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What Do I Do After I Get A Tattoo

Getting a Tattoo

You’ve thought about getting a tattoo and now you’ve done it. You’ve gotten that tat! 

After hours of research, experimenting with design, and meticulously researching the artist you would entrust this task to; you have the tattoo of your dreams! You spent a lot of time on this piece of art, and now you finally have the ink on your body. Well done. 

This is an exciting moment, regardless of whether it’s your first or tenth tattoo. Now, while your tat might be done, your work is just beginning.  The recovery process is just as crucial as the planning process. It could even be more important in some cases. 

You want to ensure that your tattoo heals and sets properly to ensure your ink’s long and vibrant life. Failure to follow proper tattoo aftercare instructions could make or break your tattoo recovery and increase the odds of your tattoo appearing faded or stretched later in life. 

The good news is that properly healing a tat is easy if you follow all post-care instructions.  Your tattoo artist will send you off with specific aftercare instructions, but we also have some general post-care instructions to keep in mind. If you’re wondering what to do after receiving a tattoo, read on to learn more! 

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A small amount of painkillers can be a perfectly acceptable way to get over any irritation you experience after leaving our DFW tattoo parlor. Now, be cautious when taking painkillers. A small amount of Ibuprofen is acceptable. You likely will only need to take Ibuprofen for the first few days after receiving the ink. Additional pain or discomfort might indicate a more significant problem and could require medical attention. Monitor the area and your pain level; if you’re continually taking painkillers a few weeks after receiving the ink, it might be worth seeing a medical professional. 

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Resist the Urge To Pick

Scratching or picking at your tattoo is a surefire way to increase the odds of an infection or an improperly healed tattoo. A little bit of ice can be a viable option to reduce the amount of swelling and sensation. Remember, a small amount of scabbing is likely just a part of the healing process. Don’t pick and let the tattoo heal for optimal results. 

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Cover the Affected Area

Your tattoo artist will prep you on the specifics of your aftercare routine. This will likely begin with the artist applying a dressing directly at the studio. The reason why is simple: the use of a tattoo gun needle on your skin has created an open wound. Failure to cover this open wound is inviting an infection. The amount of time you need to keep your dressing on will vary. Generally, most artists will recommend at least a few days. The impacted area will likely be sore to the touch, pink, and sensitive. That’s normal! Covering with a dressing will give the affected area space to heal and make it easier for you not to pick. 

Direct sunlight can also be a tattoo fader. For the first few weeks of getting a tattoo, it’s best to avoid direct sunlight as much as possible. This will be easier for some people than others, but do your best to keep direct sun exposure to a minimum. Remember also to avoid salty or chlorinated water to allow for proper healing. 


Keeping a moisturized recovery area is a vital part of the process. Now, you might have heard that Vaseline is an acceptable way to cover your tattoo. Vaseline has undoubtedly been used to cover tattoos, but in general, it’s best to avoid it. Vaseline has many great uses, but tattoo aftercare is not one of them. It’s best to stick with a dedicated tattoo aftercare product when you can, preferably a fragrance-free one. Many over-the-counter creams include harsh chemicals that can irritate your skin and complicate recovery. A well-regarded moisturizer or tattoo cream like Mad Rabbit can also be a great addition to your recovery plan. Regardless of what you use, just make sure it’s gentle, fragrance-free, and simple on your skin for an easy recovery. 

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