Tattoo Aftercare In 2020 – What Shouldn’t You Do After Getting A New Tattoo


Looks like the tattoos have been all over the past couple of years (literally everyone and their mom seem to have one). The spike in popularity also makes sense: sharper needles have made it even easier to achieve fine lines and super detailed designs, and tattoos these days are more customizable than ever. Basically, you have full control over the look, shape, and size of your design, which couldn’t really be said 20 or 30 years ago. But before you run and go get a tattoo you absolutely need to know all the dos and don’ts that are part of your tattoo aftercare.

IDK if you’ve heard, but tattoos are 100 percent permanent. As in, on your body forever. This means that you can’t skip the aftercare process during the healing phase (and, you know, all the years after that). If you do, your cute little tattoo might end up getting blurry or infected, or your watercolor drawing might look flat and discolored. So to avoid any pain (and / or a future laser removal appointment), I spoke with Erin raeman, co-owner of Super soft tattoos, and Johnny dagger, Los Angeles based tattoo artist, to get all the ins and outs of tattoo tracking.

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What not to do after getting a tattoo?

Let’s talk about what you should avoid first before to tattoo. “Do not drink before your date, unless you want to end up with an inflamed tattoo” said Dagger. Drinking before tattooing can cause heavy bleeding and affect the quality of your tattoo, so don’t even think about making your pre-game appointment. can However, exfoliate and moisturize your skin in the weeks leading up to your tattoo, he says. This will help the ink to penetrate your skin better, making it easier for the artist to achieve crisp, crisp lines.

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Okay, back to tracking. According to Raeman, the first thing you want to avoid during the healing process is to soak it in any way, even in the shower. “You want to make sure that your showers are fast and that you try to keep your new tattoo out of direct water streams for the first two weeks,” she says.

When you’re standing in the shower, your pores open due to the heat and steam, says Raeman. This makes it harder for your skin to retain ink and it can slow down the healing process. (Pro tip: If you can’t stop your long showers during the healing process, Raeman says you can put a big glob of Aquaphora on your tattoo before you jump in the shower to create a barrier between the water and your tattoo. But still, no soaking.)

Attention that all Pore ​​opening activities should be ignored during those first few weeks, Dagger says. This means that you are going to have to take a break from all outdoor activities and take a break from your workouts at home. Oh, and no intense sun exposure either, Dagger adds, as UV rays can break down the structure of your tattoo, causing it to fade.

Also be aware that during the healing process your tattoo may be itchy, like, really itching, but Raeman cautions against picking or scratching. If you need relief, you can pat it with your fingers, just like you would a mosquito bite.

How long should I keep my tattoo covered?

Right after the needle has finished buzzing, your artist will wrap your tattoo with a coating to protect it from bacteria and irritation. The type of coating you get depends on your tattoo artist preference—Raeman uses regular saran wrap for her clients and recommends that you leave it on for about three hours.

Dagger opts for a so-called “second skin” coating. It’s a clear sticker that stays on your tattoo for about three days and keeps everything (including water and sweat) off site. After the three days, you can take it off and live your life.

How do you know if your tattoo is healing properly?

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Don’t panic, but your tattoo is going to look pretty gross at first. “During the first days of healing, it is normal to feel flaking, peeling and a little irritation ”, Raeman said. According to Dagger, the thin tattoos you see all over your diet heal fairly quickly – up to about two weeks maximum, he says, because there is less trauma to the skin. “With non-thin tattoos, the healing process can take around two to three weeks., said Dagger. And unless you get a tattoo on the side of your finger, where the skin is a little more delicate and prone to friction, your ink will heal at the same rate no matter where it lives.

You to do want to panic a little if your new tattoo starts to get super red, inflamed and veinedthat means he’s probably infected, says Raeman. Although infections are rare, they do happen, so don’t ignore your follow-up. And if you think you are suffering from any form of infection, quickly call your tattoo artist and / or dermatologist.

When should you start using lotion on your new tattoo?

You want start hydrating your new ink as soon as you remove the dressing. Raeman and Dagger both recommend using an unscented lotion, such as Lubriderm, on your tattoo. Anything that contains perfume could irritate your ink and prevent it from healing properly.

And lotion isn’t the only product you should be using on your tattoo. You will want keep the area clean with a mild cleanser, said Dagger. Don’t use anything abrasive on your ink (sorry, loofahs and grainy scrubs). Raeman says you should use your fingers to wash your tattoo gently and then dry it with clean paper towels before going with your lotion.

Do you know how you should wear SPF 30 or higher on your face every day? Yes, you should also apply it to your tattoos—even after the healing phase, both Raeman and Dagger say. (UV rays can cause discoloration, remember?) These sunscreens are a good place to start:

Can you overdo it when it comes to tattoo care?

Yes, too much of anything is never great, is it? You want to avoid going overboard with excessive ointments and washes. If you overdo it, you’ll start to notice that the perimeter of your tattoo turns red and itchy, says Raeman. Basically you want to show off your tattoo love without suffocating it.

The final verdict

Taking care of your tattoos, during and after the healing process, is not too difficult, it is like taking care of your skin. Cleansing, moisturizing, and applying an SPF will help ensure that your tattoos stay beautiful and clean over time. And while your tattoos will inevitably change a bit over the years, as will your skin, maintaining a routine will keep your ink in tip-top shape.

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