Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

Getting your first ever tattoo is an exciting and unforgettable experience. Whether it’s something meaningful, something artistic, or just something you got spontaneously, it is important to ensure that your tattoo heals properly and retains its sharpness for years to come. 

It is important to heed your tattoo artist’s instructions on post-tattoo care. They are experienced professionals, and know what they’re doing. Tattoo care might differ based on the size, location, and type of tattoo.

  1. Keep it clean and dry

Moisture is a tattoo’s worst nightmare. Make sure it’s dry and covered for the first week or two to ensure that your skin heals properly, and that the scabbing doesn’t get damaged. When I got my tattoo, I made sure that I was out of the sun and that my tattoo was covered whenever I showered. I would often use cling wrap or a loose armband to keep it dry. Make sure you’re giving your skin enough air and space to heal well.

  1. Use Tattoo Goo or a tattoo artist recommended moisturizer

Around 7-10 days after getting the tattoo, start taking steps to ensure that your skin is receiving sufficient hydration. Applying Tattoo Goo, or a good tattoo safe moisturizer, goes a long way in ensuring that your tattoo is not drying out and/or cracking the skin. Tattoo Goo also helps in retaining the sharpness of your lines, making it look new for a longer period of time. Tattoo Goo is expensive, so if your tattoo artist approves a moisturizer that is cheaper, use that. I used baby lotion, and it helped my tattoo heal while still being gentle on my skin

  1. Resist the urge to scratch or itch your tattoo. 

The urge to itch the tattoo is REAL. At first, my tattoo would itch horribly, and keeping my hands away from it was extremely difficult. Picking at the scabs can damage the tattoo and increase risk of infection and injury. It is important to let the scab fall off naturally. 

  1. Don’t be afraid to follow-up with your tattoo artist:

If you feel like you’re missing information on proper tattoo care, reach out to your tattoo artist. More often than not, they will be happy to help you fill in any gaps. Make sure your tattoo is healing properly, and reach out to them if there is excessive bleeding or blowout (seek medical attention first).

Tattoos look different for everybody, and their care depends on a number of factors. Everything that I have listed here worked for me, but may not work for you. Follow whatever instructions your tattoo artist gives you, and get immediate medical attention should any problems arise.

Happy tattooing!

Sanskriti is an undergraduate astrophysics major who loves to read and is very passionate about making and eating dumplings. She is the current Vice President of the Astronomy Club at Michigan State University, and can often be found hunting for new horror podcasts to listen to.