How to care tattoo for fast and safe healing

How to care tattoo for fast and safe healing


The healing phase of the tattoo is a fundamental process to which proper attention must be paid. A tattoo, we know very well, will remain in our skin forever, and it is therefore important to know and follow the right rules of behaviour towards our new tattoo, in order to promote optimal healing and a perfect appearance over the course of time.


Tattoo care: the basic steps for perfect healing

Correctly caring for a tattoo following proper guidelines is of fundamental importance to ensure optimal healing and preserve the beauty of the tattoo in the long term. The final appearance and beauty of the tattoo derives from the correct behaviours adopted during its healing, it is therefore good to have the right approach in the tattoo care process without relying either on purely improvised DIY methods or on people who are not in the sector, as this would negatively compromise the final result of the tattoo.

We at Arte Viva strongly advise you to rely on professionals or on those who have directly performed your work.

Following the right directions for tattoo healing brings numerous benefits, let us see them below.

Faster healing

If a tattoo is properly cared for, the healing process will be much faster. Regular washing and moisturising help keep the skin clean and hydrated, promoting faster regeneration of tissue damaged during the tattooing process.

Reducing the risk of infection

Regularly cleaning the tattoo and applying antibacterial products reduces the presence of bacteria on the skin, thus reducing the risk of infections that could compromise tattoo healing.

Preservation of colours and details

In order to preserve the vibrant colours and details of the tattoo over time, it is important to keep the skin moisturised and protected from UV rays; this will prevent premature fading of the pigments, thus allowing the tattoo to retain its vibrancy over the years.

Avoid scabs and scars

Moisturising the skin is the key to everything; in fact, again, if the skin is moisturised correctly, the level of dryness of the skin will be significantly lowered, promoting instead elasticity and flexibility and preventing the formation of scabs that could lead to permanent scarring.

Reduction of itching and irritation

The application of soothing products can relieve skin irritation by reducing that almost ‘annoying’ desire to scratch that would damage the tattoo.

What to do immediately after getting a tattoo?

For our skin, the tattoo is a real wound so it must be treated with extreme delicacy, which is why it is very important to know what to do during the post-tattoo phase.

Tattoo care should last at least a couple of weeks; during this time it is advisable to follow our advice as it is designed and aimed at ensuring the best result in the final appearance of the tattoo.

Immediately after finishing the session the tattoo artist disinfects the tattoo and applies a transparent protective film over the tattooed area. We at Arte Viva recommend keeping the film intact for at least two hours to allow the skin to regenerate properly, protecting the tattoo from potential external contamination such as: dirt, bacteria and dust.

It would be a good habit to avoid touching the tattoo as soon as it is done but, if you do, first make sure you wash your hands well with an antibacterial soap, this will help reduce the risk of infection.

Once the tattoo session is over, there are two ways to immediately protect the tattoo:

  • transparent film
  • adhesive film

The tattoo artist will tell you which of the two films will be the most suitable and appropriate for the situation.

How to deal with cling film

The use of transparent film is the most common method and the one most used in tattoo studios, below we list what to do with your new tattoo:

  1. After 2 hours with clean hands, carefully remove the transparent film from the tattooed area. If the film remains attached to the skin, simply moisten it slightly with lukewarm water to facilitate removal.
  2. Then carefully rinse the tattoo using lukewarm water and a mild soap.
  3. After rinsing the tattoo, gently pat it dry with a clean, soft towel; to avoid skin irritation, don’t rub the affected area. 
  4. Once the area is dry, allow the skin to breathe for half an hour and then apply the appropriate tattoo care and maintenance creams.

This procedure should be performed 4-5 times a day.

We recommend allowing the tattoo to breathe as much as possible, at least 8 hours a day, keeping it covered with the film all the time will not help as it is usually thought, as it is neither hygienic nor healthy for the healing of the tattoo.

We recommend using the film as protection for the tattoo from external factors such as clothing fabrics, (in the case of wearing long-sleeved garments), or during the first five nights to prevent agents such as dust, hair, or dirt from coming into direct contact with the tattoo.

How to deal with adhesive film

Adhesive film is an alternative method to the classic transparent film, although its use is less widespread; it is specifically for tattoos and is a polyurethane adhesive film used mainly in the medical field.

  1. The first application of the film lasts 12-24 hours. Once this period has elapsed, it should be applied every 24-48 hours.
  2. Before placing the film, the affected area is cleaned well with mild soap and water.
  3. Dry the area thoroughly with a clean towel or paper towel.
  4. Apply the film so as to cover the entire tattoo area. If the applied film becomes loose or leaves a part of the tattoo uncovered, proceed with the replacement of a new one.

Using this film small amounts of bleeding of the wound are to be considered normal during the healing period; but should you find that the tattoo bleeds profusely, simply remove the film, wash with soap and water and dry the area, proceeding to re-apply a new film.

At Arte Viva Tattoo we use the CoverSkin from Tattoo Defender line or Dermalize.

So which to choose? Traditional film or adhesive film?

In 90% of cases we always choose to use the classic film. However, depending on the case, we would advise the customer which film to use between the two.

How to wash a freshly made tattoo correctly?

During the first few days after the tattoo, it is essential to wash the area properly to avoid infection and promote proper healing.

Here are the steps:

  • Use a neutral soap or a specific cleanser recommended by the tattoo artist. Avoid using perfumed or aggressive soaps as they may irritate the skin.
    We would like to emphasise the importance of the choice of soap, which should not be underestimated! Soap plays a key role in the healing of the tattoo, which is why it must be neutral: compared to other soaps it is little aggressive and must not contain parabens, perfumes or conservatives;
  • Gently apply the soap to the tattoo and massage it in with gentle, circular movements, making sure to cover the entire surface of the tattoo.
  • DO NOT use soap bars or use sponges to wash the tattoo.
  • Rinse the tattoo thoroughly with lukewarm water until the soap is completely removed;
  • Gently blot the tattoo with a clean towel (use always a new one) or paper towel to dry it.

Hydration: the key to healthy skin and a well-healed tattoo

Moisturising is a crucial aspect of the tattoo care process as it promotes healing and keeps the skin healthy.

After washing the tattoo, here is how to moisturise it properly:

  1. Apply a thin layer of specific tattoo moisturising cream to the tattooed area. We recommend Bepanthenol or After Ink Tattoo Defender to use the cream.
  2. Gently massage the cream into the skin until it is fully absorbed. This process will help to deeply moisturise the skin and preserve the integrity of the tattoo.
  3. Repeat the application of moisturising cream 4 times a day for 3 weeks.

Arte Viva Tattoo recommends the use of Bepantenol or After Ink Tattoo Defender.

Avoid sun exposure, swimming in the sea or pool

Caring for a tattoo is a ‘journey’ in which the correct habits must be acquired. The precautions do not only stop at washing or maintaining the tattoo, but one must also take into account all external agents that could adversely affect the healing process.

First of all, it is good to avoid direct exposure to the sun and thus to UV rays, and immersion in the sea or swimming pool. These factors can in fact damage the tattoo, delaying healing and adversely affecting the final appearance of the tattoo.

Here are some tips for properly protecting your tattoo:

  • Avoid direct exposure to the sun. The sun negatively alters the tattoo pigments and dulls the skin, resulting in a “faded” appearance of the tattoo permanently. If you do have to expose yourself to the sun, it is useful to cover the tattoo with protective clothing, so as not to allow UV rays to affect the newly tattooed area.
  • Avoid immersion in the sea or swimming pool. During healing, the chlorinated water of swimming pools or the salt water of the sea can irritate the skin and impair tattoo healing.

So, how long afterwards can you go to the beach or swimming pool?

Only after 15-20 days elapsed from the tattooing will it be possible to go swimming in the pool or the sea.

What to do if complications or signs of infection occur

Despite proper care in some cases, complications or signs of infection may occur during the tattoo healing process. If one notices intense redness, swelling of the skin, abnormal discharge or other uncommon symptoms, an infection may be in progress. In such a case, it is important to act promptly without improvising in remedies or DIY methods. Here is therefore what to do:

  • Consult your doctor immediately or contact the tattoo artist who performed the tattoo to receive an accurate assessment. Only a professional will be able to provide the appropriate treatment for the infection.
  • Avoid treating the infection on your own, as you may worsen the situation or delay healing.

The only thing that can be done in the meantime is to continue to follow the basic steps for tattoo care, such as washing and appropriate hydration; this is because keeping the tattoo clean and hydrated can promote relief to the affected area and faster healing.

How do you cure a tattoo overnight?

To care for the tattoo during the first five nights, we recommend, after washing it gently, covering it with cling film before going to bed and wearing breathable cotton clothes if possible.

The following morning, clean the area well and apply a veil of moisturising cream.

Hints and tips for long-term tattoo care

Tattoo care does not end with its healing. To preserve the beauty of the tattoo pigments over time, just follow these tips that will help in the long-term maintenance of the tattoo:

  1. After a shower, apply a small dose of the moisturising cream used during the healing phase to the tattoo area. This product is specially formulated to keep the skin and the tattoo in optimal condition, so using it routinely in your daily routine will ensure a perfect tattoo hold over time.
  2. Avoid overly adherent clothing that could rub or irritate the tattoo.
  3. Keep the tattoo clean and hydrated even after complete healing. Proper hygiene and hydration can help keep the tattoo in good condition over time.
  4. Always apply a sunscreen with a high protection filter (SPF 50) to the tattooed area when exposed to the sun. Sunscreen helps prevent colour fading and UV-induced degradation of the tattoo.
  5. Avoid aggressive treatments such as laser hair removal on the tattooed area.

Do you have any other questions or curiosities?

Here is a selection of frequently asked questions from our customers that can provide you with further answers if you are unsure.

Final tips for tattoo care: trust the experts at Arte Viva Tattoo 

Don’t underestimate these procedures, it is essential to learn how to perform all the steps correctly to ensure optimal tattoo care. 
Because let’s face it: your tattoo will keep you company for the rest of your life, taking good care of it is important!

Should there be any further doubts, please do not hesitate to seek advice or clarification: contact us

We also recommend that you book a follow-up visit to our Arte Viva Tattoo studio to monitor the healing process of your tattoo; we will provide you with further personalised suggestions, specific guidance and advice based on our experience and knowledge.

Aug, 2023