One should avoid hot tubs, swimming pools and soaking in
bathubs of water during the healing period. Before the
surface heals, the skin is susceptible to infection.
Don't get tattooed the day before beach vacation or
cruise. As the soaking can cause the scab to come off
too soon, which can also hurt your new tattoo.
Get a good sleep of nearly 8 to 9 hours the night before
your tattoo appointment. As it often stresses the body
the same way vigorous activity does, even though you
aren't being highly active.
Eat a good meal a hour or two ahead of time as the
process of enduring being tattooed is more tiring than
most people would imagine.
Do not drink alcohol or take aspirin before you get
tattooed. Both of these thin the blood and can cause you
to bleed heavily during the tattoo process.
If you are going to be tattooed for a long time, make
sure you have a way of getting home that is safe, or
have someone else drive you. Some people become
disoriented or a bit fuzzy-headed after long tattoo
sessions due to the endorphin rush.
Keep the bandage on the tattoo for at least two hours
after the work is complete (or longer, depending on the
tattoo artist's instructions).
Remove the bandage very carefully and throw it away.
This allows your skin to breathe and begin the healing
process. Do not rebandage the tattoo.
Put a drop of mild antibiotic soap on your hand and
lightly wash the tattoo. Gently pat it dry with a
washcloth (not a paper towel) taking care not to rub it.
Dab an over-the-counter water- or petroleum-based
ointment on the cleaned area. Do not use an ointment
that contains zinc as it may cause an adverse reaction.
Continue to lightly apply antibiotic ointment to your
tattooed skin for the first few days, then switch to a
plain skin lotion that is free of dye, perfume, lanolin,
Vitamin E, aloe or alcohol.
Expose your healing skin to air as much as possible but
avoid prolonged exposure to the sun.
Avoid getting a lot of water on your new tattoo -
showers are OK, but no swimming or baths for a few
Tattoo dyes can cause allergic skin reactions, resulting
in an itchy rash at the tattoo site. This may occur even
years after you get the tattoo.
Tattoos can lead to local bacterial infections,
characterized by redness, swelling, pain and a pus-like
Tattooing can also lead to raised areas caused by an
overgrowth of scar tissue (keloids).
If the equipment used to create your tattoo is
contaminated with infected blood, you can contract
various bloodborne diseases, including hepatitis B,
hepatitis C, tetanus and HIV — the virus that causes