How to Take Care of Your New Tattoo: Tattoo Aftercare Guide

Black and white beetle in glass jar arm tattoo


Congratulations on your brand new tattoo! If performed by one of our talented tattoo artists, your healing process should be easy and smooth. You should always follow the care instructions provided by your tattoo artist, but this guide will outline some of the simple and effective ways to care for your body art.

There are a few key things you should do to make sure your tattoo heals correctly; free of infection with the artwork properly preserved. Following these tips will help make for a fast recovery time, prevent an infection, and extend the lifespan of your tattoo.

Taking Care of The Wound

Remember, a tattoo is a wound and should be treated with as much care as any other kind of wound. 

  1. Leave Covered Overnight

    After your tattoo session, you will be wrapped with a protective plastic film designed to keep the tattoo clean. We know you’re excited, but avoid the temptation to peel it off to take a peek – keep this on for at least one night. Your patience here can be important in preventing an infection or damaging the art.

  2. Tattoo Cleaning

    Once or twice a day (but no more), carefully clean your tattoo by applying a gentle, unscented soap with lukewarm water, wiping lightly in a circular motion. We recommend doing this in the shower. When drying your tattoo, you must be careful to avoid causing any damage. Pat dry with a paper towel and avoid rubbing the skin. Leave your tattoo to air dry for 30 minutes to an hour.

  3. Apply Tattoo Aftercare Products (Optional)

Once dry, you might decide to apply a healing lotion on your wound. We recommend After Art Superior Tattoo Aftercare

Repeat steps 1-3 for 10-14 days, as this is the usual duration of the tattoo healing process.

Keep Bedding & Sheets Clean

Preventing infection can be assisted by making sure your bed sheets and blankets are always clean. As you may experience some skin flaking, it might be a good idea to use a darker set of sheets for two weeks.

Things to Avoid While Your Tattoo Heals

Do Not Scratch Your Tattoo

It’s a reality that tattoo healing can be itchy, sore and uncomfortable. While frustrating, you should avoid scratching and itching your tattoo. This can extend the healing process, or in some cases, may leave a scar or adjust the end result of your tattoo. Instead, apply a light lotion to the area to help alleviate some of that itchiness and discomfort.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

This is especially important during the first two weeks of healing, but is a good habit to maintain for a month following your appointment. Direct sun on your tattoo can cause colours to fade, spread or create a scar.

Don’t Soak Your New Tattoo in Water

This means no baths or trips to the pool! If left to soak in water, your tattoo (an open wound) can be exposed to bacteria, and scabs can fall off prematurely, leading to infection and/or a reduction in the quality and appearance of ink. 

Don’t Panic!

It’s quite common for there to be a small amount of flaking, fluid and blood coming from your tattoo during the two weeks of healing. In these first couple of weeks, your tattoo is likely to go through phases of drying, flaking, and scab forming, which can be unpleasant, but is completely normal. If you have any concerns, contact your tattoo artist for advice, they are experts who know what normal healing should look like.

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