Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

What to do after getting a tattoo and how to clean a tattoo (new tattoo care)

The tattoo is certainly an art, it’s beautiful, but as everywhere there are sometimes failures. For a tattoo to be successful and therefore beautiful you obviously need a good tattoo artist, the right reason for the right location but also good post-treatment for your new tattoo care. You may not know it, or you have forgotten it, but once the tattoo artist has finished his work, it’s up to you! Do not panic, the artist will explain to you what to do after getting a tattoo and how to clean a tattoo for a good healing process.

Here we will tell you everything you need to know to take care and how to clean a tattoo.

what to do after getting a tattoo


How to prepare your skin before the tattoo?

When we talk about preparation, we talk about the skin as well as about ourselves. Once the tattoo date is set, there are things to think about. For example, do not expose the area of tattoo (where you want to be tattooed) to the sun at the risk of ending up with a sunburn. The day before tattooing, avoid consuming alcohol or any other substances. A good night’s sleep is advisable because a well-rested body and mind better support the pain.

Do not use scrubs to irritate your skin and be careful not to take certain blood-thinning medications such as acetylsalicylic acid, better known as aspirin. Once the big day arrives, that you are in full form, do not forget to eat to fight against the stress and the small strokes of fatigue. Also, consider dressing loose cloth depending on the location of your future tattoo so as not to compress it.

How to properly take care of a new tattoo

After a few minutes or several hours, congratulations you are finally a hard, a real, a tattooed. You are on the way back, tattooed on the skin, and with the emotion, but from now keep in mind that you must have to care about it. see picture below

how to clean a tattoo before and after

Just after the tattoo, what to do after getting a tattoo, with the bandage?

After completion, the tattoo artist, we hope, has cleaned your beautiful tattoo to affix a protective bandage. Note that it is important to choose a good tattooist with hygiene and flawless material to not catch diseases or simply not to have your tattoo is “disfigured” by an infection. To return to the dressing, know that you must keep it at least 4 to 6 hours and it is better to keep it 24 hours to prevent dust or bacteria from seeping into the wounds. When you remove the bandage, go obviously smooth and if you feel a little resistance, it sticks, soaks it slightly with warm water which will facilitate the task.


Wash your tattoo

“You have to clean the tattoo with a neutral washing gel, just as you would if you had to clean a wound because even superficial is the care of a wound that is. Gregory Lecourt – Artistic Director at Derm-Ink

Once the dressing removed, it’s not necessarily beautiful to see, but it’s normal! The tattoo must be washed with ink, blood and other body fluids. For this, use water and a soap or a bactericidal solution. Do not immerse your tattoo in water and do not put it directly under the jet of the tap or the shower. Wet it indirectly so that the water slides on it. You will have the same feelings as with a sunburn. To dry it, be careful not to wipe it with a dirty towel, prefer a paper towel or compresses to remove the excess water and let it air dry until the area is dry…

Moisturize your tattoo

After each wash, the skin and your tattoo dry up so moisturize them. There are several creams like Urgo special tattoos, Bepanthene, Cicatryl … we will come back a little later. Apply the cream but not in excess which could choke the skin and the tattoo may cause the appearance of bacteria. After delicately massage your tattoo, remove, if there is any, the excess cream. Wash and hydrate your tattoo at least 3 times a day for ten days with clean hands of course.

“Once clean, the wound is ready to receive the cream you have chosen to help regenerate your skin. It is important to hydrate the skin continuously, and therefore to use a product with a high moisturizing power, while ensuring that it does not prevent the skin from breathing. Gregory Lecourt – Artistic Director at Derm-Ink

Crusts, dead skin and itching

Crusts and dead skin will appear during healing, do not touch under any circumstances! If you happen to be too tempted to remove them before they go away, of course, be aware that this may affect your tattoo and you may end up with “holes” or unwanted tasks. Also, as for a sunburn, you may feel itchy but you will not have to scratch yourself to avoid “damaging” your tattoo. If the itching is too strong, an ice pack on the affected area should relieve you.

Products to take care of your tattoo

On the market, there are different products; creams, lotions, moisturizing balms available in pharmacy or on the internet. Among the best known in the world of tattooing, we have A & D ointment (an ointment containing Vitamin A and D), Bacitracin, Cicatryl, Easy Tatoo, Tatto Goo, Urgo … You can also use a simple moisturizer with vitamin D or E but without perfume or chemical additives. The range Derm-Ink, 100% made in the UK, thought and created by tattooed, offers a cleansing gel, a regenerating balm, and a protective cream, especially for your tattoos. The gel moisturizes, cleans and helps stop bleeding. The balm also hydrates and helps the regeneration then the cream intervenes after healing to moisturize (always), sublimate and protect the tattoo. These products are non-greasy, Derm-Ink and in pharmacy.

What not to do during the healing process

  • “Do not soak the tattoo in the water, no bath, no bathing or steam for 10 to 15 days until there are no more crusts or dead skin.
  • Do not dive your tattoo into the water. During healing, it is forbidden to go for a swim in the pool or the sea. Know that salt water and pool water products are harmful to your tattoo during healing.
  • If you like to bask in the sun to have a tan for the fall plan to get tattooed rather in winter or early spring. Indeed, do not expose yourself to the sun during the three months following the completion of your tattoo. Also, so that your tattoo does not fade like laundry in the sun, you will have to protect yourself for life with a high-index UV protection cream so that the colors do not tarnish. So that your tattoo always look beautiful despite the years, one secret: moisturize your skin!
  • “To keep your tattoo in better condition, avoid the sun to the maximum and put moisturizer. The cream does not change the tattoo itself but a tattoo always looks more beautiful on a well hydrated skin.
  • Forget your Thermo-molded garments to bring out your proud muscles with Body Time. To promote the healing of the tattoo, remember to leave it in the open air so do not put a bandage on it and prefer wide clothes, cotton if possible, to limit friction.

In summary

  • Prepare your skin and yourself before the tattoo day
  • Keep the dressing between 4 and 24 hours after completion
  • Wash and moisturize your tattoo at least 3 times a day for ten days
  • Let your tattoo breathe, prefer wide, cotton clothes
  • Do not remove crusts, dead skin and do not scratch
  • Do not immerse your tattoo in the water, wet it indirectly
  • Swim, neither at the pool nor at the sea and no hammam before healing
  • Do not expose yourself to the sun during the 3 months following the realization
  • Moisturize and protect your tattoo from the sun for life to keep a beautiful tattoo

10 advice for caring and healing

My first advice

The first advice seems logical, but I preferred to insist a little on it. Listen to the advice of your artist. He is a professional, he has experience and knows what is best for your tattoo compared to his work!

How to clean a tattoo

Do not wrap your tattoo (unless otherwise specified by your tattoo artist). It is extremely important to keep how to clean a tattoo once the protection is removed. Remember, your new tattoo is like an open wound. Most tattooists tell how to clean a tattoo with a neutral pH soap, anti-bacterial and without perfume or just rinse with water. When leaving the shower, tap the tattoo with a clean towel or paper towel. Everything you put in contact with the tattoo must be clean (clothes, bedding …)! Attention also to the hairs of your animals, cats, dogs, etc. They carry germs and can be a factor of infection if you do not pay attention.

Worries during the healing process

Your tattoo will make a liquid the first few days after your tattoo session. The fluid can be clear or colored the same color as your tattoo. But no worries it is quite normal, the body rejects the excess ink and begins the process of healing, just remember how to clean a tattoo as mention above or follow the instructions of your artist.


When healing, it is important to keep the tattoo slightly moist. If you let it dry, it could lead to the formation of thick crusts on your tattoo. Drying the tattoo could make it heal poorly and this could affect the quality of the work. To avoid this, your tattooist will advise you a healing cream to apply a thin layer on your tattoo, the most used being BEPANTHEN (which may be allergenic in some people), but some artists use other creams like derm ink or still the Hustle Butter.

Scratching during healing

A few days after your tattoo session, a thin layer of skin will begin to peel or flake off your entire tattoo as when you have a sunburn. It’s a bad sign, you have leprosy, and the end is near … I’m kidding it’s perfectly normal! This is once again part of the normal process of healing, it is even essential that the dead skin of the tattoo comes off. During this period, your tattoo will be very itchy but do not scratch! Your tattoo will still be healing and you could ruin it by scratching.

tattoo bandage

When you should bath

It is important not to bathe for at least 2 weeks after your tattoo session, I even advise you to wait 1 month, it will be necessary to wait for a bath, to go to the pool or to go swimming at sea. Of course, you can take a shower by avoiding putting the jet of the spray directly on your tattoo and passing very lightly on the spot tattooed.

Don’t expose it to the sun

This is one of the best known rules but I can not ignore it, no exposure to the SUN for at least 1 month. Of course, UV tanning sessions are totally forbidden for your tattoo (and also to avoid skin cancer incidentally). The ultra violet of the sun attack your skin and your tattoo, it will lose color and will also “blur”. It is therefore important for you after scarring and throughout your life to put sunscreen with the strongest index.

Let it rest

Do not over-work tattooed areas especially when it comes to large areas. Thus, if you get a tattoo on your upper arm, we do not recommend doing sports that work this part of the body, like pumps for example. This could complicate the healing and deteriorate your tattoo.

About healing duration

Your tattoo can take between 1 and 3 weeks to heal, it depends on many criteria: size, location, skin type and tattoo style. A simple little lettering will heal much faster than a large color tattoo. So do not worry if your tattoo heals faster or a little slower than what I indicated above.

When you need to see a doctor

Finally, if your tattoo goes wrong, redness that persists, strong smell or pus, you must inform your tattooist who according to the seriousness will advise you or send you to a doctor. Very rarely, some people have an allergic reaction to the ink of the tattoo (or cream), it seems that the most allergenic inks or the ink colors, red and green. In these cases, it is unfortunately quite serious, it will then go directly to a doctor.

How to clean a tattoo and take care of it every day?

Once your tattoo completely healed, there are some simple rules to apply to keep it on top as long as possible:

  • Hydrate your tattoo every day with milk or body butter so that your skin stays supple, and the ink does not fade.
  • If you are a fan of sunbathing or terraces, and your tattoo is located on a part of the body may be exposed to UVA and UVB, sunscreen (SPF30 minimum) is mandatory to prevent the ink does not lose intensity! Choose the fluid and non-greasy so as not to Galera with each new application, that is to say about every two hours.
  • If you get pregnant and your tattoo is on your belly, breasts or hips, apply a nourishing balm or stretch mark cream to your tattoo area (and all the others, it can not hurt ) from the beginning of your pregnancy, until several months after delivery, to help your skin maintain its elasticity and retract once the baby is born

Things to avoid to preserve your tattoo


During the healing period, it is perfectly normal to have itchy skin or crusts and dead skin. However, do not scratch at all costs to avoid attracting bacteria.

Also, resist the urge to tear off the crusts before they fall naturally alone because it could leave holes in your tattoo (and we must admit, after enduring such pain, it would be a shame!).

Exposing oneself to the sun

During the three months following the realization of your tattoo, avoid to the maximum to expose you to the UV. If you must absolutely go out in full sun, consider applying a total screen with a high index on the tattoo or cover it, if possible with a long garment otherwise it may change color or fade quickly.

Soak in the water

No pool or bath and even fewer steam or sauna sessions during the healing period which should take 10 to 15 days. Indeed, prolonged soaking, sea salt or chlorinated pool products may reduce the colors of your tattoo. A little patience, once your skin healed, you can do everything and proudly display your brand new beautiful tattoo!


Eh yes! Friction by synthetic clothing can distort or fade the color of the tattoo, especially if they are tight, you play sports and you sweat a lot. It is best to let your tattoo breathe in the open air and wear loose cotton clothes.

What i missed? let me know what to do after getting a tattoo in the comment section below.

Contact us if you still need help

Source: [1] [2] [3]

What to do after getting a tattoo and how to clean a tattoo (new tattoo care)
5 (100%) 8 votes

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *