Your new tattoo has involved breaking the surface of the skin and there is a possibility that, if not cared for properly, your tattoo may become infected. But following the advice provided you will be regarding the chance of anything going wrong

How to treat your tattoo

Your new tattoo is basically an area of tiny skin breaks which have been caused by the penetration of needles carrying ink into your skin. It is important that you keep wearing the sterile dressing applied by your tattooist for at least an hour after the tattoo has been finished. the should provide enough time for the area to stop bleeding or weeping.

Once you have removed the dressing, you should wash the tattoo gently with warm tap water and pat dry with a clean tissue – try to avoid using towels and especially ones that have been used.

After washing and drying your tattoo, apply the skin cream recommended by your tattooist. This will stop the skin drying and reduce scabbing.

You should aim to wash the area and apply moisturising cream approximately 2-3 times a day for the first few weeks. Cream should continue to be applied 2-3 times a day until your tattoo is fully healed.

Everyone heals at different rates depending on many factors. However, most scabbing should disappear within 2-3 weeks, the next stage is for the tattoo to be covered in a ‘silver’ skin which will last for about a week. In total your tattoo should heal within 4-5 weeks.

Some general tips

If possible, shower rather than bathe during the healing process. this prevents unnecessary water exposure. Always pat the tattoo dry with a separate towel until fully healed.

do not pick your tattoo as this will increase the healing time and will also lessen the quality of your tattoo.

Avoid swimminng, sun bathing and sun beds until your tattoo is fully healed. Sunlight and chlorine can interact with the dyes in your tattoo causing irritation or inflamtion of the skin.

Where possible, minimise the amount of ‘rubbing’ from clothing by wearing loose fitting clothes around the tattoo. This will minimise irritation of the skin around your new tattoo.

Keep your tattoo covered if working in dusty or dirty environments.

If you have any problems or questions at anytime contact your tattooist. Ask their advice in the first instance. It may be the case that they refer you to your GP, or reassure you that what you are seeing is part of the natural healing process. You should always seek medical attention at your GP surgery or at a hospital A&E department.