one Amazon reviewer commented. Another wrote, “This hand soap has all the right qualities: not excessively scented, rinses clean, no lotion feel, and economical to use.
Can I take a bath 1 week after tattoo?
How to Tell When It’s Safe to Soak – So you’ve showered instead of bathed for several weeks, maybe even a whole month. But how will you know when at last it’s safe to submerge yourself in a glorious bath or go for a delicious swim in the sea? According to the Atomic Tattoo website: “You should wait until your tattoo is fully healed before soaking the area in a bath or hot tub.
- This means that you should have gone through the initial peeling stage and the skin should be feeling normal again, other than a little dryness;
- The Health Department states a minimum of 2 weeks;
- ” You’re in the clear once the scab has formed, hardened, and fallen off;
After that happens, you know that the open wound has healed, new skin has grown, and it’s safe to jump in the bathtub or jump in the ocean waves..
What happens if you don’t moisturize tattoo?
If you don’t moisturize a new tattoo, there are chances it won’t heal properly. Moisturising keeps it safe from infections and allows the quality of the tattoo to be preserved. It’ll also prevent you from itching, which will stop the area from healing. After getting your tattoo done, the skin tries to rejuvenate and recover from the trauma it’s been through.
How can I make my tattoo heal faster?
Should I moisturize my tattoo while its peeling?
Moisturizing is Essential During the peeling process, unless you’ve decided to take on the dry healing method it’s essential that you keep your tattoo moisturized. For the first three days after you get your tattoo, you should be cleaning your tattoo and washing, drying, and putting ointment on it regularly.
Can a tattoo heal in 2 weeks?
– The healing process is different for every person and tattoo. Most sources indicate that tattoos generally take about 2 weeks to heal. However, it may take up to 4 weeks for the skin to fully recover. Some complications may prolong the healing process. The following is what a person can typically expect.
How long do tattoos last for?
So you’re considering your first tattoo. That’s cool—but don’t rush it. You need time to think about what you want needled into your skin, how badly you want it, and how to get it done safely (namely, by someone who knows what they’re doing). Since there are so many things to consider before you get a tattoo, we presented a few common ink-quiries to Tiffany Tattooz, owner and tattoo artist of Ink Gallery Tattoo Shop in Woodland Park, NJ, and mainstay of Black Ink Crew on VH1.
If you’re in the market for your first ink, read through her starter’s guide. It’ll inform every decision you make about the emblem you’ll soon wear for (hopefully) the rest of your days. What are the least (and most) painful body parts to tattoo? Everyone has a different type of pain tolerance when it comes to tattoos, but most seem to experience the least amount of pain in the arm and thigh areas.
These areas of the body have more fat tissue and less nerve density, which in turn causes less discomfort. The most painful will have to be the ribs, feet, and middle chest. There is less fat, the skin is very thin, and the bone is closer to the surface of the skin, allowing one to feel the sensitivity of the needle more.
What actually happens to the skin while receiving a tattoo? Basically, ink is being deposited and penetrated into the dermis layer of the skin. The pigments are too big to be fought off by our white blood cells, so they just pretty much stay in the dermis layer of our skin forever.
How should someone prepare for a tattoo? It’s recommended that you wash the area of the skin or take a shower before coming in to get the tattoo, especially if you work with paint, construction materials, garbage, or sewage. Although it’s my job as an artist to make sure the area is cleaned, cleaning up beforehand does help reduce the risk of other unclean body parts contaminating the clean area.
On site, I always make sure to first clean the area being tattooed. I’ll then shave the customer’s skin and then spray it with alcohol to make sure the skin is fully sterile. How long do tattoos take to heal? Tattoos need about two weeks to heal, on average, although sometimes it can take more time, depending on the client’s skin and how long it took to complete the tattoo.
I tell my clients to keep the bandage on for 8-12 hours, because it allows plasma—our body’s natural way of healing itself—to regenerate skin tissue, thus allowing a quicker healing process and preventing scabbing. Once the wrap is taken off, I tell clients to use a fragrance-free antibacterial soap to wash the tattoo.
They should use lukewarm water—never hot water. However, after completely washing the tattoo, they have to pour cold water on the skin to close up the pores. How should someone care for their tattoo immediately after inking? Wash the tattoo twice a day for the first three or four days, since tattoos are pretty much an open wound at this point.
After washing the tattoo, pat it dry with a paper towel. (Don’t use a cloth towel, because cloth towels hold bacteria. ) Wait 15 minutes and then apply a light coat of moisturizing ointment with clean hands. Apply the ointment twice a day (morning and night) for two days.
- Less is better: Using too much ointment will cause problems with healing and fade the tattoo, since thick ointment can clog the pores;
- After the second day, switch to a fragrance-free lotion and apply 3-5 times a day depending on the consistency, for up to two weeks;
Do not pick or scratch your tattoo during the healing process. Hands should always be cleaned when applying any ointment or lotion on skin. You will have to avoid being in the sun or pool for two weeks, and, most important, in order for the tattoo to stay vibrant for many years, you should always use sun block when outside.
How often do people typically need to get their tattoos touched up? It really all comes down to how they take care of their tattoos and if there were any scabs that have formed. If there were any issues during the healing process, then you will be able to tell within two weeks whether or not a tattoo needs to be touched up.
If there are no issues, then I would say a tattoo can hold up well for 10 years before seeing that it needs to be brand new again. As you get older, so does your ink. If one is always in the sun it will dull out the ink in your tattoo way sooner than someone who is never in the sun.
What’s your advice to someone who isn’t sure if they should get a tattoo? Don’t do it until you wake up one day and say, “I’m ready and I know what I want. ” I never recommend someone to get a tattoo if they’re unsure of their ideas or whether or not tattoos are for them.
It’s a permanent procedure—so you want to make sure that you’re confident having something etched on you for the rest your life. If you finally find yourself ready to get tattooed, then the next big step is to find an artist who “specializes” in the “style” you want.
Review their portfolio to see if you like his or her work, and then you can set an appointment. How do you know if your tattoo artist is legit? You can tell by their recognition, their portfolio, how long their wait is, and their prices.
How do prices vary for tattoos? Some artists charge hourly, or some charge by the piece. For larger tattoos, however, some will charge by the day (half-day sessions might be $400-600, or full-day sessions around $1,000 or more). 10. Is it easy to remove a tattoo? Painful? Laser tattoo removal is a painful process and requires many sessions. How has tattoo technology progressed in recent years?
- Ink: There are now quality ink brands that last longer on the skin throughout the years. Some black inks are so dark, I can’t even use them for shading in a realistic tattoo—I can only use them for solid black work like tribal tattoos.
- Machinery: New tattoo machines called “rotaries” make no sound while tattooing and feel lightweight on the wrist and hand, which decreases the chances of tendinitis and carpal tunnel for the artist. It almost feels like you’re tattooing with a pencil.
- Cost: I now even have a “wireless power supply” to run my tattoo machine—it actually keeps track of how long I’ve spent with the client, and how long I’ve been actually “tattooing” them. This never existed nine years ago. The power supply even shows me how much my clients should pay based off the time I spent on them.
- Needles: Previous needles required different machines to use. Now, there are needle cartridges that you can attach and detach so it can all be done from one machine.
- Resources: Even social media, YouTube, and online podcasts have made it much easier to learn and grow as an artist quickly. The resources are enormous.
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!.
Do color tattoos hurt more?
So, Do Color Tattoos Hurt More? – Generally speaking, ink color doesn’t determine the amount of pain you’ll feel. The color simply doesn’t have to do anything with the pain of the tattoo. As we mentioned, tattoo placement, your pain tolerance, and your tattooist’s technique are the main factors determining how painful the process will be.
Sure, there was a time when colored ink used to have a thicker consistency than black ink. This was an issue since it took the tattooist longer to pack the colored ink, which in itself hurts. The longer you’re getting tattooed, the higher the skin damage and the more painful the process becomes.
Nowadays, all inks are of similar consistency, so there isn’t an issue there. Now, if your tattoo artist takes a long time to complete the tattoo, you’ll experience more pain as the process goes on. Also, if the tattoo artist uses a dull needle, chances are the process will hurt more.
- Sharp, new needles tend to hurt less;
- Now, as the needle gets worn out, it remains sharp, but it dulls out a little bit;
- This small difference in needle sharpness can promote faster skin damage and of course, cause more pain;
If your tattooist uses white ink highlight , you can expect more pain. This is again not because of the needle or the ink color, but rather the pain is caused by the repetition of needle penetration in one place. In order for the white ink to fully show and become saturated, the tattooist needs to go over the same area several times.
- That is what causes skin damage and pain;
- Now, after all of the information, we do have to point out that there are people who swear that the coloring/shading of the tattoo hurts more than the linework or tattoo outline;
Pain is a subjective thing, so it can be hard to be exact with the answer to whether color tattoos hurt more than regular ones.
How many days should I wash my tattoo?
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.
How long do I have to wash my tattoo with antibacterial soap?
How often should I clean my tattoo? What kind of soap should I use? – The tattoo should be thoroughly cleaned immediately after removing the bandage, and cleaned daily from there on out. We recommend cleaning it multiple times on the first day. Pat the tattoo dry (don’t rub it) with a lint-free cloth or paper towel to avoid irritation, and let the tattoo air out for 20-30 minutes before applying moisturizer. We recommend using a gentle, liquid antibacterial soap, such as Dial Antibacterial Soap , though other hand or body soaps can be used as long as they are thoroughly rinsed from the tattoo. You want to avoid excess absorption of water by the tattoo, so washings should be efficient and deliberate to minimize time. You can use antibacterial soap for the first 3-5 days and then regular soap or body wash is fine.
What happens if you forget to clean your tattoo?
REGULAR TATTOO AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS –
- Wash thoroughly with a mild antibacterial soap. Avoid scents, exfoliating beads, loofahs, washcloths; really anything abrasive.
- Rinse, wash, repeat until it’s clean. The first wash is sometimes painful, but it’s SO IMPORTANT.
- Pat dry with a clean towel or let your tattoo air dry.
- Once dry, apply a very SMALL amount of moisturizing ointment. We recommend Redemption, Aquaphor, or basic white hand lotion.
- Wash again 1-3 times a day. After each wash, apply a small amount of ointment.
- After 3-5 days the tattoo will be flakey and may have scabbing.
- At the 3-5 day mark, wash your tattoo once a day, and apply lotion 2-3 times a day – not ointment.
- If it scabs, let the scabs do their thing – don’t pick, scratch, or bump any scabs.
- After 2-3 weeks, the tattoo should be healed.
THINGS TO AVOID FOR THE FIRST 2-3 WEEKS
- Do not submerge in water. No swimming, no baths, no hot-tubs – showering is okay (please shower).
- Do not scratch that itchy tattoo. Seriously. Instead try patting it or washing it and reapplying lotion.
- Do not workout if the workout feels like it is pulling on or squeezing the tattoo.
- Do not tan or spray tan.
- Do not touch the tattoo (or let others touch the tattoo) with unwashed hands. Also, that’s just gross in general. Please wash your hands.
THINGS WORTH NOTING
- Although performed in a clean environment with single use and/or sterile equipment, tattoos begin as open wounds and it is possible to get them infected. Touching your tattoo with unwashed hands increases your risk for infection. Avoid germy people/places/things.
- In general bacteria enjoys a dark, warm, wet environment. Try not to provide that. Let your tattoo breathe, and don’t smother it in moisturizers.
- If you see redness all around the tattoo and it is painful, please stop using any moisturizers, and call us so we can see the tattoo in person.
- If you see just redness and tightness around a scabby area and no red around the rest of the tattoo, that is normal. Scabs shrink once formed/dry and can pull on surrounding skin.
- If black or colored ink is flaking off and the color under the flake is different, that is normal. Expect more.
- If you miss a few chances to wash it or moisturize it, don’t worry. Your body is completely capable of healing it without any help.
How often should I wash my tattoo after a week?
Once you leave the shop, the artist is no longer responsible for the tattoo. Informed aftercare starts from the minute you leave the shop, and this involves washing the area diligently. Treating your new tattoo with appropriate attention and responsibility can make the difference between a well-healed, crisp, long-lasting piece of art and an uneven, distorted shadow of the tattoo you envisioned. Here’s how often you should wash your new tattoo:
- For the first time, within 5–24 hours of getting it
- At least daily until it’s completely healed – ideally twice-daily
- Each time your tattoo becomes contaminated with dirt or bacteria