Thinking of getting a new tattoo? First, think about it for a while as most tattoos are permanent and expensive to treat and remove should you change your mind. Although New York State licenses tattooists, it does not require them to provide any aftercare instructions. When you get tattooed, your skin gets wounded in the process. Did you know that 3-4% of participants will develop a skin infection after they receive a tattoo? Skin infections can lead to scarring, pain and a poor outcome. What to do? Make sure that sterile technique is employed. All tattoos should be covered with a thin layer of petrolatum ointment and a nonstick dressing. The dressing needs to be worn for at least several hours to absorb serum and crust. The site must be washed gently with clean hands and dried by patting with a soft cloth. You should redress the wound if you feel it has not healed. See your doctor or go to a walk in if you experience any sign of infection such as pain, swelling or discharge.