Post Tattoo Care: How to Heal Your New Tattoo

11.29.23 05:38 AM By Charles Huurman

Take care of your tattoo

In our blog, we explain how to heal and tattoo aftercare tips and do’s and dont’s.

We know that people often have doubts about how to heal a tattoo recently done. Which products should you use? For how long?


You found your perfect tattoo artist, you booked your appointment and waited until your day arrived, sometimes even for months. Then you went through the pain and paid to get the tattoo you always dreamt of. Now it’s time for an important part so all the previous effort has a great result. This is why you need to know how to heal and take care of your new tattoo.


The healing process usually takes between 7-14 days, but depending on the type of tattoo, size, location and also how your body reacts to it, this process can be extended or shortened. During the first days we must treat our new tattoo like an open wound.


The truth is that the tattoo can take up to one month to heal completely.


Here are the Tips for Tattoo Care which involves a modern and traditional approach:

More Modern: Post Tattoo Care

A more modern way of after tattoo care involves Dermalize, Saniderm or other brand of breathable tattoo film, that protect your tattoo from friction and avoid that pathogenic and external contaminant agents get into the wound during the most critical phase of the healing process. At the same time, they help the skin to heal naturally from the inside affixing the natural fluids and enzymes of your body ensuring the optimal cicatrization of your tattoo. This film is tight, breathable and flexible, which allows it to perfectly adapt to any part of the body.


We will put the first film right after finishing the tattoo. After 24 hours, you must remove the film and properly wash your tattoo with warm water and mild soap. Remember to wash your hands and put a new Dermalize Pro film. Repeat this process once a day for 5 days.


After these first 5 days, you can leave your tattoo uncovered keeping it hydrated at all times with the specific cream for healing tattoos. From that moment on, wash your tattoo 3-4 times a day for a 2-week period.


But not all the tattoo artists use self-adhesive film. Some of them use some kind of plastic wrap like regular transparent film.


Wash your tattoo with warm water and mild soap, then dry it off using paper towel and giving soft touches (not dragging the paper over the tattoo area), apply a thin tattoo cream layer and leave it uncovered. The excess of moisturizing may affect your tattoo negatively.


Cover your tattoo with transparent plastic wrap during the first 2 nights, but do not apply any cream if you are covering it.


Repeat this process 3-4 times a day for a 2-week period.


A fresh tattoo can be described as a feeling similar to a sunburn. The area tends to become a little itchy and red-colored and may swell up. All of this is part of the natural process for the healing of your tattoo. Take anti-inflammatory medicine always under your doctor’s advice.


During the first 2 days, you will also see exudation of a light liquid and the ink excess which is completely normal and nothing to worry about, but make sure to keep your tattoo clean at all times.


After a couple of days, the skin around the tattoo may become a little bit dry and your skin will start peeling off and flaking like if it was a sunburn. This way, you will start feeling itchy over the tattoo area.


Do not rub or touch the tattoo area while it is healing. A color loss and/or infection might occur!


After the 2-week period, or when your tattoo is completely healed, you will be able to come back to your usual moisturizer.


No matter which method you follow to heal and take care of your new tattoo, it is very important to use only specific products.


Use mild soap to wash your tattoo during all the process. The skin is wounded due to the needle perforations and we must take care of it to the fullest.


Using high-quality creams developed by doctors and pharmacists will guarantee the pore closing rapidly avoiding the loss of ink. They will also protect the ink pigments and your tattoo will have an optimal cicatrization.


Using self-adhesive film will allow you to have an optimal healing process during the first 5 days.


Remember to put a thin tattoo cream layer, a cream excess may soften the skin being harmful and producing pimples. In case this happens to you, stop applying cream on the tattoo area until the skin dries off and the pimples disappear.


It’s essential that, during the healing process, you must not:

- Wet your tattoo in the bath, sauna, hot tub or swimming in the sea or swimming pools. Showers are really good 

- Don’t use towels or rags to dry your tattoo off, they may leave some cotton residues adhered. Dry your tattoo off using paper towel.

- Avoid going to the gym or doing contact sports during the first couple of days of the healing process or while the tattoo area is inflamed.

- Don’t scratch, rub or touch your fresh tattoo.

- Don’t expose your new tattoo to direct sunlight. This can lead to discoloration and you could easily burn the piece of skin that is not healed.

- Don’t use any product that is not specific for tattoos without asking a doctor or a tattoo artist.

- Take advice about tattoos only from your tattoo artist or your doctor.

- Avoid touching it and don’t let other animals (also) touching or rubbing your fresh tattoo.

- Don’t let your tattoo to adhere to your clothes and, in case that happens, wet it and then remove the cloth carefully.

- Try to avoid direct contact with dirty water (from washing the dishes, for example).

- Don’t use a sponge to wash your tattoo, massage it with your clean hand.

- Don’t apply too much cream, a thin layer is enough.


Scabs are a normal part of healing but can be unslightly if your tattoo area is big. While they can disappear on their own, home treatments can help speed your recovery. Here are some ways to speed scab healing:

1. Keep your scab clean

It's important to keep your scab and any other injury clean at all times. Debris and germs can increase your risk of infection and slow your healing process. Gently wash your scab with mild soap and water. Avoid scrubbing as you may risk scratching or irritating your scab. This can cause it to bleed, reform, and potentially scar your skin.

2. Keep your tattoo area moist

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, keeping your wounds moist helps your skin heal and speeds your recovery. A dry wound quickly forms a scab and slows your ability to heal. Moistening your scabs or wounds can also stop your wound from getting bigger and prevent itchiness and scarring. Dermatologists recommend applying petroleum jelly daily to keep your scab moist.

3. Don't pick your scab

Picking and scratching your scabs can be tempting, especially if the begin to itch. But, these actions can cause new trauma and slow your 

recovery process. Picking your scabs can also increase your risk of developing an infection, causing swelling and pain.

4. Take preventive measures

If you ae physically active or if your scab is still fresh, cover it with a bandage to prevent further irritation and to reduce your risk of scraping it. Any excess trauma to your scab can slow your healing and trigger bleeding or swelling.

If your scabs do not reduce in size in a few days or if your tattoo shows signs of infection (swelling, redness and pus), contact your tattoo artist immediately.


As you can see, after leaving the tattoo studio, taking care of tattoo is in your hands.


A great artist will do everything he can to get you an amazing tattoo, but the way you treat it later on will have a big influence on how it will heal and the final result after the healing.


You must also remember that your tattoo will change a bit after the healing. It will be less bright and vibrant but if you take care of it and you follow the instructions of the healing process properly, the difference won’t be that big.


Make sure to keep your tattoo amazing for years!

Charles Huurman