WASH THE TATTOO.
Pat it with a clean soft cloth or paper towel and let it air dry for 10-20 minutes or until the skin begins to feel tight. This allows for excess moisture to evaporate out. It is very important to let the tattoo "breathe".
During healing do NOT: Wrap the tattoo after the first night (wearing breathable clothes over it is fine as long as they are not causing friction. (Keeping tattoos wrapped in plastic or bandages will stop air from getting to the tattoo, slow healing, and make gross stuff grow in there.)
Knowing how long and when you should cover your tattoo plays a large role in effective aftercare. So, how long should I have my tattoo wrapped? Keep your tattoo wrapped for 2-4 hours after leaving the tattoo shop. If using protective tattoo film instead of plastic foil, keep the wrap on for 3-4 days.
5- Let your tattoo breathe to help with healing.
Once you've taken off the original wrapping that your tattoo artist put on, let it breathe. If you rewrap it, it could trap moisture and lead to bacteria growth and infection. This includes avoiding tight clothes over the tattoo.
Days 2 to 3
Over the next couple of days, you may notice that your tattoo looks dull and cloudy. No need to panic or start thinking about a touch-up. This happens as your skin heals and new skin starts to form. Excess ink and plasma may still ooze from your skin during this time.
You'll need to keep your tattoo wrapped in cling film from one to three days. Depending on the size of your artwork this may be longer and your artist will let you know but a general rule of thumb is: Small line-work pieces – keep the cling film on for one to two days.
You'll want to keep the tattoo wrapped for at least the first night because it will take a while for it to settle down and stop leaking. You don't want an open wound like that touching your bed sheets, getting blood everywhere, or dirt and dust getting into the wound itself.
Rewrapping the tattoo in cling film – how/if to do it
“Cling film is a non-breathable material,” explains Dexter. “If it's left on for long periods, it will get infected.
Remove the cling film after 2/3 hours, wash the tattooed area gently, pat dry, and apply the designated tattoo cream thinly over the tattoo, following the instructions on the cream tube.
The main thing is to try to keep pressure off of the new tattoo, so if you are a side sleeper with a new arm tattoo, sleep on the opposite arm. If it's a back tattoo, try to sleep on your front. Taking the pressure off will relieve the pain you can feel with a new piece, and it will also help you to avoid damaging it.
"During the healing process, you should moisturize your tattoo three to six times a day," Ladna says. "Keeping your tattoo hydrated during the initial days is especially critical. If your tattoo becomes too dry, the healing may actually take longer, and you may risk losing color saturation."
Can You Over-Moisturise a Tattoo? In a word: yes. It's definitely possible to over-moisturise a tattoo. An over-moisturised tattoo can lead to a whole host of issues, including breakouts, soggy scabs, and even infection.
Aftercare for Your Tattoo
Remove the bandage after 24 hours. Gently wash the tattoo with antimicrobial soap and water and be sure to pat dry. Apply a layer of antibacterial/Vaseline ointment twice a day, but don't put on another bandage.
Tattoo cream: how many days you need to apply it for optimal skin healing. After getting a tattoo, you should moisturize it daily for at least 10 to 14 days. Respecting these timeframes is absolutely crucial because, if your skin dries out, you are likely to get very disappointing results.
You may have heard some rumours that Bepanthen shouldn't be used on new tattoos, but this absolutely isn't the case. Bepanthen is by far one of the most highly recommended tattoo aftercare products and is the go-to ointment for most tattoo artists and studios.
You can shower 3-4 hours after getting a tattoo, if you have a Saniderm bandage on, however, if you have a plastic wrap wait 24 hours to unwrap your tattoo and shower. In either case, shower in cold or lukewarm water and avoid prolonged soaking or submerging your tattoo in water for 3-4 weeks.
Unprotected fresh tattoos will not only bleed, but will also have seepage of ink. If your clothes stick to the tattoo, not only will you undo any healing, but you can cause damage to the overall end result once it has healed. It's best to wait until you have established scabs or the area is no longer moist.
The constant needle pricks can be physically draining for the body. As a result, the body can go into “fight or flight” mode and release adrenaline, which can cause feelings of fatigue and exhaustion. This adrenaline rush is a natural response to stress and pain, and it can have a significant impact on the body.
While advice might vary per artist, we highly advise against dry healing your new tattoo. Those who prefer dry healing are often concerned that lotions and creams will cause reactions in the healing process, and prefer to keep things as natural as possible.
Working Out After Getting a New Tattoo
As a general rule, it's recommended to wait 2-3 days before any high intensity training. Then, it's recommended to wait slowly with light exercise programs until the new tattoo is completely healed (2-3 weeks after getting the tattoo).
Therefore, you should wash it the first night. However, if you had your tattoo session later in the day, you could wait until you wake up the next morning to clean it – be sure to rewrap your tattoo after any cleanings during the healing process.