What To Do After Getting A Tattoo

Last Updated on March 21, 2022

What To Do After Getting A Tattoo?

So, you got a new tattoo? First of all, congratulations on the big commitment, and secondly, getting a tattoo is only 40% of the work. Yes, you read it correctly! There is a lot that goes into taking care of your tattoo after getting it to ensure the best results possible.

Not following the procedures closely can result in injured skin and a messed-up final look on your tattoo.

Making sure your tattoo is cared for in the best way is vital to a great tattoo experience. So, we have made a precise, to-the-point guide to all the aftercare you will need to turn up a healthy tattoo.

care tattoo

Why is aftercare important?

A lot of people have this question since many are doing it the first time around. It is important to note that tattoo aftercare is crucial to developing the tattoo after you get it. Getting inked is not just an art form but a medical procedure at its core since a needle is constantly penetrating your skin to lay ink inside.

Your skin gets injured due to getting the tattoo which invites infections and other complications to occur. Tattoo aftercare protects you from this and hence ensures a healthy artwork along with your skin as well.

Making sure that you select a good reputable tattoo artist is part of the job as he will instruct you well on how to take care of your tattoo. But taking care of it is your job, and it matters the most. In many parts of the world, tattoo artists are not bound to provide you with instructions on how to take care of your tattoo. So, we made an instruction guide for your convenience.

Go through the guide closely to get great results!

We will go over the main things you need to do for your tattoo aftercare, along with a day-by-day routine for you to follow.

Tattoo aftercare:

Tattoo aftercare will start as soon as you are done getting inked.

Covering it up:

Your tattoo artist will do this for you once, so you know what to do when you do it yourself. It is a simple procedure, so nothing to worry about. He will apply some ointment over the tattoo and cover it up with a plastic saran wrap or bandage, depending on the tattoo’s size.

The ointment will create a thick medium between your skin and the air, making it hard for bacteria to get through and revitalizing your skin by providing it with necessary nutrients. Covering up the tattoo will keep the bacterial infections away as well. You may feel the urge to scratch the tattoo but don’t give in; it’ll only worsen.

You can ask your tattoo artist how long you need to keep your coverage for the first time. You can change it after that time yourself as well.

Washing the tattoo:

This is an important part because it requires you to be gentle and wash your tattoo well, not leaving anything behind. The first and foremost thing you need to wash your hands with soap and water for sanitary purposes.

Now you can gently remove the covering and wash the tattoo gently with mild soap and warm water. This will keep the skin soft and not crack up. Now you need to dab your skin, making it completely dry with a light, smooth cloth.

Now apply a moisturizer to keep the area moist. Make sure you use all-natural moisturizers as they have the lowest chance of any unwanted chemical reactions and allergies. Before using a moisturizer, make sure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients.

Apply the moisturizer gently and keep the skin uncovered now.

The waiting game:

This is a tricky place because, during this time, you will be urged to peel the scabs that form or scratch your skin. The irritation is there; we get it. But this is the time to show control over your nerves and keep your hands to yourself.

We have a list of dos and don’ts for the waiting game.

You should:

  • Wear loose clothing that doesn’t irritate the tattoo and protects the tattoo from the sun as well
  • Keep referring to your artist and dermatologist if you see any infection or other ailments around the tattoo region.

You shouldn’t:

  • Wear tight clothes and scratch at your tattoo
  • Wear any type of sunscreen until the tattoo is completely healed up and ready
  • Get in the hot tub or go swimming. However, showers are fine

Tattoo aftercare daily routine:

The key is not to run impatiently. Tattoos require a lot of time to heal. How much time depends on how big the tattoo is and how complex it is. Bigger, more complex tattoos take more time to heal because a larger skin area needs to heal.

Day 1:

After getting the tattoo, your artist should suggest to you how long to keep the bandage on. Follow along with his instructions carefully. However, when you finally remove your covering, you will notice a slimy translucent fluid coming out along with some ink.

Do not freak out! It’s completely normal as the blood plasma is coming out and helping the skin to heal better. Your skin will look red, and at this point, you need to wash it gently with warm water. Make sure you clean everything and dry it off gently.

Day 2 and 3:

At this point, you will start noticing your tattoo getting darker and more faded. This happens as the skin heals and scabs start appearing. Do not pick at them, as that will irritate the skin further and may even ruin the tattoo.

Wash your tattoo 2 to 3 times a day, and this does not include washing it before going to bed. If you see any ink discharge, do not worry about it. It is just extra ink leaving the body. It’s good for it to leave as it will help with tattoo development.

Day 4, 5, and 6:

At this point, your skin is on its way to healing. You will see the scabs as they begin to disappear, and the redness begins to subside. Your skin is getting back to normal, with a nice tattoo on it.

This is also one of the hardest times during tattoo aftercare, as your skin will feel the itchiest now. Don’t give in!

Keep moisturizing your tattoo to keep it hydrated and well-nourished. You need to keep doing this throughout the day. However, if the redness still doesn’t go away, consult your dermatologist and the tattoo artist.

Day 6 onwards:

The hardened scabs will come off, and you will see clear skin underneath. The tattoo will keep developing as well. Moisturizer will help you soothe your skin during this period and relieve the itch.

As you progress into the third week and past it, the outer skin layers will completely heal. The tattoo will be developed well at this point; however, the inner layers of the skin can take up to 2 months to heal.

By the end of all this time waiting, the tattoo will look very vivid and bright. You will love the ink color that has developed by now.

If you feel the need to see your artist and dermatologist at any point during the aforementioned process, you must do.


Following these steps will make sure you have the best tattoo experience ever. Getting a tattoo is a big deal, and you should be proud of what you get.

Always remember the ink is there to remind you of something meaningful in your life. So, take time to decide what you want to get as well.

But as far as taking care of your new tattoo is concerned, we have got you covered!