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After Care Instructions

Consider your fresh tattoo as an open wound, requiring careful attention for a minimum of two weeks following your procedure. Follow these instructions diligently to ensure the safe healing of your tattoo. If you have any questions not addressed in these guidelines, contact your artist promptly. 

Care products

Purchase unscented, antibacterial soap and lotion (brands like Dr. Bronners, Dial, Softsoap, Cetaphil, Meyers, Aquaphor, Eucerin, Lubriderm, Aveno, Curel, Alba) on your way home after the procedure.

Bandage Removal & First Wash

  1. Keep the bandage on for a minimum of 4 hours, but no more than 3 days, Leave it overnight if you've had an evening procedure. DO NOT sleep on top of your tattoo.

  2. When it's time to remove your bandage, start by thoroughly washing hands with antibacterial soap and warm water for 30 seconds.

  3. Clean your tattoo using one of the following 3 methods to open up your pores and allow drainage. Please NEVER scrub, only wipe gently in the same direction:

    1. ​In the shower, gradually increase the water temperature to slightly warmer than usual; avoid excessive heat to prevent skin burns. Allow the warm water to run over your wound for at least 10-15 minutes, followed by a brief cold water rinse.

    2. Soak a new paper towel with very hot water (not so hot that it will burn you) and apply it to the tattoo for 5 minutes.  Using the same paper towel, re-soak it in hot water and place back on your tattoo.  Repeat this process 8 times.

    3. Rinse tattoo under warm-hot water (avoiding stinging hot) for 30 seconds, then switch to cold water for the same duration. Repeat this process 8 times.

  4. After the wash, allow the tattoo to air dry for about 10-15 minutes and then work a very thin layer of lotion into the skin.  If your tattoo looks shiny or wet after applying the lotion, wipe away excess ointment with a clean paper towel. Over-applying lotion may clog pores and compromise your healing process, so it’s much better to apply small amounts of lotion more often, than larger amounts less often.

For the next 2 weeks

  1. Clean your tattoo at least twice a day (morning and night) with your unscented, antibacterial soap of choice. 

  2. Keep your tattoo moist, never let it dry out to prevent scabbing.

  3. Use clean, fresh fabrics. Bedding, clothing, towels, etc can harbor harmful bacteria.

  4. Drink lots of water; Hydration is vital for healthy skin and your healing process.

  5. Avoid alcohol as it slows down healing and makes it easier for scabbing to occur. Additionally, it can disrupt the ink settling into your skin and ruin your tattoo ):

  6. Keep tattoo uncovered as much as possible. Wear clean, loose clothing and avoid jewelry that may rub up against the area.

  7. Keep physical activity to a minimum to prevent sweating. If you sweat during the 2-week healing process, make sure you immediately wash the wound off with unscented, anti-bacterial soap.  Do not let excess bacteria sit on your tattoo.

  8. Avoid strenuous activities until you are fully healed. Moving and stretching of the skin can damage your new tattoo. 

  9. Do not soak your tattoo.

Oozing and Itching

  1. It is normal for the wound to release plasma and excess ink during the initial healing phase. The tattoo may stain clothing and bedding the first couple days.

  2. Don't let the oozing dry on your tattoo as they will create scabbing.

  3. Your tattoo should never remain slimy or oozy.

  4. Your skin might be itchy during the healing process, this is normal. 

Scabbing

  1. If scabs appear, do not peel them or rub them, do keep them moisturized and clean.  They will usually be the same color as your pigment.  If you scratch or rub them, you risk fading and scarring, as well as an infection caused by bacteria under your nails. 

  2. No picking, scratching, or shaving the wound.

Sun Exposure

  1. Do not expose your healing tattoo to the sun at all, as every second of UV rays will cause the pigment to fade.  Do not apply sunscreen to a healing tattoo. 

  2. After your tattoo has healed, always use sunscreen with an SPF 50+ on your tattoo before exposure to the sun or tanning bed.

Other Important Tidbits

  1. Your tattoo may take up to 6 weeks to fully heal.

  2. It is normal for your tattoo to peel and flake within the first week of the healing process.

  3. A tattoo is a lifelong commitment and to prolong the longevity of your artwork for the years to come, properly taking care of it is a must.

  4. Contact your physician at the first sign of infection.

  5. Contact your artist with any aftercare questions you might have.

  6. Avoid gyms, animal hair, saunas, hot tubs, baths, mud wrestling, sharing intense physical contact with anyone, ocean adventures, or anything else that will introduce bacteria into your wound.  Stay away from dusty and dirty places – getting dust or dirt in your wound will cause an infection.

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