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The Essential Guide to Tattoo Aftercare

Updated: Mar 18

Getting a new tattoo is an exciting experience. However, the work doesn't end once you leave the tattoo shop. Proper aftercare is essential for keeping your new ink looking vibrant and preventing infection. At Fame Tattoos, our artists provide detailed aftercare instructions tailored to each client's new body art. Read on for our essential guide to caring for your new tattoo.

Cleaning Your Tattoo

Keeping your new tattoo clean is crucial during the first two weeks of healing. Gently wash the tattoo daily with a mild, fragrance-free soap and warm water. Avoid using harsh soaps or scrubbing the tattoo, as this can fade the ink and irritate the skin. Be sure to pat dry the tattoo carefully with a clean paper towel once washed. As the tattoo continues healing after two weeks, you can switch to gently cleansing with just your hands.

Applying Tattoo Aftercare Ointment

After washing your new ink, apply a thin layer of specialty tattoo aftercare ointment like Tattoo Goo or Hustle Butter. These products create a protective barrier over your tattoo while allowing it to breathe. They also provide moisture without making the skin overly greasy. Apply the ointment 1-3 times daily, depending on how dry your skin feels. As your tattoo heals, you'll need less ointment.

Protecting Your Tattoo from the Sun

It's crucial to keep new tattoos completely covered and avoid direct sun exposure for at least two weeks post-tattoo. The sun can severely fade colorful tattoo inks. Wear loose, breathable clothing over the area, or use sunscreen on healed tattoos when going outside. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Reapply every two hours if spending extended time in the sun.

Avoiding Swimming Pools & Hot Tubs

Do not submerge a healing tattoo in bodies of water like pools, hot tubs, lakes, or oceans. The bacteria and chemicals found in these environments can lead to infection when introduced into new tattoos. Wait until your tattoo has fully scabbed and peeled before engaging in water activities. After this, always clean your tattoo immediately after getting out of pools, hot tubs, or natural bodies of water.

What to Expect During the Healing Process

It's normal to experience some redness, swelling, soreness, and flaky skin around your new tattoo. This is all part of the body's natural response. The top layer of your skin is essentially wounded during tattooing. As your skin works to regenerate and close this wound, it will go through several healing phases that can last upwards of four weeks. Don't pick at any scabbing or peeling skin – allowing it to detach naturally is best.

Warning Signs of Infection

While infections are rare with proper at-home care, it's important to watch for certain signs just in case. Seek medical care if you notice increased redness, swelling, and warmth radiating from the tattooed area. Other symptoms include worsening pain, fever, oozing from the tattoo, and red streaks. If you experience any infection symptoms or have concerns about your tattoo healing, contact our studio immediately. We can provide specialized care recommendations for your situation.

Caring for your new tattoo takes diligence, but following these tips will help your body art heal beautifully. Be sure to get specific aftercare instructions from your artist based on your tattoo size, location, and personal needs. If you're located in the Miami area and want to get a one-of-a-kind tattoo from our award-winning artists, visit Fame Tattoos or call us to schedule a consultation!


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