Remember GI Joe used to say “knowing is half the battle?” (Ok, all you unfamiliar young’ uns we don’t want to hear it!) Well, when it comes to a great tattoo, aftercare is half the battle and this is the part where you must lead the charge. Tattoo aftercare is so important because you need to ensure your tattoo heals properly (no scabbing, scarring, or lost pigment ‘round here!), that way your tattoo is as beautiful, crisp, and vibrant as it was intended. Tattoo aftercare is very simple, all you have to do is follow a few easy guidelines.
While our aftercare instructions are based on years of practical experience, backed by a keen understanding of the skin healing process in humans, we are not doctors or medical professionals. So don’t mistake this advice for that of a medical professional. If you have sensitivities or allergies, let us know before the tattoo. If you notice anything unusual during the healing process don’t hesitate to contact us or seek the advice of a medical professional.
Note that each artist has developed their own slight modifications to what appears below, so always go with what the artist has described to you during your appointment.
Healing after a tattoo
1. Once your tattoo artist is done with your tattoo, he will cover it with an ointment and cover the tattoo with a sterile medical-grade bandage.
2. Leave this bandage on for 3 to 12 hours. During this time, please try to resist the urge to peel off the bandage and show everyone you see. This tattoo is permanent, you’ll have the rest of your life to show it off.
3. After this, you can remove the bandage (if it is difficult to remove because of the tape, warm water or a shower can help).
4. Using only your fingertips, wash the tattoo with lukewarm water and mild soap.
5. Pat, don’t scrub!, the tattoo with a dry clean soft cotton or paper towel.
6. DO NOT re-bandage the tattoo! Let the tattoo dry out for 2-3 days. This means no lotion but, you can still wash it. Showering is fine.
7. Apply a VERY THIN layer of Aquaphor healing ointment to the tattoo.
8. Wash, pat dry, and re-apply the ointment, as instructed above, four times a day for four days.
9. After the fourth day, switch over to using a plain white non-scented lotion 4 to 5 times a day or as needed when your tattoo becomes dry and flaky, which is normal at this stage. (Be advised: scented lotions can cause irritation- aka burn like hell-fire). Continue using lotion until the tattoo is completely healed.
10. Typical healing time is 7 to 14 days, although it can take a full month for the skin to be fully healed.
Avoid submerging your tattoo in water until the initial healing process is over (once flakiness and scabbing has ceased). Showers are okay...and recommended!
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.