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The first step is generally to force the person now responsible for the new tattoo to consider the practicalities. The whole thing is ridiculously charming. The artists are all quietly confident and eager to get to work, and their expertise is, as expertise will always be, thrilling to watch.


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Select personalised. Apply market research to generate audience insights. Measure content performance. Develop and improve products. List of Partners vendors. Now that you have your fresh new tattooyou need to take good care of it.

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From this point on, your artist is not responsible for any infection or problems you might have with your tattoo that from improper care—it's all on you. And safety aside, a really beautiful tattoo can turn into a disaster if you don't follow proper aftercare guidelines. Now that we have your attention, here are a few things to do or not to make the most of your investment in that beautiful body art.

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Open wounds are breeding grounds for bacteria and infection—and, as pretty as your new tattoo is, it's a wound. Your artist took care to cover it up to keep airborne bacteria from invading it.

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Leave the bandage on for a minimum of two hours. The excitement of having a new tattoo will make you want to remove the bandage so you can show your friends, but you must resist the temptation. The only exception to this rule is if your artist covered your tattoo with some kind of plastic. This will prevent air from reaching your skin and may be extremely detrimental to a tattoo, so you should remove it immediately. You're better off not having any covering than to be suffocating your new tattoo with plastic wrap.

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Better yet, ask your artist to use bandaging rather than plastic in the first place. After you remove the bandage, you should wash your tattoo.

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Use lukewarm water and mild, liquid antibacterial or antimicrobial soap to gently remove any ointment, blood, and plasma and to completely clean the area. Provon Antimicrobial Lotion Soap is a good choice; it's a mild moisturizing cleanser specifically made for piercing and tattoo care. Never use a washcloth; it's too abrasive.

Your hand is your best tool. If your tattoo feels slimy and slippery, you have probably been oozing plasma. Try to gently remove as much of this as possible; scabs may form if it is allowed to dry on the skin's surface.

6 super-important steps to caring for your new tattoo

Then, pat—don't rub—the area firmly with a clean towel or paper towel to get it completely dry. This is a wonderful product for cuts and scrapes, but not for tattoos. Many people have allergic reactions to Neosporin, which can cause little red bumps. If you prefer, you also can use a specialty product such as Tattoo Goo Aftercare Salve. It's petroleum-free and made with herbs and oils meant to soothe and heal your new tattoo.

After that, continue to keep your tattoo clean. After some time has passed, you can use a dye- and fragrance-free lotion when needed instead of ointment to keep the skin soft.

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Getting your tattoo wet is OK, but soaking it is not. Yes, you can and should! Avoid swimming—whether in a pool, lake, or the ocean—and submerging your tattoo in a bath or hot tub for two to three weeks, though; this may cause serious damage.

If you get soap or shampoo on your tattoo, just remove it quickly with water. No shavingeither.

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After a few days, you'll notice some peeling and possibly a little scabbing. Excessive scabbing could indicate a poorly done tattoo, but a little is normal, and there's no need to panic.

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Apply warm, moist compresses to the scabs for about five minutes two or three times a day to soften the scabs, and they will eventually come off on their own. Do not apply ointment or lotion to a softened scab; wait for it to dry. Your tattoo will start to itch as it heals, just like a sunburn. It might peel more, too. Whatever you do, don't pick or scratch! If the skin itches, slap it. Your tattoo is almost healed. Why ruin it? After your tattoo is healed, you should always protect it from the sun's ultraviolet rays.

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These can fade and damage a brilliant tattoo very fast. Make it a habit to protect your tattoo with a minimum 30SPF sunblock anytime you plan to be outside for any length of time. This will go a long way in keeping your tattoo vibrant for many years.

Burkemper NM. Contact dermatitis, patch testing, and allergen avoidance. Mo Med. Thank you [] for ing up.

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We and our partners process data to: Actively scan device characteristics for identification. I Accept Show Purposes. By Karen L. Hudson Karen L. Karen L. Hudson is a tattoo artist and contributing writer for Byrdie. Byrdie's Editorial Guidelines.

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Anna Harris is an experienced fact checker and researcher, and beauty writer and editor. Scabbing and Peeling Protection From the Sun. Featured Video. Article Sources. Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy. Related Stories.

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During this time, you may notice your tattoo feeling hot to the touch.


Taking good care of it for the years to come.


In fact, one survey says 75 percent of their respondents admitted to regretting at least one of their tattoos.


Showering with a new tattoo is totally fine as long as you take a few basic precautions.