How To Care For a New Tattoo

Tatted and pierced woman
Street Style - Hera Seoul Fashion Week 2019/Hanna Lasse/Getty Images    

A beautifully done tattoo can be ruined simply by not caring for it properly. Follow these guidelines, and you will have a work of art you can be proud of.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 1-2 Weeks

Here's How:

  1. Listen to your artist's aftercare instructions. They know more about your specific needs.
  2. No matter how tempted you are to show off your new tattoo, leave the bandage on for at least 3 hours.
  3. Wash your tattoo with mild soap twice daily using only your hand.
  4. After washing your tattoo, pat it dry with an unused towel or paper towel.
  5. For the first 3 days, apply antibacterial ointment very lightly after washing.
  6. After the third day, you can start applying lotion to your tattoo after washing.
  7. If your tattoo itches, don't scratch it! Instead, slap it to make the itch go away.
  8. Your tattoo may start to peel. Don't pick at it! Let it peel by itself and apply lotion to keep it moist.
  9. Once it is healed, apply sunblock before spending an extended time outside.
  10. You may want to have it touched up every few years to keep it looking new and vibrant.


  1. Do not, at any time, scrub or shave over your tattoo before it is fully healed.
  2. Your tattoo's worst enemy is the sun. Protect it with sunblock to keep the color from fading.
  3. A tattoo is considered completely healed when it is about 3 months old.

Related Stories