What to avoid with a New Tattoo
1) Avoid soaking the tattoo. Until your tattoo is fully healed, you should avoid swimming in a pool, in the sea, or even soaking in the bathtub. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, exposing your tattoo to too much water may draw ink out of your skin and damage the tattoos appearance. Secondly, the water in swimming pools, the sea and the bathtub may be carrying dirt, bacteria, chemicals and other impurities that could cause your tattoo to become infected.
- It will be completely safe to resume these activities once your tattoo is healed, but for now you should stick to rinsing your tattoo in the sink or shower.
2) Do not expose your new tattoo to direct sunlight. Sunlight is the worst enemy of new tattoos. The harsh rays of the sun may cause your skin to blister and bleach some of the color from your tattoo. For this reason, it is best to keep your tattoo covered and away from the sun for at least 3 to 4 weeks, until the initial healing is complete.
- After that, you will still need to protect your tattoo by wearing a minimum of SPF 30. This will prevent your tattoo from fading in the sun, keeping the colors true for longer.
3) Do not scratch or pick at your tattoo. As it heals, your tattoo will begin to scab. This is normal, and the scabs should be allowed to dry out and fall off by themselves. Do not try to help the process along by picking at the scabs. This may cause the scabs to fall off prematurely, leaving holes or light spots on your tattoo.
- If your hands or nails are unclean, you may also cause the tattoo to become infected. You should always wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap before touching your tattoo and you should never allow anyone else to touch it while it heals.
- Dry, scabbing or peeling skin can become very itchy, but scratching at your tattoo may also cause scabs to fall off. You can relive itching by slapping the tattoo with the flat of your hand, or by rubbing in a little lotion.
4) Avoid tight-fitting clothes. Avoid wearing tight or restrictive clothing on the area with your new tattoo, especially at first. As your tattoo heals, it will seep plasma and excess ink, which may cause the clothing to stick to the tattoo. The clothing will then be painful to remove and may rip off any freshly formed scabs.
- In addition, tight clothing will prevent enough oxygen from getting to your tattoo, and oxygen is essential for the healing process.
- Aim to wear clean, loose-fitting clothing, day and night, while your tattoo is healing.