Getting a new tattoo is exciting, and most of us can’t wait to show it off to anyone who’ll look.
But patience is of the essence if you want the tattoo to heal properly.
One of the most important things is to protect the tattoo from clothing that could irritate it, prevent it from drying, contaminate it with bacteria, obstruct the skin’s breathing and even cause infections.
So how can you protect your tattoo and your skin from clothing? It’s easier than you think with a few simple guidelines and do’s and don’ts. Let’s dive in.
No Tight-Fitting Clothes
Tight-fitting clothes are the first thing you should avoid after getting a new tattoo. This is especially important for the first few days of the healing process. The list includes gym clothing, like leggings, tops, yoga pants, gymnastics clothing, tight bras, etc.
When the fabric rubs against the skin, it exposes it to various contaminants, which can lead to the wound reopening (a tattoo is a wound, after all!).
The rubbing can also prolong the healing process and even ruin the tattoo, which you, of course, don’t want!
If you got a tattoo on your legs, hips, and lower back or abdomen, skip wearing jeans (especially skinny jeans) and high-wasted pants that rub against the skin, restrict airflow and slow down healing.
Other types of clothing to avoid.
Besides avoiding tight-fitting clothes, keep a few other vital factors in mind to protect your tattoo and help it heal as fast and smoothly as possible.
Sticky clothes. We’re talking leather, latex, and other mostly synthetic fabrics that may get stuck to the tattoo and expose it to infection. Sticky fabric can also reopen the wound and obstruct healing.
Dirty clothes. Any unwashed clothes can contaminate the wound, lead to infections, and damage the tattoo. Make sure you wear only freshly washed clothes but make sure your detergent is soft and non-irritating.
Expensive clothes. During the first few days, the new tattoo is prone to bleeding and oozing, so it could destroy your favorite clothes with blood, ink, and plasm. Avoid wearing clothes that might get ruined and opt for darker colors.
Footwear. If you got a foot tattoo, you should go barefoot as much as possible because shoes will rub off on the skin. The same goes for socks. Our best recommendation is to wear slides or flip-flops when you have to wear shoes.
Sun exposure. You want to protect your tattoo from sun exposure, especially while it’s healing, so wear clothing that covers it up. If you get your new tattoo sunburnt, it will take longer to heal and could lead to blistering.
Best Clothing To Wear
The healing process of a tattoo can vary from a couple of weeks to a full month, so to ensure it’s smooth, opt for loose-fitting clothes on the areas where the fabric touches your body, especially once the protective wrap is removed.
If you got a tattoo on your arms, the best choice is a soft t-shirt from a breathable fabric like the Henleys from Fresh Clean Threads.
You want the tattooed area to receive as much air as possible and be protected from both sticky and rubbing fabrics as well as outside irritation.
The airflow is necessary to dry the tattoo out and help form scabs (don’t scratch those!).
The best clothes to wear after getting a tattoo to include:
- Baggy shirts and t-shirts
- Loose-fitting athleisure
- Dresses and skirts for women
- Flip-flops and slides
- Loose trousers or palazzo pants
- Linnen robes and shirts
The best breathable fabrics are cotton, silk, modal, and linen.
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