How to Take Care of Your New Tattoo

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Now, if you’ve already collected your fair share of tattoos on your skin, this post doesn’t necessarily apply to you – unless you’re bad at tattoo aftercare, but if you’re finally crossing over to the dark side and getting your first tattoo, we’re going to tell you how to properly take care of it. Taking care of your tattoo isn’t just something that you stop after it heals. It’s something you need to continuously take care of so you don’t have to go in for an excessive amount of touchups.

How you take care of the tattoo – from the moment the artist completes their work – determines how that tattoo is going to look for the rest of your life. So, we’re going to start with the first 48 hours and go from there.

Tattoo Aftercare Tips for Faster Healing

The first 48 hours after you get your tattoo determines the healing process and whether it’ll scar or not. So, within the first two days after you get your tattoo you want to:

  • Keep the bandage on

    After the first 12 hours after your tattoo is completed, it will seep ink and stain your sheets or whatever clothing you’re wearing. You should keep the bandage on for at least two hours after, but some artists will suggest you keep it on overnight.

  • Don’t forget to clean it

    When you take the bandage off, you may notice a little extra ink and blood, but that’s nothing to be concerned about. So, to speed up the healing process and get the extra ink out, invest in an anti-bacterial soap and take a hot shower – and really let it steam up. When you take a hot shower, you’re opening up the pores in your skin which will help release the ink that’s stuck in your skin.

  • Change your bandage

    You want to make sure that you change your bandage twice throughout the day; we suggest you change it in the morning then before you go to bed.

  • Keep it moisturized

    When your tattoo hits that 24 hour mark, you want to wash your tattoo with soap and warm water. Once it dries, invest in an unscented lotion (Neosporin also works) and apply it four to five times a day. As your tattoo begins to heal, it will start to itch, as long as you keep it properly moisturized, it shouldn’t itch as bad.

  • Don’t go swimming

    You also don’t want to put it in direct sunlight, that’s something you want to wait for until it’s completely healed, and even then, you want to apply SPF 45. Back to the swimming, if you go swimming in a pool, the chlorinated water will release ink from the tattoo so, don’t do that.

  • Refrain from working out

    You only have to stay away for a few days until the tattoo heals. When you work out with a new tattoo, especially one near a joint, the skin will get irritated – you’ll feel it – and it’ll affect the healing process.