Effective Tattoo Aftercare Tips: Top 10 Do’s And Don’ts

Tattoos have been around ever since the beginning of humankind and have been considered one of the oldest forms of personal style.

Over the years, tattoo culture has evolved hugely yet remains one of the most popular choices for making a style statement. Read on to find out the top 10 do’s and don’ts of tattoo aftercare to stay safe.

Effective Tattoo Aftercare Tips: Top 10 Do’s And Don’ts

Getting a tattoo for the first time can be an exciting feeling for many, but the same excitement must be carried out with the tattoo aftercare process.

The mistake we make is that most of us think the work is done once we get the tattoo, but the real work begins only when the tattoo is done.

If you want your tattoo to have a vibrant outlook and heal without any problems, it is necessary to focus more on tattoo aftercare.

tattoo removal
Photo by Mariakray on Unlimphotos

Basics Of Tattoo Aftercare

Some of the basic do’s and don’ts that are to be followed in the tattoo aftercare include:

Do’s of Tattoo Aftercare.

The initial 2 to 3 days after getting the tattoo are the most important ones, and utmost care must be given to take care of the tattoo in those days.

1. Do Moisturize

Moisturizing the tattoo is the most essential and basic step of tattoo aftercare. A person who just got a new tattoo must moisturize it at least 3 to 6 times a day.

But it is to be noted that a fragranced lotion is not used to moisturize the tattoo, and instead, a fragrance-free white cream lotion is to be used to moisturize the tattoo.

Another important thing is to read the ingredients list of the product. The fewer chemicals, the better it is for the skin.

Experts have advised against the use of aloe vera gel and ointments on the skin as it contains oil that could extract the ink of the tattoo, thus diluting it or breaking it down.

2. Do Gently Wash the Tattoo

The next step of tattoo aftercare involves washing the tattoo with soap and water and gently pat drying it with a paper towel.

While using the soap, it is important to read the ingredients, and if it contains any form of alcohol as its ingredients, it’s best to avoid it, as soap with alcohol can burn and cause irritation to your skin.

Another common piece of advice is to always use clean hands before touching the tattoo. Our hands may be prone to many germs and bacteria on a day-to-day basis and can have adverse effects upon touching the tattoo.

Therefore, it is always important to take a quick rinse before having any contact with the tattoo.

Does tattoo removal leave a scar

3. Do Reach out to an Expert

After getting the tattoo, if you see any signs of swelling, redness, irritation, or any form of an allergic reaction, it is important to reach out to your tattoo artist or doctor immediately.

Though there are chances for infection to go away on its own without any damage, there could also be cases where it ends up with much more serious consequences.

Some of the signs where you may be infected include:

  • Unusual swelling
  • Redness and irritation of the skin
  • Pus draining
  • Firm bumps on the skin
  • Fever

4. Do Drink Plenty of Water

Water is considered the key ingredient to healthy skin. Staying hydrated is also a key part of the tattoo aftercare process. Drinking enough water helps to stay hydrated, which aids the tattoo healing process.

5. Do Read the Tattoo Aftercare Ingredients Label 

Enough care must also be given to ingredients in the product that is used in tattoo aftercare.

Every product out in the market has a lot of toxins and chemicals in it, so it is important to do proper research before buying any  products rather than just blindly buying them upon suggestions from friends

Apart from these key points, other do’s of tattoo aftercare include not wearing tight clothes that cover your tattoo, eating a well-balanced diet, consuming vitamin-rich foods, applying lotion regularly to moisturize, and most importantly, allowing it to breathe!

Does Tattoo removal leave a scar

Read more about the dos of tattoo aftercare.

Don’ts of Tattoo Aftercare:

Like do’s, there are also some don’ts in the tattoo aftercare process, which include:

1. Don’t Remove the Bandage

The most crucial thing to be kept in mind during the tattoo aftercare process is to keep the tattoo covered.

What tattoo artists, in general, do is apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment and cover that area up in a bandage or plastic wrap. This is usually done to protect bacteria or germs from entering the skin.

The bandage or plastic wrap also protects the tattoo from any other irritation caused by clothes and other materials.

Therefore, it is necessary to keep the bandage on until the tattoo completely heals. If not so, germs and infections would take over and result in unwanted allergic reactions.

2. No Sunlight Exposure

One of the most important yet commonly committed mistakes is exposing the tattoo to the sun. It is important not to expose new tattoos to direct sunlight until the tattoo heals properly.

Since the skin under the tattoo is very tender and sensitive, it could lead to irritation and heat in some individuals when exposed to sunlight.

Therefore, utmost care must be taken to protect the tattoo from the sun. Even after the tattoo is completely healed, it is essential to use quality sunscreen with SPF 30 or above.

Does tattoo removal leave a scar

3. Don’t Pick or Rub Your Tattoos

After the initial days, the scabs will harden and start to flake. This is considered a very normal part of the whole tattoo healing process.

Most people will have the urge to pick on these scabs. However, picking scabs will only slow down the process and result in scarring or ruining the ink.

The scabs will naturally fall by themselves, and in cases where there is extreme itchiness, a small amount of balm can be used on the tattoo. Therefore, one major step of the tattoo aftercare process is to remain patient and not indulge in picking, rubbing, or scrubbing the scab.

4. Don’t Use Chemicals or Fragrances

Avoiding chemicals and artificial fragrances on your skin is also another major part of the tattoo aftercare process. Tattoos can be gently washed with fragrance-free soaps by removing the bandage or plastic wrap.

However, care must be taken while doing so, and it’s crucial not to overdo it. Tattoos need to be healed naturally without the intrusion of any chemicals or artificial fragrances.

5. Don’t Swim or Expose to Water

A new tattoo is more like a freshly cut vulnerable wound. Exposing it to water in the initial days will only make it worse by infecting all kinds of bacteria that can cause infections and problems in the immune diseases, even leading to death in some cases.

Swimming in water can also break your tattoo either by leaking it or diluting it.

Tattoo healing Do's And Don'ts | Heal Properly, Not Horribly

Tattoo Aftercare Products: How to Choose Them?

Most people think of tattoos as a cool way of making a personal statement, and it is more of a long-term investment for them. Therefore, tattoos require proper care with quality products.

Some of the things to be kept in mind while choosing products for tattoo aftercare are:

1. Soaps

Use soaps that are fragrance-free and gentle on the skin. Soaps intended for babies, therefore, can be a good choice to be included in tattoo aftercare

2. Moisturizers

Not just for tattoos, moisturizers, in general, are needed for the skin’s well-being. It is vital to choose a gentle, mild moisturizer for tattoo aftercare.

3. Coconut oil

One of the most natural and affordable products included in the tattoo aftercare process is coconut oil.

Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory ingredients that do wonders for the skin, but it is essential to choose the pure oil version rather than the refined ones.

Side Effects of Tattoos

Photo by yaroslav_astakhov on Unlimphotos

Tattoos can result in potential long-term harm if tattoo aftercare instructions are not followed properly. Some of the side effects that tattoos can cause include:

1. Infections

If the tattoo is not taken care of properly, it could lead to various infections and could only make things much worse.

There are also instances of infections when the equipment or ink used by the tattoo artist is contaminated. Hence, it is essential to choose a quality tattoo parlour and artist, even if it means shelling out more cash.

2. Allergies

Earlier, there have been many cases of people getting a tattoo and only later finding out that they are allergic to the ink.

Coloured ink like yellow, red, and green are the most common ones to create allergic reactions among individuals.

3. Scars

Scars are caused by picking the scabs of the tattoo. After the initial days, when the scabs start to harden and flake off, which causes an urge to pick the skin, which may lead to permanent scar tissue over the tattoo and ruin the tattoo’s look.

Hence, it is a strict rule to follow, so don’t peel, rub, or scrub the tattoo.


These are some key dos and don’ts that are to be incorporated into tattoo aftercare, but it is always essential to consult with an expert in cases leading to extreme consequences. Now, go and slay!

Read more related articles here!

Last Updated on by gourvigupta


Jenita T.J

Leave a Reply

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