If you've never been tattooed or are considering getting your first one, you're probably preoccupied with lots of exciting questions and possibilities. What design do you want? Where should it go? What artist do you want to go to?–and much less with what happens after your appointment. But as any experienced tattoo artist will tell you, good tattoo aftercare is just as critical for the appearance and longevity of your tattoo as any of the questions above.
Tattoo Aftercare Basics
Tattoo aftercare begins as soon as your artist finishes your piece and ends when it is fully healed, which can take weeks or months depending on the size, location and style of tattoo. Your artist will cover your new tattoo before you leave the studio and send you home with tattoo aftercare products and instructions that will ensure your tattoo heals correctly and stays as clear and crisp as possible. You should always follow your artist’s specific aftercare instructions, but here are some general guidelines on things to do and avoid during tattoo aftercare.
Tattoo Healing & Aftercare Do’s
- Wash your hands every time you touch or clean your tattoo.
- Gently wash the tattoo with warm water and antimicrobial soap one or twice per day, then pat the area dry.
- If you must cover your tattoo, use only breathable and antimicrobial covers like Recovery Derm Shield or Tatu-Derm.
- Keep your tattoo hydrated with a thin layer of petroleum ointment or a tattoo aftercare lotion.
- If you plan to spend time in the sun, cover your tattoo with loose, clean clothing and a thin layer of high-SPF sunscreen to prevent color damage and fading.
Tattoo Healing & Aftercare Don’ts
- Avoid unnecessary rubbing, scratching or picking at your healing tattoo, even if it is itchy or scabbed.
- Stay away from pools, hot tubs, baths or any other environment in which your tattoo will be completely submerged in water.
By following the tips above, in addition to any guidance provided by your tattoo artist, your new tattoo should heal cleanly and clearly.
Types of Tattoo Aftercare Products
PainfulPleasures carries some of the best tattoo aftercare and anesthetic supplies on the market at some of the best prices you will find online. Browse our offerings above for hydrating ointments, tattoo aftercare spray and other tattoo aftercare products from industry leaders like Tattoo Goo, Recovery Aftercare, Hustle Butter, Aquaphor, and Ink-Eeze. We also carry tattoo bandages and dermal shields from Tatu-Derm, Saniderm, and Recovery Aftercare, as well as topical anesthetic sprays to help manage irritation and discomfort during the tattoo healing process.
For more detailed information about tattoo aftercare and tattoo aftercare products, check out our tattoo aftercare articles.