10 Things Not To Do To Your Tattoo Unless You Want To Mess Up Your Permanent Body Art

  1. Don't Scratch It

    During the healing period, your tattoo might feel like the itchiest thing that has ever itched in the history of itching. But avoid scratching to the best of your abilities. As Tattoo Junkies, the leading full service tattoo and body piercing studio on the seacoast, will tell you, "Do not pick, scratch, peel, slap, rub or irritate your tattoo." I can't act like a saint and pretend I never have a sneaky little scratch session, but just be careful.

  2. Don't Let Others Touch It

    As Tattoo Junkies warns, "Do not let anyone touch your tattoo, unless they wash their hands." You don't know where they've been or what their hands were doing before gracing your skin. Infections are easy to get, so think of your tattoo as an open wound. You wouldn't even let your mom touch it without thoroughly disinfecting her hands first. Just as you have to keep your own hands clean during the healing process, so does everyone else coming into contact with your ink.

  3. Don't Peel Off Dead Skin

    Tattoo Artist Magazine advises against picking off any skin that starts peeling away from your tattoo. "It is essentially the scabby layer and dead skin coming off. Do not scratch it or play with it! It will probably itch throughout this time, do not scratch!"

  4. Don't Over-Moisturize

    On the other end of the spectrum, don't over-moisturize your tattoo if you want to avoid peeling or itching. "A thin layer is better than drowning the tattoo in goo and will help it heal faster,"  

  5. Don't Use Saran Wrap And Tattoo Ointment

    It's one or other other, pals. Wet healing or wrap healing is a tattoo healing process that I personally prefer, but most people I know just go for the old faithful. According to Inked, it's OK to experiment in order to find the right method for you. But don't go for both at the same time.

  6. Don't Ignore It

    With any healing wound, it's often best to leave it alone to do its own thing. However, tattoos deserve your care and attention. According to the folks at the Great British Tattoo Show, don't ignore aftercare. You might think it'll be fine if left to its own devices, but you'd only be setting yourself up for infection.

  7. Don't Soak It

    Try to only take showers during the healing process. Trust me, I know how hard this is as a seasoned bath enthusiast. "No swimming, soaking, or hot tub" for two weeks, according to Tattoo Junkies.

  8. Don't Ignore The Sunblock

    If you care about your skin, you should be wearing some kind of SPF always. According to tattoo culture site Skin Artists, sun exposure can seriously mess with your tattoo, so avoid those rays at all costs during the entire healing process. Afterwards, always keep your tattoo protected with sunblock.

  9. Don't Wear Tight Clothing

    It's time to ditch the super skinny jeans in exchange for your mom denim for a couple of weeks. "For the first two weeks, avoid wearing tight clothing that might rub up against your tattoo as well as sleeping on your tattoo so you don’t agitate the healing process," Inked warns.

  10. Don't Forget To Clean Your Hands

    Keeping your hands clean is as important as keeping your tattoo clean, because your hands can introduce bacteria to your tattoo very easily. According to Inked, "Make sure to wash your new tattoo several times a day with a soft, non-scented, antibacterial soap [...] to keep it clean and avoid potential infection [...] Remember, never touch your tattoo unless you have just washed your hands!"