After selecting your tattoo design and getting inked at a studio, tattoo aftercare is probably the most crucial factor of your tattoo journey. Admittedly, post-tattoo care shouldn’t be taken lightly; you need to understand how to take care of them as best as possible.

Hence, this tattoo care guide will show you the “don’ts” when it comes to tattoo aftercare. Here are some of the things that you should consider:

Don’t Scratch the Inked Area

It is probably the most important rule when it comes to tattoo aftercare. Not to mention, so many things can go wrong with your tattoo if you begin scratching it.

First, by scratching your tattoo, you can quickly pull off numerous pieces and multiple scabs of peeling skin all at once. Thus, it can pull out massive amounts of ink, causing the design to look patchy that may need you to fix up over the damaged area at some point in the future.​

Further, heavy scratching may cause pits to form in scabbing areas of your skin, which can lead to much longer healing period for the tattoo, as well as permanent scars ​in some cases.

Don’t Peel Off The Scab

After 3 to 5 days, your tattoo will start to scab over. The scabbing should be light, but some compact scabs may appear on specific areas depending on how much you have worked on the spot.

On that note, these scabs shouldn’t be pulled or picked off under any circumstances. Scabs that aren’t ready to peel off are possibly still connected to deeper layers of the skin where ​the ink is even in setting process, and pulling them off may cause ink to be pulled out of the surface along with the scab.

Don’t Expose To Direct Sunlight

Another fundamental rule, the sun is the top tattoo killer. You have to keep your tattoo covered if you’re going outside in warm weather. When you have a new tattoo, and your skin is red and swollen, then it’s a sensitive spot, and even small amounts of UV rays can cause damage on that area in only short spaces of times.

During this crucial healing stage, the sun can fade the ink, cause blisters and swell in your tattoo, and also prolong the healing period. Thus, consider staying away from direct sunlight that can hit your new tattoo, or otherwise, it will not be as pleasing as you want it to be when it heals.

Don’t Apply Petroleum-based Products

Don’t use petroleum-based or lanolin products as these are heavy compounds and may clog the skin pores which may cause tattoo breakouts.

Once your tattoo is thoroughly dry, and the tight feeling starts on your skin, you can apply a little amount of ointment, preferably all-natural aftercare to your tattoo. Make sure to mask only a thin layer and rub it in gently until your skin absorbs it. It’s essential that you don’t apply much ointment, or else you will stifle the tattoo and promote the growth of bacteria.

Also, you need to continue applying the ointment after washing your tattoo, for at least three days or until the ink starts to peel. When the peeling period comes, you can then use a regular, fragrance-free moisturizer.

Don’t Wear Tight Clothing

Avoid restrictive clothing or wearing tight clothes that can affect the area, especially if you have new half sleeve tattoos. As the tattoo heals, it will drain excess ink and plasma, which may cause the garment to stick on the ink. Not to mention, it’s painful to remove the stuck fibers and can rip off any freshly developed scabs.

Or otherwise, if your clothing got stuck on your tattoo, don’t try to pull it off. Wet the area first with water to loosen the cloth fibers, avoiding any damage to your tattoo. In addition to that, tight clothing will block enough oxygen from entering your tattoo, which is essential for the healing process.


Ensuring you undergo proper tattoo aftercare is a crucial task, mainly straight after having a new tattoo. Indeed, one of the most significant jobs to get right on your tattoo healing process is to follow those ideas mentioned above to ensure that you have the best results after the healing process.


Author Bio

Jason Hamilton has been an avid fan of tattoos for over 13 years now. He is currently 35 years old, and he got his first tattoo at the age of 22. Since then, he has added over 20 tattoos to his collection. He is also into writing, which is why he decided to celebrate both of his passion and hobby through tats ‘n’ rings. Jason dreams of having his very own tattoo parlor soon.