How to care for a fresh tattoo

By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to care for a fresh tattoo

The beauty of a tattoo depends not only on choosing a suitable design that goes with your personality and style, but also on the tattoo artist's skills. The healing and scarring process of a tattoo is equally important so that it looks healthy and attractive, and this depends entirely on you. It's essential to follow the instructions of the tattoo artist to detail, but if there's something that you're not clear about, or that you've forgotten, at we'll explain how to care for a fresh tattoo to ensure that it looks great.

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Steps to follow:

In order to make a tattoo, the skin must be pierced superficially to create the desired image. Thus, to care for a fresh tattoo, you must follow the same steps you normally would to promote the healing of any flesh wound. Caring for a tattoo should be done with the same meticulousness used to treat any injury or wound.


The time it takes to heal a tattoo depends largely on the type and size of the design. The larger it is, the more time it will take to heal. But usually within a week, you can see that your tattoo has almost completely healed if you've taken good care of it.

Proper hygiene and the application of healing products should be used 2 to 3 times a day, at 8 hour intervals during the first week.


Once the tattoo has been completed, you must wait between 2 to 5 hours before starting the first treatment. Start by washing your hands thoroughly, then wash your tattoo with cold water and mild, unscented soap. Gently wash the tattoo without using a sponge or cloth.

Although at first you may be apprehensive, you'll see that when you wash the tattoo, you'll feel immediate relief from any discomfort.

Remember to leave your bandage on for two days at least.


To dry your tattoo, use a soft, clean, cotton towel. Don't rub the area, simply place the towel over it to absorb the water.


The final step in caring for your fresh tattoo is to apply a healing product recommended by your tattoo artist. A cream is often recommended. Apply a very thin layer and allow it to dry before putting any clothes on, because the oil in the cream could stain them. A common cream to prescribe is Bepanten.


To care for your tattoo, you must repeat this process at eight hour intervals for a week. You'll see that after some days, the tattoo will be less inflamed and will look much better. If scabs appear, know that this is completely normal and as the tattoo heals, it'll itch a bit, so try not to scratch it because it's almost healed.


If, for some reason your tattoo looks inflamed after a period of time, it's very itchy or looks infected, it's important to visit your tattoo artist for a check-up.

If you want to read similar articles to How to care for a fresh tattoo, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.

  • Do not, under any circumstances take the flakes that appear on your tattoo off. They will fall off eventually on their own.
  • Do not use a cream or ointment that has alcohol amongst its ingredients.
  • Even after treatment, always use sun block whenever your tattoo is showing.

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How to care for a fresh tattoo
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