first night of tattoo care
Tattoo Aftercare

Tattoo Care First Night Step by Step (All Questions Answered) - Sorry Mom

The first night after your tattoo session is crucial to ensure it heals properly and looks amazing.

For anyone who appreciates tattoos, there is nothing more exciting than getting a new piece. But, as happy as you are to leave with your brand-new ink, there are some important things you need to know about tattoo care in the first 24 hours.

Before you even get a new tattoo, you should know how to properly take care of it during the first night. Your artist can design and create the perfect tattoo for you, but it may all have been for nothing if you don’t do your part when it comes to aftercare.

In this article, we talk about how to take care of your new tattoo the first night, and we've also answered all your questions regarding this topic. 

Why the First 24 Hours Are Crucial

You may already know that a fresh tattoo takes about two weeks to completely heal. However, the first 24 hours after your session are the most crucial to the health and success of your newest piece. Even though most of us look at a tattoo and see a work of art and self-expression, the truth is that it is still an open wound.

This means that your tattoo is vulnerable to infections and other possible issues. Keeping your tattoo clean and protected is the best way to ensure you steer clear of anything that could harm your tattoo or disrupt the healing process. Of course, this starts with knowing exactly how to practice the proper tattoo care on the first night.

Read also: Tattoo Aftercare Instructions Step by Step

Tattoo Care First Night: Step by Step

The great news is that taking care of your tattoo on the first night is fairly simple and straightforward. You just have to be willing to put forth the time and effort to ensure a healthy healing process and a beautifully healed tattoo.

#1 Tattoo Session

The first step is to go to your tattoo session and get your new ink! As your tattoo artist works on your piece, this is the beginning of the process as the “wound” is being created. Therefore, listening to everything an artist tells you about tattoo care is important.

#2 Bandage

After your session, the artist will place a bandage over your tattoo. This bandage is typically tattoo film or cling wrap to protect your tattoo from any bacteria, scraping, or pulling while it heals.

Tattoo film can usually be left on longer than cling wrap, as it allows your skin to breathe. Therefore, we strongly recommend you use tattoo film if possible.

Tattoo bandage

#3 Rebandaging

In most cases, you will need to rebandage your tattoo during the first 24 hours.

For example, if you had your session in the morning, you’d likely have to rebandage your tattoo before bed. However, if you get your tattoo in the afternoon or the evening, keep your bandage on for the first night while you sleep and change it the next morning.

#4 Clean

It is essential to clean your tattoo anytime you change your bandage.

Likewise, if you get a tattoo in the morning, you should clean it between bandages. But, if you had your session later in the day, clean and rebandage your tattoo the next morning. Then, after applying your second bandage yourself, you can keep it on for about 3-4 days.

Cleaning your tattoo the first night

Most Common Questions About The First 24h Of Taking Care Of A Tattoo:

It’s normal to have a few questions about taking care of your tattoo – especially during the first 24 hours.

While it’s always advised to talk with your artist about all of your aftercare concerns, there are a few commonly asked questions that tattoo enthusiasts ask before their first tattoo or a new one.

- Should I wash the tattoo the first night?

If you had your tattoo completed earlier in the day, there is an increased chance that it was exposed to possible bacteria, irritants, or other debris. Therefore, you should wash it the first night.

However, if you had your tattoo session later in the day, you could wait until you wake up the next morning to clean it – be sure to rewrap your tattoo after any cleanings during the healing process.

Clean your tattoo

Should I moisturize my tattoo the first night?

You should only concern yourself with keeping your tattoo clean and protected with a bandage during the first night. Wait until your skin becomes dry to start moisturizing.

Moisturizing tattoo

Should I wrap the tattoo the first night?

Your tattoo artist will wrap your skin after completing your session. If they have instructed you to change the bandage during the first 24 hours, it’s best to listen to their advice. The most important thing to remember is to keep your tattoo wrapped during your first sleep.

Things to Avoid the First Night You Get a Tattoo

There are a few things you should avoid as your tattoo heals.

- Avoid Alcohol And Drugs

After getting a tattoo, drinking or doing drugs is usually not a great choice. Poor judgment and a healing wound are never a good combination. Avoid both during the healing process to ensure your tattoo heals completely and beautifully.

- Avoid Too Much Contact With Other People And Or Pets

Bacteria in an open wound can cause irritation and infection. Unfortunately, close contact with surfaces, other people, and even your furry friends puts you at a higher risk of coming into contact with something that can harm your tattoo.

- Avoid Exercising

Wait at least a few days before engaging in rigorous physical activity. Friction, sweat, and stretching can damage your healing ink and even increase your chance of infection.

Read also: Can I Work Out After Getting a New Tattoo?

Working out with tattoo

- Avoid The Sun

After your tattoo is healed, ensure it is well protected by consistently applying sunblock. Until it’s healed, avoid the sun altogether. Sun can damage your skin and affect the appearance of your tattoo, especially during the healing process.

What Can Happen If You Don’t Take Good Care Of My Tattoos?

As your skin heals, it is imperative to take good care of your tattoo. Without the proper cleaning, covering, and moisturizing, your skin is susceptible to infections, irritation, and even a botched appearance.

If you care about how your tattoo heals and how it looks in the long run, it is important to ensure it is properly cared for.


Tattoos are a fantastic way to express ourselves and show off the things we love most. There is nothing more important than ensuring your tattoo looks as amazing as you imagined it, and that is only possible if you put forth the same effort in caring for your tattoo as you did coming up with the idea and choosing your artist.