You’ve waited and waited and the day finally arrived. You got the new tattoo that you’ve been dreaming of and waiting for, but now what? Any opening in the skin is a place for infection to grow and that includes tattoos. Aftercare for your tattoo is a vital part of the process and we’re here to give you some tips to help make caring for your tattoo easier and healing faster. Days 1 - 5 Aftercare Tips for Your Tattoo. Day 1: Your new tattoo should have been covered with a bandage that you will want to leave on for 2 - 3 hours. Once you remove the covering you will want to gently wash the area with fragrance-free soap and water. You will likely notice oozing fluids, (blood, plasma, and ink) this is normal. Pat the skin dry and apply a thin layer of vaseline over it. Do not rebandage the tattoo, you want to allow the skin to breathe. Day 2 - 3: Your tattoo may appear duller today and may even take on a cloudy appearance. This is completely normal. Follow the washing instructions from Day 1 but apply an alcohol-free moisturizer instead of vaseline as your tattoo begins to scab. You may notice ink in the sink when you wash today. This is just excess ink coming up. Day 4 - 5: It will be tempting to pick at the scabs that have developed but refrain from doing so. Picking the scabs will only cause scarring. Wash the tattoo and apply your moisturizer. Watch for infection. Infected skin will be red, warm, and painful. It may also leak pus. Caring for your tattoo should be done until the skin fully heals, which can take one to six months, depending on where the tattoo was placed and how large it is. Continue to keep it clean and apply a moisturizer to help keep it hydrated.