Archive for October, 2012

Some Do’s And Don’ts After You Get A Tattoo: How To Avoid Redness And Swelling

October 27th, 2012

Tattoos are so popular and common they can be seen everywhere. Many years ago they were mostly only seen on men. Now people across the world from all walks of life and all ages sport tattoos. A few people get one, regret it, and get tattoo removal. However, the majority of people who get one tattoo end up getting more.

In most cases, when someone gets a tattoo there are no problems. If done by a trained professional they can be pretty painless and safe. Every once in a while people get an infection or have an allergic reaction. Even when done correctly, a little redness, soreness and swelling is normal. To help reduce the amount of swelling and redness after getting a tattoo there are some dos and don’ts you should follow.


  • Leave a bandage on for at least two or three hours. It is normal to have some slight bleeding from the needle pricks.
  • For the first few days after getting a tattoo wash gently about three or four times daily with clean hands and soapy water. This will help prevent getting an infection and decrease redness.
  • When the tattoo has just been cleaned avoid using a rough towel to dry this will irritate and make it more red. Use a clean paper towel and gently pat dry.
  • Having some swelling is to be expected. To make it less noticeable apply a cold ice pack to reduce it, never put ice directly on the skin it could cause tissue damage.
  • Each time after you clean, before bandaging cover the tattoo with a thin layer of an antibiotic ointment. Then bandage. This cream will help it heal; infection is what causes severe redness.
  • While healing, apply lotion to the tattoo. Always use a fragrance and dye-free kind to not cause more redness and itching.


  • Avoid excessive touching of the tattoo. If it begins to scab over during the healing process leave it alone. Picking at the scab will cause redness and can cause an infection.
  • Until fully healed avoid hot tubs, swimming pools, soaking in long baths or swimming in lakes or rivers. This is to help prevent infection from bacteria in the water.
  • If possible, do not sleep directly on your tattoo. The area will be sore and the pressure on it can cause more swelling.
  • Stay out of the sun as much as possible for at least a month. This includes all tanning beds. Too much sun causes redness and can even affect the ink of the tattoo while healing.
  • Do not wear tight clothing on top of the tattoo. This will increase the pain and swelling.
  • If you have pets do not let them lick or rub up against your tattoo. The risk of infection from an animal is high.

If there is any oozing of green, yellow or white pus from the tattoo this is usually an infection. If the redness or swelling last for more than three or four days, or the area swells up like a balloon seek medical treatment. A well-done tattoo will can last a lifetime. If you decide it was a mistake there is now laser tattoo removal that is very effective. Follow the dos and don’ts carefully and you can safely enjoy your body art for many years to come.