12.4 min read3091 words

Tattoo Aftercare by Dermatologists: How To Take Care of a New Tattoo in 2022


Mahlagha Homayouni


August 7, 2021


skin assessment

A tattoo is more than just a piece of art and a way to prove your personal style. This is also a medical procedure because it is done using an ink needle under the skin. Any sores on your skin expose you to more infections. Post-tattoo care – or tattoo aftercare -can prevent tattoo complications and heal tattoo wounds. Both you and the person doing the tattoo play the same roles in the process. With a reputable tattoo artist, you should take care of your new tattoo at home.


Chapter 1

Tips to know before getting a tattoo

In addition to following the tips after getting a tattoo, there are some things you should do before doing it so that you do not have any problems while doing the work and your tattoo is done well. Pre-tattoo care instructions include the following:

Drink plenty of water

It is important to stay hydrated during the tattooing process and you should drink plenty of water beforehand. Being hydrated is always a good idea, but in this particular case, it will help you to endure more pain, and then your wound will heal faster. Drinking plenty of water is considered as a part of tattoo aftercare as well.

keep your skin moisturized

This does not mean that you have to lubricate your skin when getting a tattoo, but it is definitely a good idea to moisturize your skin a few days in advance. This helps the skin to get better color with the ink.

Shave the hair in your tattoo area

Make sure that the part of your body that you want to get the tattoo on has been shaved so that you do not feel more pain when the needle hits the hair in that part.

Get a good night’s sleep before getting a tattoo

Get a good night’s sleep the night before getting a tattoo; getting enough rest will make your skin look more vibrant and you will eventually have cleaner and smoother lines for your favorite tattoo design.

Eat enough food

Be sure to eat a healthy meal before getting a tattoo. Your body needs energy; especially when you plan to get a tattoo in the area that hurts the most, eating enough food will increase your tolerance.

Have a apparatus for fun with you

Carry a phone, book, laptop, or anything else you feel good with, and keep you entertained during the session.

Do not drink alcohol

Do not drink alcohol at all before getting a tattoo, especially the night before, as alcohol dilutes the blood and results in more bleeding. Excessive bleeding prevents ink pigments from entering your skin properly and your tattoo design does not come out as it should.

Wear appropriate clothing

Wearing a comfortable clothe either for tattoo aftercare or before the process begins is important. Another thing to keep in mind is the clothes you will want to wear. It is important to wear clothing that gives you easy access to the tattoo area.

Also, wear clothing that you can get rid of if it is stained with ink. Not only is ink sometimes spilled, but wound fluid or even blood may spill on clothes. Avoid wearing woolen clothes, instead, go with cotton clothes.

Do you care about your skin? Also check:

Aloe vera extract for skin care | Best ways to incorporate this extract into your skincare routine

Chapter 2

Tattoo aftercare plan

Determining how to care for tattoos, in turn, can be difficult. To help take care of your tattoo, learn tips on using products, and more, continue reading the following article. Tattoo aftercare begins as soon as the tattoo is done. Post-tattoo and tattoo care tips include:

Cover the area where the tattoo is done

You should apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment on the tattoo and then cover the area with a bandage or plastic wrap. This coating prevents bacteria from entering your skin. It also protects tattoos from rubbing and irritating clothing.

The magic of antibiotics

Tetracyclines belong to a group of drugs called antibiotics. Topical ointments are used to treat skin infections. Demeclocycline cream and topical tetracycline liquid are used to help control acne. These drugs may be combined alone or with one or more other drugs and may be prescribed for tattoo aftercare as well.

Topical forms of tetracycline ointment are available without a prescription. However, your doctor may have specific instructions for the correct use of these medications for your medical problem. Demeclocycline cream and topical tetracycline liquid form are only available with a prescription from your doctor.

Apply a thin layer of medicine, enough to cover the affected area easily. You should apply this medicine to the whole area that is usually affected by acne or tattoo. Do not take this medicine in the eyes, nose, mouth, or other mucous membranes. Keep the medicine away from these areas when using.

Wash the tattoo gently

You can remove the cover after a few hours. First, wash your hands with soap and water. Then gently wash the tattoo with warm water and unscented soap. Dry your skin with a soft cloth. Apply a small amount of unscented, non-alcoholic moisturizer to the tattoo. You can remove the cover at this stage so that your skin can breathe.

Wait for the tattoo wound to heal

As your tattoo improves, you should: Wear sunscreen every time you go out. Contact your tattoo specialist if you notice signs of infection or other problems. You should not scratch the tattoo or wear tight clothing on the tattoo. The speed of your recovery depends on the size and complexity of the tattoo. Larger tattoos will be red and swollen for longer because they will cause more damage to the skin.

Tattoo Aftercare Day One

After removing the cover, you will probably notice that fluid comes out of the tattoo. The discharge of blood, plasma (The transparent part of the blood), and some extra ink are completely normal. Your skin will also be red and sore. It may look a little warm to the touch. With a clean hand, wash the tattoo with warm water and soap. Better use a fragrance-free, non-alcoholic moisturizer. Remove the cover to allow the tattoo to heal.

Tattoo Aftercare Day Two to Day Three

By now, your tattoo will look duller and cloudier. This happens as your skin improves. The shells begin to form! Wash your tattoo once or twice a day and use a fragrance-free, non-alcoholic moisturizer. During washing, some ink may spill into the sink. This is just the extra ink that comes out of your skin, do not worry!

Tattoo Aftercare Day Four to Day Six

On days 4 to 6, the redness should fade. You will probably notice a slight discomfort on the tattoo. Your skin may have blisters. Do not touch the blisters, because they can cause sores. Continue washing your tattoo once or twice a day. Use an unscented, non-alcoholic moisturizer.

Tattoo Aftercare Day Seven to Day Fourteen

On days 7 to 14, the outer layer of your skin hardens and begins to peel. Do not manipulate or scratch them. Let them disappear naturally. Otherwise, scarring may occur. At this stage, your skin may feel very itchy. To relieve itching, gently apply a fragrance-free, non-alcoholic moisturizer several times a day. If at this point your tattoo is still red and swollen, it may be infected and you should see your tattoo artist or doctor.

Tattoo Aftercare Day Fifteen to Day Thirty

On days 15 to 30 in the last stage of tattoo aftercare and recovery, most of the large scales disappear. You may still see some dead skin, but it should eventually go away. The tattooed area may still look dry and dull. Keep moisturizing the area until the skin is moisturized enough. By the second or third week, the outer layers of the skin should have healed. Complete healing of the lower layers may take 3 to 4 months. At the end of your third month, the tattoo should look as bright and vibrant as the tattoo artist intended.

Do you care about your skin? Also check:

Vitamin E for Skin | Tocopherol is the miracle of skin rejuvenation

Chapter 3

Tattoo aftercare products

Body tattoo is one of the popular trends of these years. Post-tattoo body care plays a big role in maintaining your health and keeping your skin and tattoo bright and beautiful, which you should take seriously. Body tattoos are gaining popularity these days. In addition to being a way of expressing personal characteristics, it has also become a work of art. Like micropigmentation, a permanent make-up, a tattoo artist uses a needle to insert ink under the skin.


Whenever the skin exposes to pollution, the way is open for infections to enter. Post-tattoo care can prevent these complications. After the procedure, your tattoo artist should apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the tattoo and then cover the tattooed area with a bandage or plastic wrap. This coating prevents bacteria from entering the skin. It also protects the tattoo area from being worn and irritated.

To clean your tattoo area, use a mild, unscented soap or tattoo remover with a special formula. Your tattoo artist can recommend a tattoo remover. It is better to avoid products such as Vaseline 100% Pure Petroleum Jelly. The American Academy of Dermatology says that the oil-base Vaseline can cause the ink to fade.

However, there is one exception. Vaseline may be helpful when taking a shower. Because Vaseline is waterproof, you can apply it to your tattoo before taking the shower to protect the area from the water. It has also been suggested that Vaseline may be helpful in healed tattoos or the skin around the tattoo if it is extremely dry. Bear in mind, just apply a thin layer. Applying too much Vaseline does not allow the skin to breathe.

After about 2 days, you can apply a regular moisturizer. Make sure that whatever product you choose is fragrance-free (Unscented) and alcohol-free.

Coconut oil

Polynesians, like Samoans, have long used coconut oil in their tattoos. They use it after the tattoo is finished or healed. One supposed advantage is that it makes the tattoo shine. Some websites claim that coconut oil keeps the skin under your tattoo moisturized and protects it from infection. However, the evidence is anecdotal and there is no scientific evidence to prove it. Consult your doctor before applying coconut oil.

Other coconut oil benefits for skin

Along with tattoo aftercare usages, you can use co‌conut oil for various purposes. Such as:

  • Coconut oil is an excellent emollient for the skin. You can use this oil to relieve dry skin and diseases caused by dry and harsh skin. Just take some oil and rub it between your fingers and then apply it on the skin of the face or wherever you want to moisturize.
  • Coconut oil is a great alternative to chemical lip balm. It works quickly, and if something goes wrong, not only is there no harm, but there are benefits.

Dry heal tattoo

In a method which is known as a dry-healing tattoo, you do not use any moisturizer as part of your tattoo aftercare plan. However, other steps, such as avoiding the sun, must be followed. Proponents of the dry-healing method believe that one of the benefits of avoiding moisturizers (which may contain artificial substances) is that they help eliminate the possibility of skin irritation or allergic reactions. One counterargument is that lack of moisture makes you vulnerable to itching. Ask your tattoo specialist if dry healing is proper for you.

Eyebrow tattoo aftercare

Eyebrow tattoo aftercare is very important. If the necessary care is not taken and done properly, it can affect the final result of the work. So, to have a beautiful tattoo without any problems and damage, be sure to pay attention to the tips and recommendations that the tattoo artist tells you and follow them.

Some important tips for eyebrow tattoo aftercare are:

  • Avoid bathing and washing the area for 3 days after tattooing.
  • After tattooing, lubricate the desired area with Vaseline.
  • After tattooing – for 2 weeks – lubricate the tattooed area with vitamin A (3 times a day) to prevent scaling with an ear wax cleaner.
  • Use hydrocortisone eye ointment (Once a day) for a week after tattooing and permanent eyebrow shading.
  • Do not expose yourself to sunlight for up to 1 month after performing this technique.
  • Avoid going to the pool for 1 week to 1 month after getting a tattoo.
  • It is forbidden to use cosmetics until complete recovery.
  • Avoid rubbing or scratching the tattooed area.
  • Do not manipulate parts that have peeled due to wounds and dryness.
  • It is forbidden to use the microdermabrasion technique for up to 1 month after tattooing.

Do you care about your skin? Also check:

Sunscreen | Everything You Need to Know About Sunscreen, According to Skin Experts

Chapter 4

Possible side effects of tattooing

The first few days after getting a tattoo, your skin may be red, itchy, and painful. You may notice excess ink leaking out, along with blood and fluid from the skin. This is perfectly normal. See your doctor or take your tattoo aftercare plan seriously, if you have symptoms of any of the following:


The first few days after getting a tattoo, your skin may be red, itchy, and painful. You may notice excess ink leaking out, along with blood and fluid from the skin. This is perfectly normal. See your doctor if you have symptoms of any of the following:

Infection. Tattoos that are not properly cared for can become infected. In this condition, the infected skin will be red, hot, and painful. Pus may also leak. If the equipment or ink you use is contaminated, you may be infected through blood, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, tetanus, or HIV. Other infections, such as non-tuberculous mycobacterium skin infections, have also been reported to be transmitted through tattooing.

Allergic reaction

If you are sensitive to the ink used, you may have a red and itchy reaction on the skin. According to a 2019 study, red colors have the most allergic reactions. Research shows that red, along with blue and black, also causes non-allergic skin reactions such as photosensitivity.


Injury from a needle or tattoo can cause scar tissue to form in your body. Scars can be permanent. To prevent such complication, better take your tattoo aftercare plan seriously from day one.

Do you care about your skin? Also check:


Chapter 5

What will be the recovery period after laser tattoo removal?

Depending on the laser technology used to remove the tattoo, the recovery time will be completely different. Q-switched lasers are commonly used to remove tattoos. Types of Q-switched lasers include; Alexandrite laser, Ruby ​​laser, and NdYAG laser. Although all three lasers have similar results, the NdYAG laser may cause more blisters and scaling than Ruby ​​or Alexandrite lasers.

During the laser session, the skin turns icy white. This is due to the carbon dioxide released by the laser penetration and the formation of a surface in the upper layer of the skin that resembles a layer of white ice. Within a few hours of treatment, the skin may begin to flake and blister, which usually takes 3 to 14 days to resolve.

These side effects are completely natural and predictable because the body wants to repair itself quickly and so the damaged outer layer of the skin falls off to be replaced by new skin. Some people may have very little bleeding. Your laser technician will place an ice pack on the treated area to help soothe it.

After a few days, all physical effects usually disappear. Now you just have to wait for a while for your body to completely remove the ink pigments. This stage usually takes 6-8 weeks. Only then can the next laser session be performed again.

Tattoo removal aftercare procedure

Just like when you were newly tattooed, it is important to avoid certain things after tattoo removal lasering, including exposing the treated area to sunlight, swimming, baths, and hot tubs. Scaling is a natural treatment and blistering is possible.

If you have blisters, continue to apply the ointment to the treatment area until the blisters burst on their own and the scabs go away. Do not peel or blister under any circumstances, and avoid shaving the affected area until it is completely healed. Many people also experience itching during the recovery period. The use of ointments such as Aquaphor, vitamin E ointment, or hydrocortisone cream will provide relief.

Chapter 6

Tips for long-term tattoo care

Although you do not need to take special care of it after 3 or 4 months, there are some things you can do for your tattoo to last longer:

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.
  • Keep the tattoo area clean. Wash your skin daily with a mild, unscented soap.
  • Avoid gaining or losing weight. A change in weight can cause the tattoo to stretch or distort.
  • Be careful in choosing your clothes. Wear sunscreen so that the sun does not destroy your tattoo. Avoid rough fabrics such as wool that can damage the artist’s work!

Tattoo aftercare

Do you care about your skin? Also check:

NIACINAMIDE | Stem Defense Cream

Chapter 6

Last words

Getting your first tattoo done is terrifying and exciting, and you probably already have millions of questions. How much will it hurt? How do you know if a tattoo parlor is safe? How much does it cost? Before putting something permanently on your body, you need to make sure that each of these questions is answered by experts.

In this article, we have described anything you may probably need either before or after your tattoo is done. But, in general, here are some tattoo aftercare options that you should consider:

  • The bandage on the tattoo area should not be removed for 6 hours and bathing should be avoided for 3 days.
  • After half an hour, gently apply vitamin A ointment to the tattoo area.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap 4 to 6 times a day for 5 days.
  • In case of severe inflammation, burning, itching, and infection, see a doctor and avoid taking pills and drugs or using other ointments arbitrarily.
  • Tattooed skin should be covered with a layer of antiseptic ointment. Of course, the amount of ointment should be such that it is absorbed by the skin and the skin remains oily, but too much ointment can cause the color to come out of the tattoo. It is better to use ointments such as D and A, because antibiotic ointments cause skin allergies.


How long do tattoos take to heal?

How long does it take for a tattoo to heal? After getting a tattoo, the outer layer of skin (the part you can see) will typically heal within 2 to 3 weeks. While it may look and feel healed, and you may be tempted to slow down on the aftercare, it can take as long as 6 months for the skin below a tattoo to truly heal.

Do and don'ts before tattoo?

For 48 hours prior to getting a tattoo, ensure that you don't drink any alcohol or caffeine. Since both substances are known to thin the blood, they could lead to increased bleeding during the process and make it a lot more bloody than it needs to be.

What is a tattoo blowout?

Tattoo blowouts occur when a tattoo artist presses too hard when applying ink to the skin. The ink is sent below the top layers of skin where tattoos belong. Below the skin's surface, the ink spreads out in a layer of fat. This creates the blurring associated with a tattoo blowout.

Why are tattoos cash only?

Here's the most common reasons that tattoo shops only accept cash: It's too expensive – Since people have become so accustomed to swiping their cards for everyday purchases from gas, to coffee to groceries, they tend to not realize how expensive it is for companies to accept credit and debit cards.

YouTube Video: