It’s always exciting getting a brand new piece of art on your body. I always get stoked to go out and buy the essentials that will help my new tattoo heal the correct way. For some reason it makes me feel productive and on top of things.
My mom has been nurse for the past 35 years and when she saw me get my first tattoo I got to hear the horror stories of infections and ruined tattoos.
Needless to say, I did my research and refined my process to flawlessly heal my tattoos (so far, knock on wood).
You may have questions when it comes to how often you should wash your tattoo after getting it. This is normal and the concern is a sign that shows you care about the outcome.
People don’t realize that “getting a tattoo” does not end when the needle stops, it ends when the tattoo has healed completely.
When it comes to washing my tattoos I have created a simple process has helped retain color, line work, and prevent irritation.
7 Stages to Successfully Washing your New Tattoo
Stage 1: Getting home with plastic wrap on
Depending on where you get tattooed, you should have received a cling wrap around your new tattoo.
Stage 2: Remove the wrap and perform the first wash.
- Carefully remove the wrap and throw it in the trash.
Stage 3: Run the tattoo under cool/warm water
- Be sure not to leave the tattoo under water for long periods of time.
Stage 4: Use your non-scented anti-bacterial soap after rinsing your tattoo
- Gently massage the soap (don’t press) into your skin and the surrounding area that is covered in blood
Stage 5: Rinse the tattoo under cool/warm water removing the soap.
Stage 6: Gently dab the water with a face cloth/paper towel
- Do not rub the cloth across the tattoo
Stage 7: Apply your preferred healing ointment.
What If I can’t reach my tattoo to wash it?
I have had difficult areas to wash after getting a tattoo for the first time, for this reason I recommend leaving the cling wrap on until you are able to find someone (family, friends, strange neighbors) to come and assist in removing the wrap.
Keep in mind this is an open wound and you want everyone to wash their hands before and after working with the removal.
After removing the wrap I have found going into the shower and carefully washing/rinsing the tattooed area has worked well rather than fighting with the sink to reach those difficult spots.
Remember, when you get out of the shower that you DON’T want to rub the affected area, dab your tattooed area and take off from Step 7 above.
From my own personal experience this has been the best method for me kick start a successful tattoo healing process.