Tattoo aftercare tips and instructions 

Moisturizing a new tattoo is extremely important to promote optimal healing of the skin, maintain brilliant colors and prevent scars that would spoil al the work done.

After choosing a good tattoo cream, you must apply it regularly until complete recovery as the skin should never dry out. However, you may be wondering, how long should I put the cream on my new tattoo?

Along with some useful tips on the healing of your newly tattooed skin, in this article you will find an answer to the following questions: “When should I apply the cream? How many times a day, and for how many days?”

Tattoo cream: how many days you need to apply it for optimal skin healing

After getting a tattoo, you should moisturize it daily for at least 10 to 14 days. Respecting these timeframes is absolutely crucial because, if your skin dries out, you are likely to get very disappointing results.

What would happen if I didn't use a post-tattoo butter or cream (or, if I used a product unsuitable for the care of a new tattoo)?

Faded and uneven colors, irritation and inflammation could be some of the consequences.

Don't be afraid to moisturize your skin for too many days: there is usually no time limit within which you should stop using tattooed skin care products.

Unless it is a poor quality product that causes irritation and rashes on the skin (in which case we advise you to stop using it), you can go on applying the same cream even after healing is complete, using it as a maintenance product.

Not sure which product to choose to take care of your new tattoo? 

Find the answer here: Which cream to use on tattoos to promote perfect healing

How many times a day should I put cream on my new tattoo?

Now that we have seen how many days you need to put cream on your new tattoo, let's go into a little more detail: how many times a day should you moisturize your newly tattooed skin?

Usually, we recommend washing the tattoo and applying a soothing cream 2 to 4 times a day immediately afterwards, depending on your skin type.

For example, if your skin dries out quickly, the number of applications will probably be closer to 4 than to 2, especially during the first week (when the skin is still traumatized and may feel tight).

The layer of cream or tattoo butter you apply must be thin, so as not to suffocate the skin and promote complete healing.

girl applying a thin layer of tattoo cream

How can I tell if the newly tattooed skin has healed? 

A few days after tattooing, scabs, usually the same color of ink, begin to form on the skin and the treated area may even peel and itch considerably.

Nothing to worry about, because this is the usual healing process!  Take care, however, never to remove the tattoo scabs prematurely or scratch the skin. You would risk ruining your tattoo and having to retouch it.

Only when the skin stops flaking and peeling, you can consider it completely healed.

If you have any doubts and do not want to risk making a mistake, we recommend you to:

  • contact the tattoo artist who did the work and seek advice, or
  • continue moisturizing the tattooed skin for another week to make sure it is 100% healed 

In any case, it is very rare for a tattoo to heal in less than 10 days: keep this in mind! Don't be in a rush to speed up healing and give your skin plenty of time to recover. 

Other useful tips for the care of your new tattoo 

The healing process of a tattoo can be a cause for concern even for veterans, because the skin does not always recover in the same timeframe.

The duration of the healing process depends on many factors, including your skin and body health, the type of ink used, the area where the tattoo was done and much more.

However, we have prepared a list of recommendations that you can print yourself well in mind (so as to avoid big mistakes). Here they are:

  • Once the job is done, the tattoo artist applies a moisturizing product, usually vaseline, to the area and protects the skin with a layer of transparent film. When, after a few hours, you remove the bandage to wash the skin and spread the panthenol cream, do not apply the film again! Tattooed skin needs to breathe in order to heal best.
  • Wash the tattoo with lukewarm water and a specific soap (or neutral soap). Dry the area by dabbing, without rubbing, using blotting paper or a clean towel.
  • The area must always be moisturized: apply a thin layer of tattoo cream 2 to 4 times a day for at least 10 to 14 days (warning: the product must be specifically designed for tattooed skins and is not a simple moisturizer - read here why).
  • In the healing phase you may feel a lot of itching, and scabs will form on the tattooed area. As this is normal, do not scratch the skin! The scabs must fall off by themselves.
  • If something unexpected happens - e.g. inflammation or unexpected blisters on the tattoo – immediately contact the professional who did the work so that he/she can give you the right advice. If, instead, you notice allergic reactions to the ink, promptly ask for medical advice.
  • If the new tattoo comes into contact with clothes, prefer natural breathable fabrics, such as cotton.
  • Wash your hands well before touching the healing skin to avoid infections.
  • Until the tattoo has healed, avoid high bacterial environments (swimming pools, saunas, beaches, etc.), as well as tanning lamps and exposure of the tattooed area to the sun.
  • Do not use disinfectants, cortisone, antibiotic or healing creams (e.g. Gentalyn Beta and Cicatrene) on the newly tattooed area. In case of bacterial infection, consult your doctor and follow his/her specific advice.
  • After the tattoo has healed, you can expose the area to the sun, provided that you always use a SPF 100 or SPF 50 sunscreen.

And remember: if you have any doubts, do not hesitate to contact the professional who did the tattoo!

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