Tattoo Healing & Aftercare Instructions
Now, you have your fresh new tattoo, you want to take good care of it! From this point on, your artist is not responsible for any infection or problems you may have with your tattoo. The care and healing of your tattoo is your responsibility, therefore it is very important that you follow these basic guidelines for proper healing.
Your new tattoo has been bandaged. This bandage should be removed, and not replaced, within 1 to 2 hours, or until you are able to properly clean it with a mild, unscented soap and warm water in a clean environment. Before washing your tattoo, be sure to wash your hands first with an antibacterial soap. DO NOT use a wash cloth, wash your tattoo gently with your clean hands, rinse it with clean water, pat dry with a clean paper towel, and then allow it to completely air dry before applying ointment. While doing this be sure to avoid unclean areas, unclean surfaces, and pets. Contact your artist with any questions.
You should apply your aftercare lubricant regularly (3-5 times) throughout the day after washing your tattoo. We do NOT recommend using any lubricant that has a petroleum base on your tattoo. Research has found that products like A&D or Bacitracin that contain petroleum actually impede the tattoo healing process. We highly recommend using products made for tattoo aftercare such as Redemption, Hustle Butter or Tattoo Goo to name a few on the market. If you are unsure or have aftercare product questions please contact the artist or studio that has done your tattoo and DO NOT take the advice of friends or other shops over your artist’s advice. You should apply this ointment in a very thinly such as you would a body lotion, enough to keep the tattoo moist but NOT smothered and NOT layered. Use just enough ointment to make the tattoo slightly shiny and blot of any excess with a clean paper towel. There should NOT be a heavy layer of ointment on your tattoo.
For the first day or two your tattoo will require more cleaning, as is will lose more body fluids, this is normal. We recommend washing your tattoo 3-5 times throughout the day, and allowing it to completely dry before reapplying ointment as to not trap any moisture. Frequency of cleaning depends on your lifestyle, use your best judgment, but don’t overdo it. Contact your artist with any questions.
Yes, you can (and should) shower with a new tattoo. It’s OK to get your tattoo wet, just don’t soak or submerse it. Submerging your tattoo in a bath or hot tub can cause serious damage, so you’ll want to avoid those for 2-3 weeks, but showering is perfectly fine as long as you don’t saturate your tattoo. If you get soap or shampoo on your tattoo, just remove it quickly with water. Swimming – whether it is a pool, fresh water or salt water – should be avoided for at least 3 weeks. Contact your artist with any questions.
You should continue to use the tattoo aftercare for the entire time your tattoo is healing. After 3-5 days your tattoo will begin to feel and flakes like a sunburn. It may appear like the color is coming off. This is normal. The area will become dry and itchy. DO NOT scratch it; continue to apply the tattoo aftercare for another 3-7 days until the tattoo no longer flakes. Contact your artist with any questions.
Look out for a rash or any “bubbling” of your tattoo. This bubbling is caused from moisture (usually to much ointment) getting trapped in your tattoo, and can lead to scabbing. If scabs do develop they can remove the color beneath them. It is very important that they are allowed to dry out completely, and stay dry. The scab will eventually fall off on its own, and your tattoo should be fine. Also as stated earlier, some people can develop a small allergic reaction to any type of ointments used which will appear as a red rash or small red bumps. This reaction will usually disappear once the ointment is no long being used. A small percentage of people may develop a more serious reaction, and may require medical attention. We suggest contacting your artist and a medical physician if this should occur. Contact your artist with any questions.
If you are in a clean environment where you are able to allow your tattoo to be open and exposed to the air, do so. Allowing the tattoo to breath will help with healing. Your body and oxygen are going to heal the tattoo. It is beneficial to wear clean loose fitting clothing over your tattoo to allow it to breath. Avoid suffocating your tattoo with socks or pantyhose. To reduce the risk of infection, avoid exposure to pets and dusty or dirty areas.
Do NOT expose your tattoo to the sun during the healing process. Once your tattoo is completely healed, we highly recommend using a high number SPF sunblock on your tattoo to prevent sun damage and possible fading to the tattoo. Do not let other people poke, bump, or touch your tattoo ever! Also DO NOT follow the care instructions of your friends or other people. If you have any questions, call your tattoo artist. They are professionals and can guide you through the healing process.
Once you leave the shop, the proper care and healing of your tattoo is your responsibility. With these instructions, and your own common sense, your tattoo will heal in the next 2-3 weeks. Enjoy your tattoo and take care of it, it’s forever! And please, Contact your artist with any questions.