Tanning should be avoided for at least four weeks after getting a new tattoo. The tattooed person should use caution for at least three months until the tattoo is fully healed.
Ultraviolet rays from the sun and indoor tanning beds damage the skin and cause the ink used in tattoos to fade, according to About.com. Sunscreen should not be applied to the tattoo for the first four weeks while the first layer of skin heals. Once that happens, sunscreen should be applied to the tattoo any time it will be exposed to the sun. Sunscreens with a high SPF are better, and they should be reapplied frequently.