Tips for Taking Care of a New Tattoo

John Dietrich

To help ensure your tattoo heals great and looks the way you intended

Getting a new tattoo can be an exciting process. But what many people don’t realize is you don’t walk out of the tattoo shop with nothing more to do. In fact, you need to help your tattoo heal, which can take up to around three weeks. What you do during that time can make a big difference in how the tattoo heals and what it looks like once it does.

To help ensure your tattoo heals great and looks the way you intended (or even better), you will want to keep care in mind. Here are a few tips for taking care of a new tattoo:

  • Follow aftercare info. Every tattoo shop should provide people with aftercare tips for a new tattoo. While this may vary by shop, be sure to follow the instructions you are given, in order to maximize your chances for a great experience.
  • Avoid swimming and direct sunlight. Both swimming and direct sunlight can wreak havoc on your new tattoo. They can both distort the coloring, so you will want to be sure to avoid them for a few weeks until it has completely healed.

  • Forget picking at it. As your tattoo heals, you may be tempted to begin picking at it. Resist that urge! It is important to not pick at your new tattoo at all. Picking at it can actually pull some of the ink out, really messing up the look of your tattoo. Scratching it is out as well.

  • Give it time. People heal at different rates. Your friend’s tattoo may heal in a week, but yours may take three weeks. That’s okay. Just be patient and continue to care for it following these tips for the duration.

While you are following these tips, don’t hesitate to contact the tattoo shop with questions if you have some. Most tattoo shops are happy to help you with questions and they want you to have a good experience with healing, too. That way you will spread the good word about their shop and will be more likely to come back for another one!