Tattoo Aftercare

How to care for your tattoo

Tattoo aftercare starts as soon as your tattoo is done. The artist should apply a thin layer of petroleum ointment over the tattoo, and then cover the area in a bandage or plastic wrap. This covering prevents bacteria from getting into your skin. It also protects the tattoo from rubbing on your clothes and getting irritated.

Keep the dressing on for a few hours. It will help absorb any fluid or excess ink that leaks from the tattoo. After a few hours, you can remove the bandage. Wash your hands first with lukewarm water and soap. Then gently wash the tattoo with fragrance-free soap and water. Pat your skin dry with a soft cloth. Apply a small amount of petroleum ointment to the tattoo. You can keep the bandage off at this point to let your skin breathe.

While your tattoo heals, you should:

  • wear sun-protective clothing whenever you go outside
  • call your tattoo artist or doctor if you have any signs of infection or other problems

You shouldn’t:

  • cover your tattoo with sunblock until it’s fully healed
  • scratch or pick at the tattoo
  • wear tight clothing over the tattoo
  • go swimming or immerse your body in water (showers are fine)

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