Tattoo Tips Aftercare


A tattoo is more than a work of art and a way to affirm your personal style. It is a medical procedure, because the artist uses a needle to insert the ink under your skin. Every time you open the skin, you become vulnerable to scars and infections.

Taking care of your tattoo can prevent these complications and ensure that it heals properly. Both you and your artist play equal roles in this process. In addition to going to a reputable and licensed tattoo artist, you should take care of your new tattoo at home.

However, figuring out how to care for your tattoo can be tricky. Many states do not require their tattoo artists to provide aftercare instructions. And among the 30 states that require it, the artist usually decides what information to provide.

Read on for a daily guide to help you care for your tattoo, tips on what products to use, and more.

Aftercare begins as soon as the tattoo is finished. The artist should apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the tattoo and then cover the area with a bandage or plastic wrap. This covering prevents bacteria from entering your skin. It also prevents the tattoo from rubbing on clothing and getting irritated.

Keep the dressing for a few hours. It will help absorb any liquid or excess ink that leaks from the tattoo.

After a few hours, the bandage can be removed. Wash your hands first with soap and warm water. Then gently wash the tattoo with unscented soap and water.

Pat your skin dry with a soft cloth. Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to the tattoo. You can remove the bandage at this point to allow your skin to breathe.

call your tattoo artist or doctor if you have any signs of infection or other problems

How quickly you recover depends on the size of your tattoo and how intricate it is. Larger tattoos will stay red and swollen longer, because they cause more trauma to the skin.

Day 1

You will return to the artist’s house with a bandage over your tattoo. After a few hours, you can remove it. You should ask your artist for specific details about how long to wait.

Once the bandage is removed, you will probably notice fluid leaking from the tattoo. This is blood, plasma (the clear part of blood), and some extra ink. It is normal. Your skin will also be red and sore. It may feel a bit hot to the touch.

With clean hands, wash the tattoo with warm water and unscented soap. Apply a petroleum ointment. Leave the bandage off so the tattoo can heal.

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Days 2 to 3

Your tattoo will have a duller and cloudy appearance at this point. This happens as your skin heals. Scabs will start to form.

Wash your tattoo once or twice a day and apply a fragrance-free, alcohol-free moisturizer. When you wash, you may notice some ink running down the sink. This is just excess ink that has risen through your skin.

Days 4 to 6

The redness should start to go away. You will probably notice some light scabs on the tattoo. The scabs shouldn’t be as thick as the scabs you get when cutting, but they will rise. Do not touch the scabs, this can cause scarring.

Keep washing your tattoo once or twice a day. Apply moisturizer.

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Days 6 to 14

The scabs have hardened and will begin to peel off. Do not disturb or try to remove them, let them come out naturally. Otherwise, it may remove the ink and leave scars.

At this point, your skin may feel very itchy. Gently rub in a moisturizer several times a day to relieve itching.

If your tattoo is still red and swollen at this point, you may have an infection. Go back to your artist or see a doctor.

black and grey tattoo

Days 15 to 30

In this last stage of healing, most of the large scales will disappear and the scabs should disappear. You may still see some dead skin, but it should eventually go away as well. The tattooed area may still look dry and dull. Keep moisturizing until the skin looks hydrated again.

By the second or third week, the outer layers of the skin should have healed. It can take three to four months for the lower layers to fully heal. By the end of the third month, the tattoo should look as bright and vivid as the artist intended.

If you are looking for an idea of ​​how bright and vivid it looks, take a look at these inspiring diabetes tattoos.

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Tattoo Aftercare Products

Always use a mild, fragrance-free soap or specially formulated tattoo cleaner to clean the area. Your tattoo artist can recommend a specific tattoo cleaner.

Soap options include:

For the first day or two, use a petroleum-based ointment such as A&D or Aquaphor to help heal the tattoo. Cosmetic grade petroleum jelly is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores or cause infection. But only apply a thin coat. Putting on too thick a layer will not allow your skin to breathe.

After about two days, you can switch to a regular moisturizer, such as:

Whichever you choose, make sure it is fragrance free and does not contain additives, such as color dyes, that can dry out your skin. When you take care of it, your tattoo can be as bright as one of these inspiring br*ast cancer tattoos.

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Can you use coconut oil for tattoo aftercare?

Polynesians have long used coconut oil in their tattoos. They apply it after the tattoo is healed to make the design shine.

Some websites claim that coconut oil keeps the skin under the tattoo moist and protects against infection. However, there is no scientific evidence that it works. Check with your doctor before putting coconut oil or any other untested product on your tattoo.

Possible side effects and complications.

For the first few days after getting the tattoo, your skin may be red, itchy, and sore. You may notice excess ink, along with blood and fluid, seeping from your skin. This is normal.

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If you start to experience symptoms of any of the following complications, see your doctor:


A tattoo that is not cared for properly can become infected. The infected skin will be red, hot, and painful. You can also leak pus.

If the equipment or ink your artist used was contaminated, you could get a blood-borne infection, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C, tetanus, or HIV. There have also been reports of other infections, such as nontuberculous mycobacterial skin infections, which are transmitted through tattoos.

Allergic reaction

If you are sensitive to the ink your artist used, you may develop a red, itchy skin reaction at the site. Red, green, yellow, and blue dyes are the ones most likely to cause a reaction.

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Damage from the needle or sticking the tattoo can cause your body to produce scar tissue. Scars can be permanent.

Long-term tattoo aftercare tips

Once your tattoo has healed, go into maintenance mode. Although you don’t have to specifically care for it after three or four months, there are things you can do to prevent the ink from degrading.

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