Aftercare Tips for Your Post-Tattoo Skin

When you have a new tattoo, aftercare is really important to ensure it heals properly and looks good. Here are a few essential tips for caring for your skin after a tattoo.

Follow Aftercare Advice

You will be given instructions by your tattoo artist, so follow these. Most will give you a leaflet to remind you what to do.

Wash the Tattoo

You will normally be advised to keep the tattoo covered for a few hours, but then to remove the covering and wash your tattoo gently. Use a mild liquid soap and lukewarm water. Although according to WebMD, new tattoos do not commonly become infected, infections are not rare.

Moisturise the Tattoo

An unscented moisturising cream should be applied in a very thin layer. Your tattoo artist will probably recommend a moisturiser, and various products are available at outlets for tattoo supplies in the UK. Some artists will recommend leaving it open to the air, whilst others will advise you to cover the tattoo with gauze or cling film. The cleaning process should normally be repeated three to five times a day.

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Keep the Area Clean and Dry

Your new tattoo should be kept clean and dry for a minimum of one month. It should not be soaked in water, so have showers rather than baths. If it is in an area that will be rubbed by clothes, cover it with a dry gauze dressing or cling film.

Keep Away from Direct Sunlight

Unless it is unavoidable, your new tattoo should not be exposed to direct sunlight. When tattoos, particularly coloured ones, are healed, they can become faded in the sun, so you should apply a high-SPF cream before exposing it to UV rays.

Wait for Healing

Healing times vary between different people and depend on how large the tattoo is. An uncomplicated small line tattoo could take about a week, whilst a large complex design could take several months to heal. Continue your aftercare regime as long as you have been advised. Aftercare products such as moisturising creams are available from suppliers such as, and you should avoid using anything abrasive on your skin.

Avoid Picking at Your Tattoo

As healing occurs, you may notice itching or flaking. It is important not to pick or scratch at irritated areas, as you may remove ink and cause fading.