How to Take Care of Your New Tattoo
Congratulations on your new tattoo! By following these simple instructions, the healing process should be quick and easy.
Keep the bandage on for a minimum of 6 hours. We recommend keeping it on overnight provided the dressing feels comfortable and secure. If you decide to remove the bandage before going to sleep, follow the instructions in the next section to properly remove the bandage and clean your tattoo.
On your first night, there’s a chance your tattoo will still bleed. The blood can dry overnight and stick to your clothes or bedding. If this happens, gently take the fabric off. DO NOT force it off or be rough with it. If it still does not come off, wet the area with lukewarm water and gently slide it off.
Fresh tattoos sometimes “weep” during the first couple of days, meaning that plasma and ink form a thin moist coating on the skin. This can be DABBED with a clean paper towel. Press the paper towel to the skin and remove. Do not wipe the tattoo or be rough with it. Do not panic when you see the colors of the tattoo on the paper towel, or on your hands as you clean it. This is simply excess ink being secreted from the surface or the skin.
To avoid stains, use towels and bedsheets with darker tones and wear dark clothing.
Taking off the Bandage and Cleaning Your Tattoo
Before you start, make sure your hands are clean and you have unscented antibacterial soap ready. Avoid soap with fragrance, moisture beads or scrubs.
- Carefully remove the bandage and tape. If you feel the bandage sticking to the tattoo, wet it with lukewarm water and gently slide it off.
- Make a lather in your hands with soap and warm water. NO washcloths, bath towels, or sponges on a fresh tattoo.
- Gently clean the tattoo using a circular motion until all ointment and plasma are removed.
- Rinse the tattoo gently until the skin is clean.
- Pat dry with a clean towel or paper towel then allow to fully air dry for a minimum of 10 minutes. DO NOT SCRUB.
- Once the tattoo is dry, apply a very small amount of Aquaphor or Bacitracin. Gently rub the ointment into your tattoo. Dab any excess off with a clean paper towel.
Applying too much ointment can cause your tattoo to “suffocate.” Apply only a very thin coat so your tattoo can breathe.
Clean your tattoo this way once a day in the shower for the first 2-3 days.
There is no need to re-bandage the tattoo, but please be mindful that your tattoo is a wound and when unwrapped, it is prone to dirt and bacteria which may cause infection. Avoid direct contact with any surface.
Your Daily Tattoo Aftercare Routine
Apply the Aquaphor or Bacitracin 2-3 times a day (Remember, keep it light!) for the first 5-7 days or until your tattoo starts to flake/peel like a sunburn. When the peeling begins, switch to a regular FRAGRANCE FREE lotion such as Lubriderm, or any other fragrance free brand for an additional 2 weeks.
Your tattoo should be completely healed within 2-4 weeks.
If you have extremely sensitive skin, the lotion may cause breakouts. If this happens, just reduce the number of your daily lotion application.
After the first few days, your tattoo may become itchy or begin to form flaky scabs. They will fall off on their own, so DO NOT PICK OR SCRATCH AT YOUR TATTOO. Doing so can cause some of the pigment to disappear, and your tattoo may not heal properly. Keep it moisturized and the scabs will eventually dissipate.
Important Dos and Don’ts
Clean towels, bedding and clothes are highly recommended during the healing process.
Showering is fine, however, please DO NOT soak your tattoo for at least 2 weeks. This means no swimming, baths or submerging your tattoo in water for long periods of time.
Avoid direct sunlight on your tattoo for at least 2 weeks and your tattoo is completely healed. After that, we advise putting on a sunblock (minimum SPF 50) on your tattoo whenever you find yourself in direct sunlight for the rest of your life. The sun will undoubtedly cause damage and compromise the longevity of your tattoo.
Wear loose clothing (preferably cotton) and avoid constricting accessories like bra straps and tight waistbands over a fresh tattoo. Avoid dirty, sweaty or itchy clothing as they can create healing problems.