Don't Make These Mistakes After Getting A Tattoo

Congratulations, you're the proud (hopefully) new owner of a permanent piece of body art. You may have done your homework and all of the necessary research leading up to getting the ink. But just know, it's not quite time to ride off into the sunset as a carefree, newly tattooed adult. Sure your new art might be permanent, but avoid these common mistakes if you want it to heal in time and stay healthy.

First things first. We know you're dying to show off your new ink, but don't even think about taking off the protective bandage placed over the tattoo by the artist earlier than instructed. According to Hush, the dressing was placed there in order to absorb excess ink, blood, and ointments. If it comes off earlier than instructed for some reason, don't stress or try and re-bandage the area yourself. We suggest contacting your tattoo artist for further instruction.

Suds up and avoid the five S's

When it's finally time to take off the bandage to let the world admire your new ink, don't let your admirers down by revealing an infected piece of art. Dr. Elizabeth Mullans, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Houston's Uptown Dermatology, shares with how important it is to keep good hygiene a top priority. "Poor aftercare can lead to an infection," she says. She goes on to recommend always using a scent-free antibacterial soap to gently clean the newly tattooed skin. And to always wash your hands with soap and water before tending to it.

Ok, so soap, soap, and more unscented soap! The thought of an infected tattoo suddenly has us desperate to suds up our hands and find out more. You can "show off" your new tattoo almost right away. But there are five other "S's" to avoid for at least six weeks after getting inked. Hush tells us to not swim, sunbathe, soak, sweat, or sauna, as all of these can negatively affect the tattoo's healing process.

Now that you know to keep good hygiene a top priority and what not to do after getting a tattoo, the mistakes can be avoided, and you can enjoy your new piece of body art in good health!