The perfect tattoo from the perfect tattoo shop won’t stay perfect for long if you don’t take care of your new body art. Tattoo artists vary on their preferred aftercare techniques, but the general rules of cleanliness and safety apply to all new ink.
1. Remember that a new tattoo is technically an open wound.
2. Ask the tattoo artist to cover your ink with a bandage, not plastic wrap. Plastic wrap minimizes air flow and creates a breeding ground for bacteria.
3. Leave the bandage on your tattoo for at least two to three hours to keep bacteria out of your fresh wound.
4. Wash your tattoos daily with warm water and a gentle antibacterial soap that doesn’t contain dyes or perfumes. Use only your hand and the soap. Never use a washcloth or other abrasive item to scrub your tattoo, no matter how crusty it appears. Not only will you wash away the ink, but also you’ll aggravate the healing tissue, which could lead to scarring and discoloration.
5. Pat your tattoo dry instead of rubbing it. Use only a clean towel or a fresh paper towel.
6. Apply a thin layer of Eucerin Aquaphor healing ointment after each washing.
7. Never pick at your tattoo. Scabbing and flaking are a natural part of the healing process. Picking at these scabs can damage your tattoo and delay healing.
8. Keep your tattoo out of the sun until it’s healed.
9. Call your tattoo parlor and speak to your tattoo artist if you have any questions about how your tattoo looks or feels during the healing process. For touch-ups after your tattoo has healed, visit a tattoo shop near you.