So, you finally did it. After days, months, or maybe even years of planning and buildup, you’ve got your first tattoo. It is an incredible feeling—surely worth all the pain and money. Right now, you’re probably very excited and eager to just look at your tattoo, check it out from all angles, take pictures, and so on.

But before your excitement takes you aways, remember the most important thing after getting a tattoo is aftercare. Aside from the ointments or creams for helping your tattoo heal, there are other things you should do—or, more specifically, what you should not do immediately after getting your tattoo.

Here are the five most important things you should not do after getting a tattoo:

Don’t Expose it to the Sun.

Sun exposure is a big no-no. UV rays can be harmful to your normal skin. On tattooed skin, the UV rays penetrate deeply, causing wrinkles and premature aging.

Whether your tattoo is colored or not, the sun can damage a new tattoo if it’s exposed for too long. Think of it as a giant laser. It will ruin the healing process. Not to mention, it’s an open wound, so you’ll be even more prone to blisters, peeling, and the like.

Don’t Go Swimming or Soaking.

An open wound in the water is not a good idea. Even more so when that wound is the artwork. Because it is an open wound, you’re more susceptible to bacteria and other infections. Soaking, on the other hand, can dry out your skin and lead to cracking.

At best? All of this will ultimately result in a blotchy and imperfect tattoo. At worst, you might get infected and be left with a nasty and deeply dark or colorful wound. No matter what you do, just be sure to avoid swimming or soaking in water for too long for the next 4 to 6 weeks after getting a tattoo (depending on how sensitive your skin is.)

Don’t Touch it.

Nope. Do not touch it. Unless you’re doing so to apply a cream or an ointment, leave it alone. At a minimum of two weeks, there is no reason you should be touching or picking at your tattoo. This can irritate your skin. And if your hands happen to be dirty, they can infect your skin. Make sure that the people around you also receive the memo for the next few weeks. We know the urge to touch will be strong, but do your best to settle for just looking at it for now.

Don’t Scratch it.

If you can’t touch, it’s even more important that you don’t scratch. Once the scab starts forming over your tattoo, the healing process will be well underway. During this time—especially for first-timers with big pieces—the itch will almost be unbearable.

But do your best to resist. Scratching can lead to the scabs pulling away, which can damage the tattoo. If you find yourself unable to handle the itch, this is the time to reach for that cream.

Don’t Sweat (Too Much).

Okay, by this, we mean intentionally. Depending on your daily activities, sweat might be inevitable. But since water can cause either damage or infect your tattoo, it’s best to put a halt on extracurricular activities, like exercising or sports for a while, at least until the tattoo heals. This is also because you don’t want to move or pull on the area too much. Right now, it needs to rest in place and heal.

The Bottom Line

It’s easy to get carried away after getting your tattoo. Sitting on a chair being poked by a needle can give you a boost, and you might feel really hyped for anything. While that’s understandable, remember the time, money, and pain that went into that tattoo. You don’t want any of that to go to waste because of impulsive behavior. As long as you avoid these aftercare don’ts, you should be back to normal programming in no time!

Contact the best tattoo artists in Buffalo, NY, at Lucky Deville Tattoo if you’re looking for a great place to get tattooed. We can help you get the tattoo of your dreams. Whatever your vision is, we can make it happen. Visit our artists and see what we can do for you!

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