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Tattoo Taboos: What To Avoid After Getting A Tattoo

Tattoo Taboos: What To Avoid After Getting A Tattoo

8 Key Things to Steer Clear of After Getting A Tattoo

So you鈥檙e getting a fresh tattoo - that鈥檚 awesome. Maybe it鈥檚 your first, or maybe you have dozens, whatever the situation, it鈥檚 exciting.

We started getting tattoos years ago, long before it was legal in our hometown of NYC, but it wasn't until recent times that tattoos became more mainstream. Tattoos have become a staple of expression among younger Americans, with 32% of Americans reporting at least one piece of body art, and 22% boasting multiple.

Whether it's your first or your hundredth, the thrill of getting a new tattoo is unmatched. However, the journey doesn't end when you leave the tattoo shop. In fact, it is just the beginning. Proper tattoo aftercare is crucial for tattoo healing.

Knowing what you should not do after a tattoo is essential to keep that art looking sharp and your skin feeling great. In this blog, we'll explore the key things to avoid after getting a tattoo to ensure it always looks its best.

What to Avoid After Getting a Tattoo

For the first three to four weeks, avoid direct sunlight, which can fade or aggravate the tattoo, and avoid soaking in water, which can disrupt the natural healing process. It's also important to avoid tight clothing that can rub against the tattooed area and irritate the tattooed skin.

Listening to the tattoo aftercare instructions from your tattoo artist is crucial for proper healing. Each person, and each tattoo, is unique. There is no 鈥渙ne-size-fits-all鈥 model, so it is vital that you listen to your artist as they know your tattoo, your skin, and their process better than anyone. Make sure to ask your artist for detailed instructions, and to keep in touch with your artist during the healing process.

Immediate Aftercare: The First 24 Hours

The first 24 hours after receiving a tattoo are vital. Aftercare can鈥檛 be an afterthought, so follow these tips and tricks to kickstart the healing process.

If anything appears out of the ordinary, causes discomfort, or feels wrong with the tattooed area, it's crucial to reach out to your doctor and your artist immediately. Do not wait if you have a suspicion that healing is not going according to plan.

Here鈥檚 what to keep in mind during the first 24 hours:

  • Don鈥檛 touch the tattoo: Touching your fresh tattoo can introduce bacteria to the open wound, increasing the risk of infection. We know it鈥檚 tempting, but trust us and hold off.
  • Don鈥檛 scratch or pick: Scratching or picking has the potential to ruin the tattoo's appearance. After all that time and energy you spent on the tattoo, let your skin heal on its own for the best results.
  • Don鈥檛 remove the bandage early: The bandage or plastic wrap is there to protect your fresh tattoo from bacteria and debris. Removing it too soon can expose the open wound to harmful elements.
  • Don鈥檛 improvise: It is expected that there will be some plasma and blood around the tattoo during the first few days. The most important thing is to always diligently follow your tattoo artist鈥檚 instructions. If you鈥檙e not sure about what to do, ask your artist.

Top Tips for Caring for Your Tattoo

Congratulations! You鈥檝e completed all immediate aftercare instructions. But you鈥檙e not out of the woods quite yet. Here鈥檚 more you need to know to keep the area looking and feeling good throughout the rest of the healing process:

1. Avoid Getting Your Tattoo Wet

You want to avoid getting the tattoo wet during the first 48 to 72 hours, or as recommended by your artist.

When showering, use warm water and gentle antibacterial soap, then pat the area dry with a clean paper towel to avoid irritation. It's also important to steer clear of pools, hot tubs, and the ocean during this time to protect your tattoo from harmful bacteria and chemicals.

2. Sun Exposure and Your New Tattoo

Similarly, avoiding sun exposure is crucial for your fresh tattoo. Direct sunlight can fade the tattoo and slow down the process. Ideally, you should stay out of the sun during this period. If you are in the sun, be sure to keep the tattoo covered with loose clothing to shield it.

Not to get overly scientific, but when you get a sunburn, your body sends more immune cells and fluid to destroy and remove cells that are overly damaged by UV rays. This process of inflammation can also impact the deposits of tattoo ink. That鈥檚 why one of the essential aftercare steps is keeping your new tattoo out of the sun until it is healed.

3. Avoiding Tight Clothing

Depending on the location of the tattoo, keeping it exposed to as much fresh air as possible is best. However, if you do cover it, wear loose-fitting clothing that won鈥檛 rub or constrict your skin.

Avoid anything tight around the tattooed area. Tight clothing can lead to skin reactions and discomfort, potentially affecting the tattoo's healing. During the post-tattoo period, choosing the proper attire can make a big difference in your tattoo's journey and overall outcome.

4. Physical Activity and Healing Tattoos

For about a month after getting your tattoo, or as recommended by your artist, minimize intense activity. Not only can sweat interfere with the healing process, but your body needs time to heal from the trauma of the tattoo.

Note that one month is just an approximate time. Depending on your tattoo鈥檚 size, location, and other factors, you may need more or less. Always follow your artist鈥檚 specific instructions or consult a doctor.

5. Avoid Dehydration

Staying hydrated is crucial when getting a new tattoo because it aids in the healing process. Proper hydration helps your skin remain supple and resilient, allowing the tattoo to heal smoothly and with less risk of scabbing or cracking. Additionally, well-hydrated skin can better handle the ink, resulting in clearer and more vibrant tattoos.

That鈥檚 why we recommend hydrating long after your tattoo your tattoo is healed. A combination of our Daily Lotion and Revitalizing Tattoo Stick can ensure that your tattoo remains as bright as possible on the go.

6. Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Subjecting your new tattoo to household cleaners and some cosmetic products may irritate. It's best to steer clear of strong chemicals and choose mild products instead. Products like Hustle Butter's tattoo cream are known for their gentle care on new tattoos. As always, it's crucial to follow the advice of your tattoo artist regarding which products to use for optimal healing and care.

7. Shaving the Tattoo Area

Hold off on shaving the area around the tattoo for about 2 to 4 weeks. We know that can be annoying, but it鈥檚 worth it to allow the tattoo to heal properly. Shaving the tattoo area can irritate the skin and potentially harm the tattoo's appearance. For the exact timing of when you can shave the area, consult with your artist.

8. Petroleum-Based Products

While petroleum-based products are a common go-to for many when it comes to tattoo aftercare they are not the best choice for new tattoos. These products can create a barrier that locks in moisture, preventing the tattooed skin from breathing and potentially hindering the healing process.

Instead of reaching for petroleum-based options, opt for balms and lotions specifically designed for tattoo aftercare. These specially formulated products nourish the tattoo during the healing process, allowing the skin to breathe and providing just the right amount of moisture without the risk of clogging pores or causing other issues.

Long-term Tattoo Care

In the long run, keeping your tattoo moisturized is key to maintaining its vibrancy and integrity. Apply a thin layer of a high-quality moisturizer or lotion designed specifically for tattoo care daily to keep your tattoos looking good, for life. Following aftercare instructions closely reduces the risk of infection or complications. Once healed, tattoo maintenance products will help ensure your hard work during the healing process is translated to results for life.

  • Daily Moisturizing Tattoo Balm
    • Designed to be used across the tattoo lifecycle
    • Moisturizing formula made with skin-loving naturally-derived ingredients
    • Luscious texture with an addicting tropical smell
    • Sold in two sizes including travel tub
    • Cruelty-free & vegan
    • #1 Artist recommended tattoo aftercare
  • Antimicrobial Foaming Tattoo Soap
    • Multitasking tattoo soap that works before tattooing to clean skin, in-process as a wash, and throughout the healing process to maintain tattoo hygiene
    • Cleans skin without drying it out
    • Tough on germs and bacteria but gentle on skin
    • Cruelty-free & vegan
  • CBD Balm
    • Multipurpose cream that soothes, nourishes, and moisturizes the skin and body to provide comfort and restore vitality
    • Made with 500mg of pure CBD Isolate and no THC
    • Luscious formula with an addicting tropical smell
    • Cruelty-free & vegan
  • Daily Rejuvenating Lotion
    • Formulated to provide deep hydration and leave skin feeling soft and smooth
    • Ingredients like Shea Butter, Aloe, and Jojoba Seed Oil replenish the skin鈥檚 moisture
    • Made with the finest naturally-derived ingredients to keep skin looking and feeling its best
    • Signature tropical fragrance smells like vacation
    • Cruelty-free & vegan

While proper aftercare will get you through the first few weeks, it is important to maintain your artwork for life. Hustle Butter's range of products not only helps cleanse, nourish, and hydrate fresh tattoos but keeps them looking and feeling good long term. A little Hustle goes a long way. Trust us, your tattoos will thank you.