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How to Take Care of Your Tattoo

7 Essential Tips on How to Take Care of Your Tattoo When it’s Still Healing

Getting a new tattoo is exciting, but also a little nerve-wracking. New tattoos need care and attention to heal properly, keep infection at bay and avoid fading or discoloring. Getting a new tattoo is an exciting milestone for anyone, but the healing process can be challenging and a little scary. If you’re getting ready to get inked, read on to learn how to take care of your new tattoo so that it lasts as long as possible. This guide covers everything from common aftercare tips to the best practices for keeping your new ink happy and healthy until it fully heals.

By the way, why is your tattoo still healing?

Every time a tattoo artist applies their needle to your skin, they create tiny wounds. It takes time for these wounds to heal and form new, healthy skin cells. Most tattoos take between two and six weeks before they are fully healed. 

During this healing process, your body is trying to repair the damage done to your skin. This is why your tattoo will likely look red, swollen, and scabbed — it’s the body’s natural process of repair. As your tattoo heals, it will go through different stages, each with its own set of symptoms and challenges. 

The first few days after getting inked are likely the most uncomfortable, as your body is still dealing with the initial shock. Later into the healing process, your body will start to get used to the new addition, but the first week is a crucial time for your skin.

How to Take Care of Your Tattoo

Tattoo care during the first week

Now that you know why your tattoo still needs time to heal, let’s take a look at what you can do to help it along. The first week after getting a new tattoo is the most crucial. During this time, your new tattoo is healing from the inside out. 

Your body is busy repairing the damage done by the tattoo artist’s needle and the tattooing process. Your new tattoo is also vulnerable to infection and healing problems. Your best defense against infection is to keep your tattoo clean. This is especially important during the first week when your tattoo is still healing from the inside out. 

Always wash your hands before touching your new tattoo. Also, keep your new tattoo away from any source of bacterial or fungal contamination. Avoid going swimming or getting your tattoo wet. Your new tattoo is likely to be sensitive and can easily be damaged or irritated. 

You can help your new tattoo heal faster and minimize any discomfort by taking good care of it. Don’t pick or scratch at your new tattoo — this can cause scarring, and scabbing and increase the likelihood of infection. Wear loose clothing that doesn’t rub against your new tattoo and avoid any activity that could cause friction or rubbing.

Tips for a healthy tattoo after the first week

Your new tattoo will slowly start to heal and fade during the second and third weeks after getting inked. During this time, your new tattoo will change color and, in some cases, texture. Your new tattoo may become scabbed and flaky, before forming a crust and falling off. 

During this process, you can help your new tattoo heal faster and reduce the chance of infection. Here are a few tips on how to care for a new tattoo after the first week: Keep your new tattoo clean. Always wash your new tattoo with a mild, fragrance-free cleanser. 

Avoid using soaps that contain harsh chemicals and fragrances, which can irritate and dry out your new tattoo. Keep your new tattoo moisturized. Your tattoo artist will have offered you a hydrating tattoo aftercare lotion (or recommended one for you to purchase). 

Applying a hydrating lotion to your new tattoo after cleaning and moisturizing the area daily will help speed up the healing process. Let your new tattoo rest while it heals. Avoid getting your new tattoo sunburned, which can cause your tattoo to fade over time. Avoid abrasive scrubbing and extreme temperatures, which can also damage your new tattoo.

Watch out for scabbing and flaking

As your tattoo slowly sheds its scabs, it will progress through different color stages. As your tattoo progresses through these color stages, it’s normal for it to look quite different from the day you left the studio. 

During this time, your tattoo might also start to flake and fall off. While this might be a little alarming, do not pick or scratch at your new tattoo. Scabs and flakes are a normal part of the healing process. If you notice any redness, swelling, or inflammation, or if your new tattoo starts to smell rancid, visit your tattoo artist immediately. Your tattoo may be infected and require medical attention.

Your tattoo is going to itch — and that’s okay!

Your new tattoo will likely itch and feel itchy as it heals. This is usually a sign that your tattoo is healing properly, and not an indication of an infection. However, if your new tattoo starts to get scaly, develops redness, and becomes inflamed, itching may be a sign of an infection. If you notice any changes in your new tattoo, visit your tattoo artist immediately. 

Your tattoo may be infected and require medical attention. If your itching is a normal part of the healing process, there are a few things you can do to soothe the itch: Keep your new tattoo clean and moisturized. This will help reduce the itching and keep your new tattoo healthy. Use over-the-counter anti-itch creams or lotions to help soothe the itching. Try applying a cooling or warming gel to your new tattoo. Avoid picking or scratching at your new tattoo.

How to Take Care of Your Tattoo

Use only recommended tattoo care products.

Throughout the healing process, you want to keep your new tattoo clean and free of any bacterial or fungal infections. Using only recommended tattoo care products will help you achieve this. After you’ve cleaned your new tattoo with a mild, fragrance-free cleanser, apply recommended aftercare lotion to keep your new tattoo moisturized and free from infection. 

While many tattoo aftercare products are designed to be gentle and safe for healing tattoos, some products can cause irritation and damage to new tattoos. Always check the ingredients listed on the packaging before applying any tattoo aftercare product. Avoid products that contain alcohol or fragrance, which can irritate and damage your new tattoo.

 

Don’t let your tattoo get too dry

After applying recommended tattoo aftercare lotion to your new tattoo, you’ll want to ensure it remains moisturized throughout the healing process. However, don’t over-moisturize your new tattoo. This can cause your tattoo to get too oily, which can lead to bacterial or fungal infections. 

Clean your new tattoo with a mild, fragrance-free cleanser after each application of aftercare lotion. During the healing process, you don’t want to use soaps or other harsh products on your new tattoo. Follow your tattoo artist’s instructions on how often and how long to apply aftercare lotion. Avoid applying too much aftercare lotion to your new tattoo. Excessive moisturization can cause your tattoo to become oily and cause bacterial or fungal infections.

Be careful with hygiene and self-care

You want to be as gentle and careful as possible while your new tattoo is healing. Avoid scrubbing or exfoliating the area around your new tattoo. Avoid picking at your new tattoo and lifting scabs. During the healing process, you want to gently keep the area around your new tattoo clean and free from bacterial and fungal infections.

 Avoid exposing your new tattoo to extreme temperatures or humidity (such as from a hot or cold shower). Avoid exposing your new tattoo to direct sunlight and UV rays, which can cause fading and discoloration over time. When you’re sick, you’re more likely to get an infection, which can lead to cross-contamination. 

During this time, be cautious about using public bathrooms, sharing items with others (such as towels, makeup brushes, and lipstick), and coming into contact with people who may be sick. Follow recommended self-care and hygiene practices to avoid infecting your new tattoo: Wash your hands often, especially after using the bathroom. Clean your hands before touching your new tattoo. Avoid coming into contact with people who are sick — especially if you have a new tattoo