Ultimate Tattoo Aftercare in Hoi An: Navigating the Tropical Climate

Ah, Hoi An! A picturesque town known for its lantern-lit streets, ancient architecture, and, of course, its tropical climate. If you have recently gotten a tattoo in this lovely town, you might be wondering how the humidity and sun will affect your new ink.

Do not worry! This guide will walk you through the necessary aftercare tips to ensure your tattoo heals properly in the unique environment of Hoi An.

Why Hoi An’s Climate Matters

The effects of humidity on tattoos: The high humidity in Hoi An can be a double-edged sword for tattoos. On the one hand, keeping your tattoo moist can keep it from drying out. Excessive moisture, on the other hand, can cause scabbing or even an infection.

Sun exposure: The tropical sun in Hoi An is no joke. Direct sunlight can cause your tattoo’s colors to fade. This applies to tattoos that have already healed. UV rays from the sun are strong enough to get through the skin and break up the ink particles.

The First 24 Hours

Immediate aftercare: Once your tattoo is completed, your artist will most likely cover it with a “second skin”.

Reputable tattoo studios, such as The Hangout Tattoo Studios, use products like Dermalize® Pro (second skin), which is ideal for the first application after your tattoo is finished.

There is also a UVA and UVB protection film by Dermalize®. This will guard you from Hoi An’s strong sun rays, so you can heal faster and worry less.

Dermalize® is a latex-free breathable film made of polyurethane and hypoallergenic acrylic glue that protects and speeds up the healing process of your tattoo.

What to avoid: Avoid direct sunlight, swimming, and touching your tattoo with dirty hands.

Dermalize® Pro (second skin)

Cleaning Your Tattoo

Best practices: Clean your tattoo at least three times a day. To avoid allergic reactions, clean it with mineral water and a gentle, fragrance-free soap. Use a soft towel to pat it dry.

Recommended products: Look for soaps that are gentle on the skin, like Dove or Cetaphil. Avoid products with alcohol or harsh chemicals.


Importance: Keeping your tattoo moisturized prevents it from drying out and flaking.

Types of moisturizers to use: Opt for a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic lotion. Some tattoo artists in Hoi An might recommend specific brands, like Balm Tattoo, that are suitable for the climate.

Sun Protection

Why it is important: The sun can significantly fade a tattoo, especially if it is new.

Best sunscreen for tattoos: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen or UV balm with an SPF of at least 30. Reapply every 2 hours, especially if you are out and about in Hoi An. This should only be done on tattoos that have healed.

Avoiding Infection

Signs of infection: Redness, swelling, pus, or a foul odor are red flags. If you notice any of these, seek medical attention immediately.

What to do if infected: Clean the area, avoid touching it, and seek medical attention. Alternatively, contact your studio, and they can suggest ways to help you based on their experience with various skin issues. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

The Do’s and Don’ts

Quick tips:

  • Keep your tattoo clean and moisturized*.
  • Wear loose clothing over the tattooed area.
  • Don’t scratch or pick at your tattoo.
  • Don’t soak your tattoo in water for prolonged periods.

Common mistakes to avoid. Avoiding sun protection, using inappropriate products, or failing to maintain cleanliness.

*Exercise caution to avoid over-moisturizing. Over-moisturizing can compromise a new tattoo, as the cream can attract airborne bacteria and transfer them to the fresh ink.

We suggest that individuals hold off on moisturizing their new tattoos for three days. Due to Vietnam’s elevated humidity, there’s a reduced need for moisturizing compared to places with drier conditions. 

While it might be customary to apply cream soon after receiving a tattoo in drier regions, we discourage this practice in Vietnam to minimize the risk of over-moisturizing.

Clothing Choices

What to wear: Clothing that is loose and breathable is your best friend. It reduces friction and allows your tattoo to breathe.

What NOT to wear: Tight clothing can irritate your skin. Synthetic fabrics can trap moisture, which is not ideal for a healing tattoo.

Physical Activities

Exercise and sweating: Sweating can aggravate a new tattoo. If you are an active person, try to limit your intense workouts for the first week.

Swimming and water activities: Fresh tattoos and water do not mix. Avoid swimming pools, the ocean, and even long baths until your tattoo has healed completely.

Nutrition and Hydration

Foods that help in healing: Vitamin C, zinc, and protein-rich foods can help with the healing process. Consider foods like oranges, lean meats, and nuts.

Importance of staying hydrated: Water aids in skin hydration, which is beneficial for tattoo healing.

We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to drink more water because it keeps your tattoo, skin, and body hydrated. This will help the tattoo heal much faster.

Stay healthy and hydrated

Long-term Care

How to keep your tattoo vibrant: Even after your tattoo has healed, continue to use sunscreen to prevent fading. Moisturize on a regular basis to keep your skin healthy. 

Touch-ups: Depending on how well your tattoo heals, touch-ups may be necessary. If the artist does a good job and the technique is followed correctly, your ink should last for at least 5 to 10 years in the dermis layer. 

Local Recommendations

Tattoo parlors in Hoi An: There are numerous reputable tattoo studios and artists in Hoi An. Do your research, read reviews, and choose one that aligns with your style and hygiene standards.

Where to buy aftercare products: Aftercare products are available at the majority of tattoo studios. Some pharmacies in Hoi An may stock suitable products, but you are better off visiting a reputable studio.

Aftercare products and balms are available at most reputable tattoo studios. Hustle Butter and Tiger Spit are world-renowned brands that most professional artists use and recommend. Although some pharmacies in Hoi An may have suitable products, you are better off visiting a reputable studio.

Hustle Butter & Tiger Spit
Hustle Butter & Tiger Spit

Personal Experiences

Tattoos are popular among both tourists and locals in Hoi An. Their stories range from spontaneous decisions to well-thought-out designs.

The common thread? The significance of aftercare in a tropical climate. If you follow their advice, you will have a tattoo you will be proud of for years to come.


Getting a tattoo in Hoi An is an unforgettable experience. With its tropical climate, aftercare may appear daunting, but with the right knowledge and practices, your tattoo will heal beautifully. 

Remember, the key is to keep it clean, moisturized, and sun-protected. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!


How long does it take for a tattoo to heal in Hoi An’s climate?

With the help of second skin, the tattoo can heal on the surface in five days and completely heal in another month or two.

Can I swim in the ocean after getting a tattoo?

It is best to avoid swimming until your tattoo has completely healed, which can take up to a week.

What if my tattoo starts to itch?

Itching is a sign that your body is healing. But do not scratch it. Rather, tap your tattoo lightly to relive any itching.

How often should I apply sunscreen to my tattoo?

Do not apply sunscreen to your fresh tattoo. Once your tattoo has healed, you can apply sunscreen every 2 hours or more. 

Can I get a tan with a fresh tattoo?

Tattoos will always look better on normal and whiter skin; however, you should avoid tanning because UV rays and the sun damage the ink particles inside the skin over time.