6 Tips for Showering with a New Tattoo

The first several weeks after getting a new tattoo are very important. Proper care is crucial as a new tattoo is an open wound; it needs a certain amount of time to heal properly. When a fresh tattoo is not properly cared, loss of pigmentation, scarring along with other problems may occur. Tattoo aftercare is a process with multiple steps, among which knowing how to shower is important. Knowing how to shower will help your tattoo heal faster and maintain its appearance for a long period of time.

How Long After Getting a New Tattoo Can You Shower?

This is one of the most common questions for people who are getting a tattoo for the first time. Before showering with a new tattoo, you should know the answer to the question.

Some tattoo artists suggest waiting at least 24 hours after having a tattoo to shower, while others suggest having a shower once you can take off the protective wrap from your new tattoo.

Normally, once your tattoo has finished scabbing and peeling, usually within 2 to 3 weeks, you should be able to shower normally just as you used to before getting this new tattoo.

How to Shower with a New Tattoo

There are certain rules when it comes to showering after getting a new tattoo, which will make sure you don’t ruin your tattoo and avoid possible infection.

1. Pay Attention to Your Water Temperature

You should check your water temperature before getting in. The water should be lukewarm or cool. You should not get a shower with hot water, as your skin is normally more sensitive, making the tattoo area more prone to swelling, pain or stinging. Warm water also makes your skin pores open up, meaning that the ink from the tattoo can get lost. If the ink gets lost, your tattoo will be a patchy tattoo or a faded one.

2. Avoid Direct Water to the Tattooed Area

When showering with a new tattoo, avoid direct water from the shower head. Instead, wet your tattoo carefully with shower water. This will prevent any water jet hurting your sensitive tattooed skin area. 

Also, you should not get a powerful shower, as powerful water jets can also affect your fresh tattoo, making it sting and even possibly pushing the ink out of the tattoo area.

3. Clean Your Tattoo Gently

Cleaning your tattoo gently with skin-sensitive and fragrance-free soaps is very important. Gently rub the tattooed area; rub off the excessive blood, plasma or ink this way. After you have cleaned the tattoo gently with the soap, wash the soap away carefully with water.

4. Don’t Shower Too Long

When showering with a new tattoo, make sure to get out of the shower as quickly as possible, of course after you have washed yourself and your tattooed area. By not showering too long, you will avoid the soap, water or steam affecting your new tattoo.

5. Dry Your Tattoo Carefully

After finishing the shower, you should not use the towel which you normally use to dry yourself. Instead, for your tattooed area use a paper towel or let it dry in the air naturally.

As your fresh tattoo is an open wound, towels that you usually use may contain various bacteria or germs which can lead to an infection. By using towels that you regularly use to dry out your tattoo, you can easily peel skin or pull away any scabs which are not yet ready to come off. This can prolong the healing process.

6. Apply Lotion to Moisturize the Tattoo

Showering with a new tattoo needs much care. Once your tattooed area is dried out, you will want to apply lotion to moisturize the tattoo area. These lotions should contain vitamins and minerals which will speed up the healing process. Remember to apply only a thin layer of lotion into the skin, as too much lotion can suffocate the tattooed area and prolong the recovery.

More Aftercare Tips for a New Tattoo

Care Peeling and/or Scabbing

A little peeling or scabbing is considered normal, occurring a few days after the tattoo was done. However, be wary of excessive scabbing, as it can be a sign of tattoo which was not done correctly. In case scabbing starts, applying lukewarm compresses a couple of times a day for at least 5 minutes. This will make scabs soft and they will eventually come off on their own.

Protect Your Tattoo from the Sun

After your tattoo is totally healed, normally you will want to show it off. However, you should protect your tattoo from the sun as UV lights can quickly damage it. Make sure to protect your tattoo by applying sunblock of a minimum 30 SPF. 

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