How to look after a NEW Tattoo

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There you have it, you finally decided to go get that tattoo you have been thinking about. You agonized over the design, worried about if it was going to be sore, what your mother might think and now you have a beautiful tattoo just the way you dreamt it.

NOW WHAT?  All new tattoos have to be cared for. The skin following a tattoo has been damaged and how you care for that abrasion can affect the healed tattooed skin.The healing of your tattooed skin will be influenced by the artist skill that placed the ink, the size of the tattoo, where it is placed, your general health, what type of job you have, how you care for your skin and your choice of aftercare. 

Q. After the tattoo session- what happens next?

A. You can expect a little swelling and redness which can last for a few hours. There may be some bleeding and weeping. Some people have no discomfort.

You will need to decide how you are going to clean the tattooed skin and what aftercare to use. Tattooed skin will heal on it's own without an aftercare but the process can be uncomfortable. The skin can go very dry and itchy, scabs may form and the chance of picking these due to the itch will increase the risk of infection and loss of ink.


1. Wait 2- 4 hours after you leave the tattoo studio before removing the dressing.

2. Where possible wait until you are at home to remove the dressing. Make sure you have antibacterial soap for handwashing only.

3. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap, rinse thoroughly and dry them before removing  the dressing.

4. Use PLAIN WARM WATER to clean the skin over your new tattoo.

5. Do not use a face/wash cloth. Skin on Skin is best. Gently use your hand to remove any old blood, mucous or debris.

6. Pat dry using a per towel or clean hand towel. Allow to air dry for a few minutes.

7. Wash your hands again using antibacterial soap an rinse thoroughly. Dry them.

8.  Apply a small amount, light film of TAC TATTOO AFTERCARE (from The Aftercare Company). Gentlyy massage into the skin. Do not over apply. Less is more.

9. Do not recover your skin unless the tattoo is oozing lots of fluid. Loose clothing should be sufficient to protect your skin. (If you do need to recover new tattoos due to working in a dirty enviroment use a sterile gauze dressing which will allow the skin to breathe and keep the dirt off.

10. Apply another light film of TAC TATTOO AFTERCARE four hours later.

11. Wash the tattoo again at night with WARM WATER and apply another fine film of aftercare.

12. Keeping the skin supple and moisturised during the healing process lessens the chances of scabbing.

13. As healing progresses washing the tattooed skin once a day with warm water will be sufficient cleansing.

14. Apply a light film of aftercare 2-4 times daily until the skin has healed.



1. Show your ink to all your friends within the first couple of hours. Try to avoid this temptation as good hygiene practices mean everything. The risk in getting an infection is much higher in the first few hours after tattooing.

2. Do not share your aftercare product with anyone.

3. During the healing period, stay out of swimming pools, saunas, and partaking in water sports until the skin has completely healed. Soaking a new tattoo can cause it to lose its brightness. It is okay to shower as long as you don't soak the tattooed skin for long periods.


As the skin heals any weeping would have stopped. The top layer of skin will start to heal. Sometimes the skin can scab. Some people are prone to scabbing, overworked areas can cause scabbing. Using a good aftercare can help prevent scabbing.

The skin might also start to lightly flake (like skin that peels after sunburn). This is normal and more noticable with heavily coloured and full black tattoos. This flaking can continue for a few days then the skin might go shiny and also a bit wrinkly. DONT PANIC this is just the top layer of skin healing.  During this time the skin may become itchy and will be fragile. Using a good quality aftercare like TAC TATTOO AFTERCARE will help stop the itching.

After a few days the skin will look duller. This is not how your tattoed skin will be. As both layers of skin heal the tattoo will look brighter.

If your skin does scab don't pick them. This can introduce infection into the skin. It can also pull ink out leaving gaps in your inkwork. Keep the area moisturised and allow the scabs to fall off naturally.

Keep the skin moisturised and very soon you will have a fully healed tattoo.

To find out more information  about the healing process, long term care, infections, allergic reactions, tattoo ink position read our full quide on The Aftercare Company.Com website.

Shirley Jaffrey




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