There are a range of products that are recommended to use on the skin after a tattoo. It will generally be cleansed with rubbing alcohol and covered with cling film. This sweats out any colour residue and encourages the tattoo to scab over. It is extremely important that you do not scratch or pick the scab during the tattoo healing process. Give it air to breathe.

How to Clean The Body After a Tattoo

Have short showers and do not over cleanse the tattoo with a sponge, as this could remove the scab and take away its colour. Gently pat the skin dry, rather than rub dry. A scab will begin to form after three to four days and will fall off naturally in about ten to fourteen days. Apply a small amount of coconut oil to the tattoo after the area has been cleansed of previous product. Coconut oil will soothe any itching and heal the skin. Coconut oil is also anti-bacterial and smells divine! Remove any excess oil with a paper towel. Vitamin E oil is also healing. If the itching gets too much, try wrapping the tattoo in bandage until the itch or discomfort subsides.

Use Natural Ingredients like Coconut Oil

The last thing the skin needs while it is healing is a product that contains colours, preservatives and synthetic fragrance. Caring for a new tattoo is important, as the last thing you want is to remove any colour, especially after enduring the needle. Smaller tattoos will heal quicker, but larger tattoos do require care. If you have had a tattoo on the back or an area you cannot reach to clean, ask a family or friend to assist. Even when the area has formed a slight scab, use coconut oil to provide slight moisture. Too much of any oil of emollient will encourage the scab to drop off prematurely before it has had chance to heal, but not enough moisture will encourage a thick hard scab to form, and this is when the area will become itchy and difficult to handle.

Peeling Skin is a Natural Part of the Process

If you notice flakes of coloured skin dropping off, do not worry that you have damaged your tattoo. This is a natural part of the healing process, but it is a discomforting time as the tattoo becomes very itchy. Gently slap the skin to discourage the itch.

Avoid The Sun

It is important to avoid the sun when the skin is healing after a tattoo. The last thing your tattoo needs is sunburn, as this will increase the itch and encourage the colour to fade.

If you find that your tattoo heals badly, even after following their strict advice, ring your tattoo artist and book an appointment for a touch up, which should be free of charge.


Been a health writer and editor for 15 years. Has contributed to many magazines and web sites.