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New Tattoo Care

Updated on August 6, 2011

You don't want your new tattoo to look like this!

Proper bodyart aftercare will ensure your tattoo heals quickly and looks great.

Because tattooing is a permanent alteration of your skin, and is an invasive process, there is a fair bit of healing time involved, and care should be taken to ensure that your tattoo heals properly. Here you'll find the best tattoo care tips.

How long does it take for a new tattoo to heal? The total healing time is approximately 6 weeks, but the initial scabbing and peeling will take around a week.

Tips for Caring for your New Tattoo

Your tattoo artist will carefully review how to care for your new tattoo. Follow his or her instructions to the letter! Different artists use different inks and techniques and have developed their aftercare to best help the healing process for their work process and materials and for your type of skin.

In general, you will remove the cover from your tattoo within two hours of getting inked, so it won't stick to your skin. Then you will thoroughly and carefully wash your hands, then wash the tattoo using your hands very gently with the cleanser recommended by your tattoo artist. Pat dry carefully with a new disposable paper towel. DO NOT RUB when washing or drying!

Next you will apply whatever antiseptic ointment your tattoo artist recommends. In general most will not recommend any ointment with a petroleum base, since these can, if used too heavily, clog pores and inhibit healing. Do not rebandage the tattoo. You will repeat the washing and application of ointment a few times a day for the first five days. After that, you will want to switch to a color and fragrance free body lotion, which your local health food shop can easily supply.

Follow these tips for proper bodyart healing:

  • Don't scratch at or pick at a healing tattoo! Keep your hands away from it, except when you're gently washing it.
  • Wear soft loose fitting clothing that doesn't rub or chafe. Don't wear nylons, anything tight, anything elastic, or jewelry of any kind on your tattoo.
  • Avoid the SUN! Keep your newly healing tattoo covered with a dark and closely woven fabric. Once you've gone through the six week healing process you can use a high spf sunscreen developed especially for tattoos. You should be aware that sunlight will fade your tattoo even after it's totally healed.
  • Stay dry. Don't swim or bathe, and keep shower time to a minimum. Try to avoid your new tattoo getting wet for extended periods, except when you're washing it. Until it's healed always pat dry immediately with a clean new paper towel.
  • Drink lots of water. It helps the healing process.
  • Do not use hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol on your new tattoo.

If you carefully follow your new tattoo care instructions, your tattoo will heal well and give you years of enjoyment.


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    • profile image

      William 3 years ago

      "Do not use hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol on your new tattoo."

      To avoid stinging and irritation.

      3% Food Grade H2O2 is the ultimate first aid for tattoos.

    • tattoocaretips profile image

      tattoocaretips 6 years ago from Lehigh Valley PA

      Thanks for the warm welcome!

    • wowedding profile image

      wowedding 6 years ago from USA

      Welcome to Hubpages! Nice Post...Tk for sharing