Tattoo Preparation & Aftercare | DO’s & DON’Ts Before and After Getting a Tattoo

Make sure you are ready for getting a tattoo coz your mental decision is important to build up your inner confidence. Once you have made up your mind, there should not be looking back.

Very soon you will be a proud owner of a tattoo that you imagined so far. We are sure you would like to stick to it for long and that is possible if you take utmost care before and after the tattoo.

Tattoo preparation and aftercare are very essential to get a safe and long-lasting tattoo. We bet if you follow the instructions of your tattoo artist you will be able to flaunt it for a lifetime.

In this article, we will help you to understand the different instructions to take and risks to avoid before and after a tattoo. Consider these as the most important Dos and Don’ts.

DO’s Before Getting a Tattoo (Preparation)

1. Mental preparedness

As we mentioned mental preparedness is very important before you reach the tattoo parlor.

People often get confused and end up asking innumerable questions to their tattoo artist. This may nag your artist and prevent building a good connection with them.

2. Research well

We don’t want you to go with a blank face in front of the tattoo artist and leave everything on the designer to decide for your skin. Some homework on tattoos is necessary.

You may either ask your friends or research online about the different types of tattoos. It would be great to take few pictures of your favorite designs too.

Some homework can also help you to start the conversation and build a bond of professional trust with your tattoo artist. Moreover, you must also know what they are doing is right.

3. Stay hydrated

Hydrate skin helps you to keep the muscles calm and relaxed. Before your appointment at the tattoo parlor, drink lots of water at least for 24 hours so that you can sit with ease during the session and avoid dehydration in between.

Hydrated skin also gives beautiful results as the tattoo process gets easier on the skin.

4. Watch your clothes

A tattoo process takes time and depending on the design it may take hours. You must wear something comfortable so that you can sit with ease and convenience.

Also, check the length of the cloth; it shouldn’t interrupt the tattoo process or touch the skin.

5. Take references

Do check whether your tattoo artist has the experience and license to practice. Many amateur artists look for clients to practice their skills; it would be wise to look for an experienced tattoo artist.

Choose a reputable studio that considers hygienic, sanitization, and regulations for tattoo practices.

DON’Ts Before Getting a Tattoo (Precare)

1. Don’t have alcohol

Some people also take aspirin to avoid tattoo pain but, aspirin is also a blood thinner. Having so will worsen the skin and make you bleed more than usual.

You must avoid alcohol as well at least 24 hours before beginning the tattoo. Go with a fresh and active body.

2. Don’t do under the influence of drugs

In no circumstances, you must agree to tattoo under the influence of drugs. Drunken folks may provoke you or wrongly influence you for a tattoo, but you must be in your senses.

Drugs and alcohol are anyway hazardous for health and you must refrain from them especially when you are thinking of a tattoo model.

3. Don’t suspect your tattoo artist

If you have done your homework and background check on the artist well, you mustn’t worry later. Do not nag your tattoo artist and doubt his/her creativity.

Give him/her the freedom to perform the artwork on your skin. You can certainly let him know of any pain or uneasiness but you must avoid suspecting his skills.

There could be possibilities when your tattoo artist may want to improve the design and you must not doubt his presence of mind.

4. Don’t hide from your doctor

Do not mistake by hiding with your doctor on your thoughts of a tattoo. If you are on some antibiotics or medicines, your doctor will guide you on how and when to proceed with the tattoo.

It won’t be a good idea to show overconfidence in your health. Tattoos cause fresh wounds on the skin and take their course to heal. Your doctor is the best person to guide you on the same.

5. Do not hide from your tattoo artist

If you are prone to any skin reactions or allergies, your tattoo artist must know of the same. He/she will be able to guide you on the most suitable tattoo method and a suitable area for the tattoo.

They also have arrangements to conduct a skin test before progressing with the actual procedure. For any record of injuries, share those with your tattoo artist too, and do not hide your medical history with them.

Checklist Before Getting a Tattoo

Here is a quick checklist for you to go through before the tattoo process:

  1. Have you done your homework?
  2. Are you ready with the doubts to ask before the tattoo process?
  3. Did you hydrate yourself for 24 hours?
  4. Have you done a background check on the tattoo artist?
  5. Does he have the license to practice?
  6. Check with your designer which tattoo method is suitable for your skin type
  7. Did you call or got a call to confirm the appointment before leaving?
  8. Eat your meals before the tattoo
  9. Carry a snack for a quick bite
  10. Applied sunscreen before leaving the house
  11. Decided the area where you want the tattoo
  12. Prepared for the pain?
  13. Arrive early for the tattoo and be a conversation starter
  14. Confirm the sanitization process with your tattoo artist
  15. Check the reviews of the tattoo ink referred by your tattoo artist
  16. Do a quick allergic reaction test before the real tattoo process
  17. Don’t have coffee, liquor, and other energy drinks
  18. Don’t keep the skin exposed to the sun
  19. Don’t choose areas that are more painful especially for first-time tattoos
  20. Avoid razors on skin before the tattoos
  21. Do not go for amateur tattoo artists
  22. Do not compromise on the hygiene part and tattoo tools

DO’s After Getting a Tattoo (Aftercare)

1. Follow your tattoo artist

One of the most important things you need to do after a tattoo is to follow every instruction given by your tattoo artist.

Your artist knows the process well and is aware of the skin type he/she has dealt with. There would be some special instructions that he/she may find necessary for you to follow.

2. Do wear the bandage

Your tattoo artist will wrap a bandage on your fresh tattoo. Let your friends wait to see the tattoo on you; you need to have patience until it is completely healed.

Three hours is the ideal time for bandage removal however, your tattoo designer may suggest you keep longer depending on the method used and design chosen.

3. Use antibacterial products

Use antibacterial products only and do wash your tattooed area with antibacterial soaps at least twice a day.

You must also ensure to apply soap only with your hands instead of scrubbing the area with anything else. Also, keep the area moisturized by applying a mild moisturizer.

4. Wear comfortable clothes

Your tattoo area needs a breather. Until it is healed properly, you need to wear loose and comfortable clothes that do not rub or touch against your tattoo.

Itchy skin may only make it worse and so you must do what it takes to protect it from any type of soreness or itchiness.

5. Let it heal

As per the standard healing process, tattoos take about 2 weeks to heal. You must also apply sunscreen and UV protective lotion before stepping out in the sun to keep the tattoo protected.

Leave it be and let it takes its course to heal. Check with your tattoo artist when to treat it normally post the healing duration.

DON’Ts After Getting a Tattoo (Aftercare)

1. Don’t use chemicals

Until your tattoo is healed, do not use chemicals and harsh cosmetics on your tattoo. Avoid using scented products too as it may irritate the fresh wound resulting in skin allergies or infection.

Your skin pores must completely heal before you expose your skin to any chemicals.

2. Do not itch or peel the skin off

Many people itch on their tattoos often as it is bound to give them an itchy feeling for some days. Your skin will also likely peel off and shed so that new skin can take place.

Avoid the mistake of peeling off the skin when your tattoo dries off. As an alternative, you can apply a soothing lotion or moisturizer to the tattoo. This will certainly relieve you from making further errors.

3. Do not tan your skin and don’t swim

Avoid tanning or exposing the skin under the sun. You need to keep your tattoo covered. Choose a sunscreen lotion and keep it applied whenever you intend to step out.

Certain areas like feet and fingers cannot be covered especially during summers and so sunscreen helps in such scenarios.

You must also stay away from swimming, sweating, and going to the sauna for at least five to 6 weeks or as instructed by your tattoo designer.

4. Do not nag your tattoo artist

Your designer has already given to you a list of instructions to follow and we are here to guide you.

Thus, do not nag your tattoo artist consistently by asking endless questions. Certain things are basic and you can be smart enough to find the answers to.

5. Avoid weight gain/weight loss

Immense weight gain or excessive weight loss can also lead to stretching or squeezing of the tattoo. As a result, the quality of the tattoo design may be affected and you may need more re-touches.

Balance your diet and maintain standard weight if you want to sustain the quality of your tattoo.

Checklist After Getting a Tattoo

Here is a quick checklist for you to go through after getting the tattoo:

  1. Take the instruction list from your tattoo artist
  2. Carry sunscreen in your bag or car until the tattoo heals
  3. Keep your tattoo clean and moisturized
  4. Stay hydrated and drink a good amount of water
  5. Remove the bandage after 3 to 5 hours or as instructed by your tattoo artist
  6. Be gentle on your first tattoo wash and use an antibacterial mild soap
  7. Avoid using perfumes, scented body lotions, and body sprays on your tattoo area
  8. Avoid sweat and dirt to touch your tattoo
  9. Pat the tattoo dry with a clean towel or paper wipe every time you wash
  10. Be patient and let the tattoo heal naturally and beautifully

What should you eat for faster tattoo healing?

Before you rush to the parlor for your tattoo, here is a quick meal guide that you may follow pre and post-tattoo.

These foods will also help for faster tattoo healing without affecting the quality of your skin. The results will be beautiful and your skin will glow than before.

Oranges in pulp or juice form are the best sources of vitamin C and that’s exactly what your skin needs to stay hydrated.

To work on your energy levels, you can also keep a bar of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate acts as an antioxidant and also helps balance blood pressure levels.

To heal your skin and tattoo faster, include lots of broccoli, pineapple chunks, garlic, water, blueberries, and tomatoes in your diet.

You can also have a glass of lemon juice on empty stomach in the morning.

Final Words:

We know you can’t wait to see your tattoo artist now and so we end the discussion here. Hope you found the article informative and interesting to read. We love to bring all the answers to you from the world of tattoos and would love to hear more questions. If you have anything to share, feel free to drop your comments.