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How to Take Care of a Tattoo?

Clean and Moisturize

Keeping your new tattoo clean is crucial while it heals. Gently wash the tattoo daily with a mild, fragrance-free soap and your hands, patting dry with a clean towel. Apply a thin layer of fragrance-free moisturizer like Aquaphor 2-3 times per day to prevent scabs and help the tattoo heal properly. The moisturizer creates a protective barrier without suffocating the tattoo. For more tips on preparing for a tattoo, check out our article on how to prepare for a tattoo.

Clothing and Sun Protection

Wear loose, breathable clothing over the fresh ink during the healing process. Tight clothes can stick to the tattoo, interrupting the healing and damaging the design. Also, keep your new body art out of the sun as much as possible. Sun exposure can fade the vibrant colors and details of the tattoo. When going outside, generously apply broad-spectrum sunscreen to prevent UV damage.

Avoid Submerging

Soaking the tattoo in water too soon can introduce bacteria while it’s healing. Avoid hot tubs, swimming pools, baths, and long showers for 2-3 weeks until it fully heals. The moisture can draw ink out of the tattoo as well. Keep showers brief and gently pat dry.

Don’t Pick Scabs

It’s tempting to pick scabs as the tattoo heals, but avoid doing this at all costs! Picking pulls ink out with the scab tissue, causing blotches and holes in the design. Let scabs naturally flake off when ready. Also refrain from aggressively scrubbing tattooed areas. For information about tattooing over scars, you can read more about the possibility of tattooing over scars in our article on tattooing over scars.

Listen To Your Body

Pay attention to any signs of infection like increasing redness/swelling, green/yellow pus, worsening pain, and fever. If you suspect an infection, call your doctor right away. Don’t try to treat it yourself with home remedies. A minor infection can turn serious fast without antibiotics. Better safe than permanently scarred! Learn more about what an infected tattoo looks like in our article on recognizing signs of an infected tattoo.

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