Tips on Proper Tattoo Care

After getting that much awaited tattoo, questions begin on various issues. For instance, should I apply oil or lotion? If so, what is the Best Lotion for Tattoos? In case you are at that stage, we will go through these among other questions. At the end we also hope to provide useful information in response to concerns.

Further Questions

  • What do I do to avoid a skin infection?
  • Are there particular steps, and if so, how do I know what am doing is right?
  • Is the information provided by my artist enough or should I contact a dermatologist?

What does the law Say?

If living in the United States, minimal are the resources associated with tattoo aftercare. Luckily though, the internet has come to the rescue. There is considerably a good number of tattoo related websites that provide tons of information to a global populace. Back to offline, 30 states in the United States award licenses to tattoo parlors. It is further required of an artist to provide aftercare instructions by word of mouth or in written form.

However, there are seven states with no detailed regulations, if any. Another seven states go further in enforcing aftercare instructions. The states of Arkansas, Delaware, Michigan, North Dakota, Alabama, Louisiana, and Massachusetts regulate under their public health departments. Therefore, making it a serious medical requirement. Many dermatologists though feel that it is only fair that all states take up the matter seriously. It is a consensus that everyone should receive proper and detailed aftercare instructions after getting their piece.

Tattoo care Basics

It would be such a waste investing in a tattoo only for it to disappoint, courtesy of a few things done wrong. Remember, your artist is human too and they could forget a few things. Thus, it is imperative that you equip yourself with information, as follows.

  • After the piece is done, the artist should cover it in a thin petroleum jelly layer, followed by a bandage or foil.
  • Get rid of that bandage after one day. Do not even think of putting on another bandage. Gently wash the area with some lukewarm water, and antibacterial soap. Then, let it dry out or use a paper towel (do not use a towel, as they are often germ-infested).
  • For the next two weeks, apply antimicrobial oils at least twice a day. It could also be done on a need basis, but sparingly.
  • Moderately wash your art a number of times per day. The frequency could be informed by factors such as work intensity.
  • Lastly, use lotions to keep up the tattoo colors. Too much of it though would lead to excessive and unwanted moisture.

Other Long-term Tips

First the above process should be repeated for 2-4 weeks. At first bath tubs, Jacuzzis, and swimming pools are advised against. However, over time one can engage in such, plus basking. Yet, lots of caution need to be exercised. For example, hot scalding water even after a fortnight would still be irritating. As for basking, tattoo-friendly sunscreen (above SPF 30) is a must. Otherwise, the colors will fade over time, besides other skin ailments caused by too much UV exposure could set in.

Maintaining the Moisture Levels

Scabbing is quite normal and you should not aid the process in any way. That would lead to infection plus unusual swelling at times. Too much of it though should warrant a visit to the hospital. You might want to check out Aveeno, a lotion with a wonderful ingredient that helps in moisture retention. Such products will help maintain color vibrance for a really long time. Application intensity will of course be influenced by the amount of exposure your piece gets. For instance, tattoos on hands and face would need a little bit more of lotion in comparison to other in less-exposed areas.


Taking care consumes as much time, effort, and resources as getting the tattoo takes, if not more. You have to be really dedicated so as to maintain the tattoo as it appears when you get out of that parlor.

Read More »