Tattoo Aftercare Tips and Tricks

You've landed on this page, which means you've just got a tattoo or you're thinking about getting one. Regardless of whichever it is, and no matter if it's your first or fifteenth tattoo, staying up-to-date and knowledgeable about the top tattoo aftercare products and practices is essential.

What is Tattoo Aftercare?

Tattoo aftercare, by definition, is the essential process of caring for your new ink piece to ensure it heals properly and maintains its beauty and vibrance for years to come. It involves a combination of gentle cleaning, moisturising, and protecting your tattoo from potential irritants like sun exposure, water, and friction.

Importance of Looking After Your Tattoo and Why Following Care Tips Is Essential

Tattoo aftercare is not just a recommendation; it's an essential part of the tattooing process as it prevents complications such as infections, colour fading, and scarring. An attentive aftercare regime helps preserve your tattoo's clarity and colour, ensuring your artwork remains as stunning as the day it was inked.

We recommend following the aftercare instructions provided by your artist, giving your tattoo the attention it deserves to protect your new investment. This way, you can enjoy a beautiful and healthy tattoo that stands the test of time.

Taking Care of Your Tattoo In The First 48 hours

Now that you have this beautiful new piece of art on your skin, taking proper care of it is crucial, particularly during its initial healing phases. This is because it is the time when your tattoo is most vulnerable to infection and damage.

fine line tattoo

First of all, remember to wash your hands before touching the tattooed area. Secondly, we advise all our clients to keep their waterproof bandage (applied in the studio post-session) on for 36-48 hours, then to remove it and wash it gently in lukewarm water. Pat it gently with a clean towel or let it air dry, add an extra waterproof bandage if advised (given to you during the session if the artist feels it will need it for vulnerable areas), and leave for a further 36-48 hours. If not required - move to the next step.

After removing the second bandage, continue to gently wash your tattoo about two to three times a day. After washing, carefully pat it dry and apply Bepanthen or another appropriate tattoo aftercare cream for the remaining days. Continue this process for up to two weeks after your appointment until you receive our two-week follow-up message.

Our Tips For Optimal Tattoo Aftercare

Tattoos will ultimately fade over time. However, the key is to have this happen naturally and not speed up the process with external factors such as excessive sun exposure and infection. It is also important to remind you that some lifestyle factors may alter the outcome of your tattoo, so take note of some of the critical elements to consider below.

1. Keep it Clean

It is essential to keep your tattoo clean and maintain proper hygiene to ensure it heals properly. This involves washing it regularly with mild, fragrance-free soap and lukewarm water to help remove any debris, ink, blood or sweat. Gently cleansing with your fingertips helps prevent irritation and ensures the tattoo remains bacteria-free. Lightly pat it dry, rather than rub, to prevent moisture buildup and avoid irritation.

2. Moisturise Regularly

Applying a tattoo-specific aftercare ointment or unscented, alcohol-free moisturiser multiple times a day helps to promote hydration and prevent dryness, flakiness, and itching. Moisturisers also create a protective barrier that shields the tattoo from environmental irritants and helps preserve its colours and clarity over time.

3. Protect from Sun Exposure

Shielding your tattoo from the sun's UV rays is essential for preventing fading and maintaining vibrancy. Direct sunlight can cause the tattoo ink to break down and blur over time, especially during the initial healing phase when the skin is most sensitive. Using clothing or sunscreen with a high SPF effectively blocks UV radiation and safeguards the tattooed area from damage.

4. Avoid Swimming & Soaking

Immersing or soaking your tattoo in water, whether in a swimming pool, hot tub, or bath, should be avoided during the initial healing period (two weeks). Water exposure softens the scabs forming over the tattoo, making them prone to premature peeling and potential ink loss. Protecting your tattoo from prolonged moisture ensures that it heals properly and reduces the risk of complications such as infections.

5. Avoid Scratching & Picking

Resisting the urge to scratch or pick at your tattoo is crucial for preventing infections and preserving its appearance. Although itching is a common part of the healing process, scratching can damage delicate skin, disrupting the formation of scabs and causing scarring and/or colour loss. Instead, gently tapping or patting the area helps alleviate itching without causing harm.

6. Wear Loose Fitting Clothing

Give your tattoo some breathing room by opting for loose, breathable, comfy clothing. Tight clothes can rub against your tattoo, leading to discomfort, inflammation, and potential irritation, which is not fun for anyone. Opting for loose-fitting garments allows the tattoo to breathe and ensures that it remains undisturbed during the healing process.

7. Stay Hydrated

Similar to staying hydrated before getting your tattoo, maintaining proper hydration post-tat is essential for overall skin health. Drinking plenty of water helps keep your skin moisturised from within, helping prevent excessive dryness and promoting elasticity, resilience, and faster healing.

8. Avoid Strenuous Physical Activity

Refraining from strenuous activities, heavy lifting, or exercises that induce excessive sweating is necessary to prevent complications during the tattoo healing process. This is because sweating excessively can introduce bacteria into the healing skin, increasing the risk of infections or causing irritation. Taking it easy and avoiding intense physical exertion allows your body to focus on healing the tattoo effectively.

Additional Tips for Tattoo Post-care

After getting your tattoo, for the first two weeks following your appointment, you should ensure the following:

pre care  tips

  • No hair removal - this means avoiding shaving, waxing, laser hair removal, and hair removal creams in the first two weeks following your appointment.
  • Ensure your aftercare patches are applied as directed by your tattoo artist.
  • No make-up is to be applied directly to the treated area.
  • Avoid chlorinated pools and saltwater.

At Tiny Tatts Co, we'll provide you with extensive tattoo aftercare advice (during your session; however, these are the key points to prepare for. Consider these main points, especially if you have any significant events or holidays planned within the two weeks.

aftercare tips

you can either follow this or the recommended frequency and amount of application indicated on the product's packaging.

Get In Touch

At Tiny Tatts Co, we're big believers in the saying, 'The only silly question is the one not asked.' So, if you have any questions about prior to or post-treatment, please get in touch with us at any time! 

We are so excited to work with you and look forward to treating you soon!