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What is the best aftercare for a new tattoo?

Updated: Jan 14

Sun protection and tattoo care.

traditional eagle tattoo colour bold red sun on leg

You wake up in the morning, open your window, and a gentle summer breeze caresses your cheeks together with the warm rays of early sunlight. It's skirt and t-shirt weather, and we've been waiting for it.

You want to let your skin breathe, put on your favourite shorts, and show off your tattoos that you've been proudly wearing. But what we often forget is that the sun is the ultimate in breaking down our tattoos, therefore utilising the proper protection will keep them from fading over time.

UV radiation is produced by the sun's UV rays and can cause a variety of problems such as sunburn, premature skin ageing, and tattoo fading.

Even a simple walk in the park with your dog or a pint outside your favourite bar can cause substantial skin and tattoo damage. So don't be a fool and spray yourself with SPF 30 or 50 before venturing out into the world.

Sunscreen on a brand-new tattoo?

Your new tattoo should not be exposed to the elements. Until the tattoo has completely scabbed and peeled. It is advisable to shield your tattoo from the strong rays as well as the sunscreen itself throughout the healing process, which usually takes 3 to 4 weeks. You wouldn't put sunscreen on a new cut, so don't use it on a new tattoo. To avoid burning direct sunlight on your new tattoo, wear a shirt, scarf, or even a beach umbrella.

But how about going swimming with my new tattoo?

It will be quite tempting, but you must refrain. You have a healing wound on your body — salt water, chlorine, and babbling brooks are all full of diverse substances that might lead to infection and distortion of your new tattoo. Wait until your skin has finished flaking entirely, with no scabbing or roughness, and then you're ready to depart.

Have you been burned?

You were warned a hundred times not to do it, yet you went out in the sun with your fresh new tattoo nonetheless. What happens next? If your newly applied tattoo gets sunburned, it will take considerably longer to heal. As a result, you will need to cover your tattoo from the sun for an extended period of time and be extra cautious. Depending on how severe the burn is, your skin may blister, causing lasting damage to the tattoo and surrounding skin. This has the potential to become an infection or create a rash, so a trip to the doctor for antibiotics may be essential. It is also possible that the sun has caused early damage to the tattoo, in which case you may feel the need to get it touched up. Touchups are often free, but if the tattoo artist recognises the need for this touchup owing to your carelessness, he or she may decide to charge you for it. The moral of this story is to avoid getting a tattoo in the first place and to apply plenty of sunscreen later on for protection!


- Wear sunscreen at all times!

- Select a sunscreen with an SPF of 30-50 that is created from natural materials.

- If you're out in the sun all day, reapply your sunscreen every few hours!

- If going out in the sun, completely cover your new tattoos.

- Is your tattoo sunburned? Cover it up with Aloe Vera. Be more cautious the next time.

- Avoid swimming with a new tattoo at all costs. There will be no soaking, pool, hot tub, or ocean swimming.

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