Your Complete Guide to Tattoo Aftercare

How to take care of your tattoo: The basics

Your tattoo artist will kick-start your aftercare routine as soon as their work is complete. After all, this is their masterpiece, and they want to preserve its beauty. They’ll likely apply a thin layer of petroleum-based ointment over your ink and then cover it with plastic wrap or a bandage.

Your Complete Guide to Tattoo Aftercare

While you might want to gaze at your new addition (or run your fingers over it), resist the urge. A tattoo is basically an open wound, so keeping it covered (and your hands away from it) prevents bacteria from getting into your skin.

Plus, depending on where the tattoo is on your body, keeping it covered will prevent your clothes from rubbing against it and causing discomfort and irritation.

The biggest mistake people make with new tattoos? Not using sunblock and exposing the tattoo to sunlight, says New York-based cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green.

Follow these do’s and don’ts for basic tattoo aftercare: