10 Tips for Properly Taking Care of a New Tattoo

If you are one of the lucky ones who just got a new tattoo, congratulations! Now comes the important task of properly taking care of it to ensure it heals properly and looks its best. Here are ten tips for taking care of your new tattoo.

1. Initial Bandage

Tattoo aftercare begins as soon as your artist finishes up. They will apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly and wrap your tattoo in plastic wrap or a sterile bandage. The bandage protects your new tattoo from bacteria and keeps it from drying out. It’s important to leave the initial bandage on for at least two hours, but no more than 12.

2. Washing Your Tattoo

The next step in taking care of your tattoo is to wash it. Gently remove the initial bandage and wash the area with warm water and mild soap. Do not use a loofah or anything abrasive—you don’t want to damage the delicate new skin. Once you’ve washed it, dry the area with a clean towel.

3. Applying Aftercare Cream

Now it’s time to apply aftercare cream to keep your tattoo hydrated and help it heal properly. Be sure to use a small amount of cream—you don’t want to overdo it and risk clogging your pores. Apply the cream three to five times per day for the first week or two.

4. Avoiding Sunshine

It’s important to keep your new tattoo out of the sun for the first few weeks as it heals. After that, you’ll need to use sunscreen to protect the area from sun damage.

5. Swimming Pool Rules

Chlorine and other chemicals can cause irritation and delay the healing process of your tattoo. So, it’s best to avoid swimming pools, hot tubs, and baths for the first two weeks. If you must swim during that time, cover your tattoo with a waterproof bandage.

6. Sleeping on Your Tattoo

Sleeping can be tough with a new tattoo—after all, you don’t want to damage it. The best way to sleep is on your back with a clean pillowcase. This will protect your tattoo from friction as you move around in your sleep.

7. Clothing Over Your Tattoo

Tight clothing can irritate a new tattoo, so it’s best to avoid it. If you must wear something tight, put a thin layer of cream or lotion first to create a barrier between your clothing and your skin.

8. Avoiding Touching Your Tattoo Unnecessarily

It’s tempting to touch your new tattoo, but it’s important to resist the urge. Touching can cause irritation and delay the healing process. If you must touch it, be sure to wash your hands first.

9. Staying Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is important for overall health, but it’s also crucial for taking care of a new tattoo. Staying hydrated helps your skin heal properly.

10. Seeing Your Artist for a Follow-Up

Finally, be sure to see your artist for a follow-up appointment. This gives them a chance to check on the healing process and ensure that everything is going well. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask questions about taking care of your new tattoo.


Taking care of a new tattoo is important to ensure that it heals properly and looks its best. By following these simple tips, you can be sure that your tattoo will turn out perfect.

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