New tattoos CAN get infected. Although everyone knows that you can get hepatitis C from dirty needles, did you know that you can get a bacterial infection like MRSA, an antibiotic resistant bacteria? What can you do to avoid getting an infection through a new tattoo? Tattoos take one to several weeks to heal. You need to treat your tattoo the same way you’d treat a wound with stitches. Avoid swimming. Wash with soap and water. Use a triple antibiotic ointment and a bandage during the day. Let the skin breathe at night. With proper care you can avoid infections and enjoy your ink.