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You got a new tattoo. It’s finally finished, and it looks amazing!
Or maybe you’re like me, and it still hurts like hell (and as such you can’t wait to cover your whole body in blankets).
Either way—it’s exciting! You’ve been waiting for so long to get this new and special tattoo, and now that it’s done you want to show it to the world.
But wait – you should be cautious for a few weeks while your new tattoo heals.
It doesn’t matter if you keep it covered with ointment or vaseline (better yet, don’t do either), or walk around like a mummy; you’re still going to need some good sleep.
In this article you will find seven key rules for sleeping with a new tattoo.
7 rules on how to sleep with a fresh tattoo
If you’re like me, you want to make sure your new tattoo looks perfect – and that means taking great care of it while it heals. Here are my top tips on how to sleep with a tattoo:
1. Make sure your sheets are clean.
This one’s pretty obvious, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless as an important part of tattoo care on the first night. Dirty sheets can cause bacteria to build up around your new tattoo, which can lead to infection. So make sure you’re changing your sheets regularly – especially if you’ve been sweating in bed.
2. Wear loose-fitting clothes when sleeping.
Avoid anything that’s going to put pressure on your new tattoo. Tight clothing can cause irritation that increases the risk of infection, so wear something looser instead. If you find that wearing a shirt is too uncomfortable, try using a light blanket instead.
3. Keep your tattoo elevated.
If possible, try to keep your tattoo elevated when you’re sleeping. This will help to decrease the amount of swelling and inflammation. You can do this by propping up your pillow with an extra pillow, for example, or by sleeping on your back. Depending on where you have your fresh tattoo, this might be a little tricky, but it’s worth trying to make sure your tattoo heals properly.
4. Avoid touching or scratching the tattoo.
Your tattoo is going to be itchy as it heals, but try to resist the temptation to scratch. This one’s probably the hardest to follow while sleeping, but it’s crucial that you don’t scratch or rub your new tattoo.
Not only can scratching cause infection, but it can also damage your tattoo and make it take longer to heal. If the itchiness is really getting to you, apply a cold compress or anti-itch cream to the area instead.
If you’re worried you might start scratching the tattoo during sleep, try putting a band-aid over it at night. The pressure from the band-aid may be uncomfortable, but it will keep you from scratching the tattoo.
5. Don’t sleep on the new tattoo
If possible, try not to sleep on your new tattoo. If you do end up sleeping on it, make sure you change positions throughout the night so that the new tattoo isn’t under pressure for too long. When you wake up in the morning, don’t forget to wash your new tattoo once again with lukewarm water and antibacterial soap to keep it free of germs and dirt.
6. Use a lotion for tattoos
Using a lotion for tattoos is a good way to keep the area moisturized. This will help to prevent the tattoo from cracking or scabbing. Look for a lotion that’s specifically made for tattoos, as they tend to contain ingredients that can help to promote healing.
Most regular moisturizers won’t be harmful to your tattoo, but they might not have the same healing properties as a dedicated lotion for tattoos. Avoid using anything that’s oily or greasy, as this can clog your pores and lead to infection.
7. If in doubt, ask your tattoo artist for advice.
If you’re still worried about sleeping with a new tattoo, contact your tattoo artist. Most artists try to stay up-to-date on the latest tattoo healing methods, so they’ll be able to give you some great tips on how to take care of your new tattoo while you sleep.
FAQ on how to sleep with a new tattoo
Should I wrap my tattoo at night?
Wrapping your tattoo isn’t necessary while you’re sleeping, but if you find it more comfortable than sleeping on it, you can wrap the area loosely with cling film. This will keep the area clean and protect your bandages or dressings from getting dirty while you sleep.
Can I sleep on my tattoo?
Everyone sleeps in different positions. However, try to avoid sleeping on your tattoo if you can, as this can put a lot of pressure on the tattoo. If you do have to sleep on your new tattoo, try to change positions throughout the night.
Can you mess up a tattoo by sleeping on it?
No, you can’t “mess up” a tattoo by sleeping on it. However, if you’re not careful, you could lose ink or damage the skin around the tattoo. It’s important to follow your artist’s aftercare instructions to the letter to ensure your new tattoo heals properly.
What should I do if my tattoo itches?
If your tattoo itches, resist the temptation to scratch it. Instead, apply a cold compress or an anti-itch cream to the area. If you’re having a lot of trouble resisting the itch, you can also put a band-aid over the tattoo to keep yourself from scratching it.
How long after a tattoo can you sleep on it?
You can sleep on a new tattoo as soon as it’s healed. For most people, this will take at least two weeks. However, everyone heals differently, so contact your tattoo artist if you have any questions or concerns about how long you should wait before sleeping on your new tattoo.
How do I know if my tattoo is healed?
Your tattoo is healed when the scabs have fallen off and the area has stopped bleeding. However, the tattoo may not be completely healed until several weeks after the initial healing process. Again, contact your tattoo artist if you have any questions or concerns about your new tattoo’s healing process.
Sleeping with a new tattoo can be tricky – but if you follow these tips, you’ll be able to avoid any problems. Just be sure to keep an eye on your new tattoo, and contact your tattoo artist if you have any questions or concerns.
Thanks for reading!