NAAMA's guide on how to soothe sore skin after a tattoo

SEPTEMBER, 28, 2023

Tattoo aftercare
Tattoo aftercare

Getting a new tattoo is an extremely exciting experience, but that’s not to say there aren’t challenges and setbacks that can come with it. Sore skin after a new tattoo is a common problem that will be addressed in this blog. 

Soreness and discomfort are common after getting inked, but with the right aftercare, you can minimise these negative side effects and ensure faster healing.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to soothe sore skin after a new tattoo and ensure proper aftercare to maintain the look and longevity of your tattoo.

Step 1: Follow the tattoo artist's instructions closely

After getting your new tattoo, your tattoo artist will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for your fresh ink. It's important to follow their guidance as they are the professionals with expertise in tattoo aftercare. And don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have. 

Step 2: Keep the bandage on for the recommended window of time

Your tattoo artist will likely cover the new tattoo with a sterile bandage or wrap. This bandage protects the tattoo from bacteria and other contaminants. Keep it on for the recommended time, typically a few hours or overnight, before removing it.

Step 3: Gently clean the tattoo

After removing the bandage clean your tattoo gently to remove any blood, ink residue, or ointment. Use warm water and a mild, fragrance-free soap. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing the tattoo too vigorously, as it can irritate the skin.

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Step 4: Apply a thin layer of ointment

Once the tattoo is clean and dry, apply a thin layer of ointment recommended by your tattoo artist or a dermatologist. Ointments like petroleum jelly or specialised tattoo aftercare products help keep the skin moisturised and protected.

Step 5: Avoid picking or scratching the tattoo

As your tattoo heals it might begin to itch. This is a normal part of the healing process. You should avoid scratching or picking at the tattoo, however tempting this might be, as it can introduce bacteria and lead to infections or scarring. Instead, gently pat or tap the tattooed area if you experience itching.

Step 6: Moisturise your skin regularly

This is always good advice but especially after getting a new tattoo. Keeping the tattooed area moisturised is crucial for soothing sore skin. Apply a thin layer of fragrance-free lotion or moisturiser after washing the tattoo. Do this at least two to three times a day. It should help prevent dryness, itching, and peeling.

Step 7: Protect your tattoo from the sun

Exposure to the sun's UV rays can fade the colours of your tattoo and damage the healing skin. Protect your tattoo by avoiding direct sunlight, wearing loose clothing that covers the tattooed area, or applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF.

Step 8: Avoid soaking or swimming in water

While it's essential to keep your tattoo clean, it's equally important to avoid prolonged exposure to water, especially soaking in baths, hot tubs, or swimming pools. Water can soften the scabs and increase the risk of infection. Quick showers are preferable.

If you follow these steps you’ll stand the best chance of soothed skin after getting a new tattoo. As experts in laser tattoo removal we provide detailed guidance to our clients on aftercare and sun exposure, so we know a thing or two about skincare. And keep us in mind if you ever fall out of love with your new tattoo design and would like to remove it.

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