For instance, if you have a tattoo on your back, try to sleep on your front and let the tattoo breathe. A lot of tattoo artists recommend sleeping with the wrap that was put on. Others recommend re-wrapping, or just applying healing ointment and keeping the tattoo clean. The important thing is avoiding infection.
Keep the tattoo covered
To protect your tattoo from bacteria and other contaminants, be sure to keep it covered with a clean and breathable bandage. You can also use a specialized tattoo cover, such as an adhesive bandage specifically designed for tattoo aftercare.
During the first 48 hours of getting your tattoo, your skin will ooze blood and plasma, which is completely normal and part of the healing process. However, these fluids can make your skin itchy and cause the skin to become stuck to your bedsheets. All these scenarios can be avoided with night-wrapping.
A healing tattoo needs lots of fresh air and oxygen, so try not to smother it while sleeping. You may also want to elevate the tattooed area, if possible. This will help in the healing process and lessen the amount of drainage and swelling you may experience.
You should wrap your tattoo in cling film, even while sleeping for the first couple of nights. This helps keep the germs out and helps with keeping fabric off of the tattoo to reduce rubbing/chafing.
Yes! Moisturizing your tattoo regularly is extremely important. You should moisturize your clean tattoo 3 – 6 times per day, for roughly two weeks (though proper skincare is always important, and most tattoo enthusiasts moisturize their tattoos daily for life!).
Some tattoo artists recommend waiting between 24-48 hours before applying moisturizer, though others recommend doing so as soon as the first wash. A person with a fresh tattoo should follow their tattoo artist's instructions on when to start using moisturizer.
Wash your tattoo in the morning after waking up and in the evening before going to bed. Be gentle. Use clean water, good soap (our soap is pretty great), and a clean paper towel. And moisturize after.
Once you've removed the wrapping on your fresh tattoo, keep it off! It's time to let the healing process begin and let your tattoo breathe. If you rewrap it, you'll be trapping in moisture, which leads to bacteria growth, which leads to infection.
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.
“If it's left on for long periods, it will get infected. I recommend changing the cling film four times a day – breakfast, lunch, dinner and before you go to bed.” But you must wash the tattoo each time, using warm water and a mild soap – our aftercare foam wash is gentle for this purpose.
Hibler says the safest option is to use a gentle (aka fragrance- and preservative-free) cleanser, ointment, moisturizer, and sunscreen. He adds that many products safe for eczema-prone skin are also great options for tattoo aftercare because they have gentle formulas that retain moisture and restore the skin barrier.
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.
Don't: Consume Alcohol, Coffee, and Energy Drinks
A rough night before will also leave alcohol in your system, so be aware of how much you consume. Like alcohol, caffeine intake and energy drinks also thin out your blood. So, skip that morning cup of coffee the day you get your tattoo.
"[Tattoos] can be very painful, so a little crying is OK." Hall also noted that some clients cry during a tattoo session for emotional reasons. "Crying happens from time to time, but I find that it's most often connected to an emotional release rather than physical pain," he said.
Over-moisturizing your tattoo can lead to delayed healing. Moisturizer helps to keep the skin hydrated and promote healing, but too much moisturizer can create a barrier that prevents the skin from breathing and healing. This can lead to prolonged healing times and increase the risk of infection.
Drunken behaviour could ruin your new tattoo
You need to be aware of keeping your tattoo clean and dry while it is fresh, so a night out might not be the best option. It's generally recommended that you wait at least 48 hours after your new tattoo before you start drinking alcohol again.
"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."
If your artist did not recommend re-wrapping, just let the tattoo stay exposed to air overnight. Every day from then on, you will wash the tattoo in the morning and at night, and apply lotion 3 times a day or so, or whenever the tattoo feels dry or tight. Always wash your hands before touching the tattoo.
You may also see redness, swelling, and some mild bleeding. DAYS 3-14 (or until healed): After the first 2-3 days, your tattoo should begin to feel dry and tight.
So what product should you use? 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.
DON'T apply alcohol, Neosporin, Vaseline, or petroleum jelly (they can trap dirt and germs and cause infection).
Without moisturiser, there's a risk that healing skin will get very dry, tight and itchy, and itchy skin that you can't scratch - that in fact you shouldn't touch at all - is not much fun! If you do itch then you risk damaging the new tattoo.
In most cases, you are fine to remove your wrapping after a few hours as long as you are comfortable washing your tattoo with warm soapy water. However, it is not unusual for a tattoo artist to recommend keeping your tattoo wrapped for the first night.