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New Art Lovin': How to Care for a New Tattoo

Updated: Jan 10, 2021

Taking Care of New Tattoo

There is nothing quite like the feeling after getting a new tattoo. Whether you've been elaborately planning the design for months or it was a spontaneous decision, a tattoo art is an excellent form of self-expression. But once you've gotten it, it's important to take proper care of your art.

Not every state has regulations about tattoo artists providing adequate instructions for tattoo aftercare so you will likely have a lot of questions. How long should you leave the bandage on? Should you wash your tattoo? Is there a particular kind of tattoo lotion you should be applying to the new tattoo? How can you avoid skin infection?

Here are some things to keep in mind when caring for a new tattoo:

Immediately After the Tattoo

Make sure your tattoo artist applies a thin layer of petroleum jelly as well as a bandage. Not only will this provide a protective layer for your skin, but it will absorb any blood or excess ink. You'll want to leave the bandage on for 24 hours. After you remove it, gently wash your tattoo with soap and water, and make sure you pat it dry with a clean towel or a paper towel.

If your tattoo artist uses a Dri-Loc pad as opposed to a Sandiderm tattoo bandage, you will only need to keep the bandage on for 1 to 2 hours. To be sure about the best time period for you to leave the bandage on, ask your tattoo artist what they recommend.

Caring for a New Tattoo

After you remove the bandage, you'll want to apply a small amount of ointment to the tattoo. The best ointments to use for this are Vitalitree, Aquaphor, or A&D. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before you put the ointment on your tattoo, and you only want to put enough so that there is a thin layer. You'll want to apply the ointment 2-3 times a day for up to 3 or 4 weeks.

You don't want to swim or take a bath for two weeks after you get your tattoo. You'll also want to avoid tanning. Another thing you don't want to do is scratch your tattoo. It may itch during the healing process, which can last up to two weeks. The ointment will help with the itching. You can also slap the area lightly for some relief.

After Your Tattoo: What to Expect

Healing following a tattoo is different for everyone depending on the size, the placement, and the hygiene and daily activities of the individual. A tattoo is technically an open wound, and it's susceptible to infections so it is best to follow the aftercare instructions above to minimize the risk of issues with the healing process.

It may be a normal reaction for your tattoo to be irritated, red, swollen, or bruised. You also may experience some scabbing in which case you definitely don't want to pick at the scab. It's also important to keep the area clean and moisturized, but you don't want to use too much ointment.

If you experience bubbles forming on the surface of your tattoo during the healing process, stop applying ointment and let your tattoo dry out. This is not a common occurrence, but if you have a reaction such as this, you can also contact your tattoo artist here at Vici Ink for suggestions.

Having a tattoo art is a great way to express yourself in your appearance. You want to make sure you take proper care of your tattoo so it will look wonderful for a long time. If the healing process goes by, you may find that you need a touch-up on your tattoo. In this case, contact your tattoo artist here at Vici Ink.

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