Aftercare For Tattoo: Guidelines, Tips, and Products

aftercare for tattoo

While there is a ton of guidance on how to take aftercare for tattoo, it can be challenging to decide how to take care of it once you’ve had it inked. Infection and irritation can occur from improper aftercare, thus it is crucial to follow these instructions.

The time to wait before removing the bandage can vary depending on the size of your design and the placement, so it’s crucial to pay attention to the directions that your tattoo artist offers you. Asking them about moisturizing cream recommendations is also helpful. Continue reading to learn more about our thorough tattoo aftercare guide, which will help you with the process.

Read More: 11 Best Tattoo Design Apps of 2022

Instructions Aftercare for Tattoo 

Getting a tattoo is a fun experience. You have now been inked with a meaningful tattoo after carefully considering its design and placement, and you probably can’t wait to show it off. To make sure your piece heals without any problems, there are a few things you should do first. Aftercare for tattoos is crucial but very easy; it only entails keeping your skin clean, dry, and protected from the sun.

Bandage removal

When you get a tattoo, your tattoo artist will cover the skin with plastic wrap or a bandage after applying a layer of petroleum jelly or antibiotic cream. The covering procedure serves as a barrier between your skin and clothing, decreasing friction and avoiding irritation. It also aids in keeping microorganisms from entering the skin.

Unless otherwise instructed, the initial step in your aftercare would be to remove this bandage after two to three hours. Some artists might request that you leave the bandage on for longer to stop leakage and friction. It’s vital to keep in mind that some locations can need wearing the wrap for a longer period of time. Before touching your skin, always properly wash your hands.


It is imperative to thoroughly wash your hands with soap before touching your skin. It’s important to wash your tattoo and the area around it for the first time, and warm water should be used for this. Use an antibacterial soap that is hypoallergenic or unscented to clean the area; do not rub or use a towel as this will irritate the skin. After cleaning your tattoo, use a paper towel to pat the area dry. Avoid bandaging the region once more.

Let the tattoo receive air

Please refrain from rebandaging your skin; it needs time to receive air. It may be red and warm to the touch and yet feel tender. Maintaining it requires daily washing, moisturizing, airing out, and multiple washing. In order to prevent garments from rubbing on the skin, it is also advisable to wear loose-fitting clothing.


After the skin has dried completely, moisturize it. Use a moisturizer without any scents for this. Creams like Aquaphor, Vaseline, or Shea Butter may fall within this category. Use a light layer of cream and be careful not to over-moisturize. Each tattoo artist will have somewhat different aftercare advice, and some may want you to wait longer. You can ask your tattoo artist for advice on which cream to use and how long you should wait to apply it.

Stay out of the sun

For several weeks, you should refrain from swimming, getting your tattoo wet, and being in the sun. It is best to cover your tattoo when going outside because the sun can make it fade more quickly. Sunburned skin can sting, but it can also make the healing process take longer, raise the chance of infection, and tamper with your design. You should continue avoiding the sun as much as you can once your tattoo has healed, and you should always apply sunscreen to it.

Read More: List of 8 Male Models With Tattoos and Their Pictures

Day 1

You should treat your tattoo as an open wound for the first few days after getting it. You must take precautions to keep it dry and clean, moisturize it, keep it out of direct sunlight, and avoid immersing it in water. Given that hot weather or a physically demanding job will make you sweat more, it is necessary to take your workplace and climate into account. You will need to wash your skin frequently. Most likely, your skin will feel warm and seem red.

Day 2

The aftercare for your tattoo on day two will be the same as day one. To keep it clean and hydrated, you can repeat the previous methods. Continue treating it as if it were a wound. Even while some tattoo artists might have asked you to leave yours on longer than usual, on day two you shouldn’t be wearing a bandage any longer.

Day 3

It’s possible that your tattoo already appears healed, especially for minor designs. It isn’t, therefore you should maintain doing what you can to keep it hygienic and hydrated for a few weeks to prevent infection.

2nd week

To keep your tattoo clean, dry, and moisturized from day one to week two, keep repeating the instructions. You should no longer have any redness or swelling, and the scabs may be peeling off at this point. To avoid damaging the scabs, you should take extra care to be gentle when washing your tattoo.

Three weeks later

Everyone heals at a different rate, and the size and placement of your tattoo will determine how quickly it will fade. The majority of the scabs and flakes ought to have vanished by week three and beyond.

The outer layer of your skin has healed, and it shouldn’t be red or swollen anymore. It is considerably more difficult for your tattoo to get an infection at this time. You should nevertheless continue to take the precautions of daily cleaning, moisturizing, and avoiding exposure to sunshine.

Read More:

Tips for Tattoo Aftercare

aftercare for tattoo

Understanding how to take care of your tattoo might help you spot or prevent an infection. For the best outcomes, having this information at hand is crucial. In case your piece gets infected or you experience an adverse response to the ink, you will learn what to do, what to avoid doing, and how to react.

Steps to Take

  • Wash your tattoo frequently to keep it clean.
  • Wash with warm water and a fragrance-free soap to avoid irritability.
  • After cleansing the skin, pat it dry with a paper towel. Before applying moisturizer, wait a few minutes to make sure it is completely dry.
  • For aftercare, get a great unscented lotion.
  • To avoid irritation or illness, use fresh sheets.

What to Avoid

  • Even if the skin is itchy, avoid picking at the scabs or scratching them.
  • Even if your tattoo looks to be healed after a few weeks, keep cleaning and caring for it.
  • Keep in mind that larger pieces and colorful tattoos take longer to heal than smaller ones; take your time and do not rush it.
  • Keep your tattoo out of the water.
  • Keep it out of the sun, and continue to wear sunscreen even after it has healed.

Tattoo side effects and complications that could occur


1. Allergies

The ink used to create your tattoo may cause an allergic response. Red pigments are most frequently used for this. After getting tattooed, a reaction could develop within a few days, but it might potentially take weeks. An allergic reaction may manifest as a rash that is raised, red, and bumpy. Additionally, the skin may be uncomfortable, puffy, and itching. To choose the best course of action, it is advised to speak with a medical expert.

2, When a Tattoo Swells

The first few days after getting a tattoo, it’s common for it to seem red or slightly bloated. In addition, it could hurt to touch and be dripping with clear fluid. An anti-inflammatory balm can be used to calm the skin and lessen swelling if this continues for longer than three days. A visit with your doctor is advised if you are unsure.

3. Itching and Scabbing

Scabs forming on your tattoo are typical and an indication that the ink is healing. The most important thing is to never pick at them because doing so will spread bacteria and harm the skin. Itching may also occur after two weeks as a typical indicator of recovery. Never pick at the skin; instead, apply a moisturizer to make it feel better.

Aftercare products for tattoos

To use as aftercare lotions, there are various items available on the market. Asking your tattoo artist for suggestions is a smart move.

Popular choices include Hustle Butter Tattoo Care & Maintenance Cream, Mad Rabbit Soothing Gel, Aquaphor Healing Ointment, and Lubriderm Daily Moisture Hydrating Lotion. Try using Tattoo Goo Balm as well to bring out the color. Shea butter and coconut oil are other alternatives.


photo 5

TitleHustle Butter Tattoo Aftercare 5oz Tattoo Balm, Heals + Protects New Tattoos and Rejuvenates Older Tattoos – 100% Vegan Tattoo Cream No-Petroleum

  • Safe to use right after getting a tattoo to help heal and reduce irritation
  •  It also prevents fading and revives color in older tattoos
  • Certified cruelty-free, absolutely vegan
photo 6

Mad Rabbit Tattoo Care Bundle Kit(3pc)-Repair Soothing Gel, Enhance Balm & Defend SPF 30- Full Coverage Tattoo Care Kit for New & Current Tattoos

  • Clean & Effective Ingredients
  • Repair & relieve with soothing gel
  • Enhance, replenish & preserve with tattoo balm
photo 7

Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy Skin Protectant, Dry Skin Body Moisturizer, 7 Oz Tube

  • For Dry, Compromised Skin
  • Ideal for Healing
  • For many skin care needs
photo 8

Lubriderm Daily Moisture Hydrating Body and Hand Lotion To Help Moisturize Dry Skin with Pro-Vitamin B5 For Healthy-Looking Skin, Non-Greasy, 24 fl. oz

  • 24-fluid ounce bottle with pump
  • Hydrating daily lotion
  • Enriched with Pro-Vitamin B5 and skin-essential moisturizers
  • This lotion helps replenish and moisturize dry skin
Affiliate Disclosure: Purchases that are made using our links may earn us commissions from affiliate partners such as Amazon and other retailers.

Leave a Comment!