Men's Lifestyle

Tattoo Aftercare: How To Properly Care For Your Tattoo

Tattoo aftercare is just as important as a good tattoo design.  A tattoo that is not cared for properly can ruin a design that looked beautiful when it was first inked.  Make sure you follow these steps for proper tattoo aftercare if you want your tattoo to remain as attractive as possible.

  1. Leave that bandage alone!  A tattoo is a wound, and it needs to be cared for as such.  Your tattoo artist should have put a bandage on your tattoo, and that bandage needs to be left on for two hours (at the bare minimum).  It’s normal to want to examine a new tattoo, but that is going to have to wait until later.
  2. Get rid of the saran wrap.  If your tattoo artist covered your tattoo in saran wrap or another clear plastic, you need to remove it immediately.  Plastic wrap is very harmful to a new tattoo as it will suffocate it.
  3. Wash your new tattoo.  After you remove your bandage, use some lukewarm water and very mild soap to wash off the area covered by your tattoo.  You need to remove any blood/plasma, ointment, oil or dirt from the area and make sure it is completely clean.  Then gently pat it dry.  Make sure you use a VERY clean towel to blot the area dry.
  4. Rub some ointment on the area.  Use a very light application of any anti-bacterial ointment other than Neosporin.  Neosporin sometimes causes an allergic reaction with raised red bumps.  These bumps will go away when the infection subsides, and the ink where the bumps were will go away as well.

After it’s healed

  • Make sure you use at least 30 SPF around your tattoo when going out in the sun.
  • Make sure you do not soak a new tattoo in the water when showering or bathing.  Avoid submerging the tattoo in water for two or three weeks after it is inked.
  • Scabbing is normal.  Apply soft, moist compresses to the tattooed area a few times a day for five minutes at a time to help the scabbing go away.

Recommended Products

Our friend and MaleStandard reviewer Sean Hoy makes a great line of tattoo aftercare products that have been tested and approved by our team of ambassadors. If you really want to keep your tattoo looking sharp, you must check out his stuff.