Despite using permanent ink, tattoos still require some maintenance if you want them to stay looking sharp and beautiful. This means employing the right tattoo care before, during, and after getting a tattoo. Plus, the tattoo healing process will play a role in how beautiful your tattoo will look over time.

Tattoo Prep

If you are going to get a tattoo, then it is helpful to do a little preparation in the days before the ink is applied.

  • Moisturize the skin if dry
  • Do not overly exert yourself before getting the tattoo
  • Avoid drugs or alcohol as they can thin the blood

In addition, do not have a deep cleanse of your skin performed as that may cause irritation to occur. If you are well-rested and ready, then getting a tattoo is much easier and your body and skin will be prepared.

Post-Tattoo Care

Now that you have received your tattoo, the first thing you’ll notice is the plastic applied to the skin over the area. This is to prevent any infection from developing due to bacteria. Be sure to keep the plastic in place for the recommended time which is usually a couple hours or overnight before removing it.

Rinse the Skin: To accelerate the tattoo healing, use clean running lukewarm water combined with a neutral pH soap or antiseptic to wash away any excess ink, blood, or lymph. Gently pat dry with a paper towel or let air dry.

Apply Moisturizer: When dry, you can use a standard tattoo ointment to moisturize the skin and promote healing. Ointments with high quality petroleum such as Aquaphor are good, also pure coconut oil or coco butter is a natural option. Use ointment sparsely and apply in a very thin layer, less is more.

Add Ice: The skin may feel itchy or irritated which is normal. Applying an ice pack will reduce the inflammation and make the skin feel better.

Avoid Distortion and Loss of Color

It takes a little time for the tattoo to fully settle in. To avoid distortion during the early days you’ll need to employ the right tattoo care.

  • Avoid swimming
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing around the area
  • Stay out of the sun
  • Reduce exercise or strenuous activity
  • Never pick, play, or scratch the scabs of a healing tattoo

By following these tips, the tattoo will heal properly, and you will minimize any distortion that might occur. Remember that the healing window is about 14 days, so plan ahead to ensure that you can avoid activities that might cause damage to your tattoo.   


Once the tattoo healing process is over, your tattoo care over time will be to keep the skin properly moisturized. If you employ good skin care techniques, such as applying high SPF sunscreen to color tattoos the color will remain bright.

By addressing all aspects of getting a tattoo from preparing beforehand to ensuring that the tattoo healing happens without incident, then you can engage in minimal tattoo care over time. This means that you can enjoy your tattoo and keep your skin healthy.

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