All skin types heal differently. We encourage experienced individuals who have been happy with their previous tattoo healing results to follow the process they know works for them and their skin type. For first time clients, as well as established clients looking for guidance, here is a recommended list of general tattoo aftercare guidelines to help you achieve a beautifully healed tattoo.
Keep in mind that all fresh tattoos are considered open wounds due to the process required for tattoo application. Just like any other wound, you should take proper care of it to prevent infection and lower your chances of complications. To properly heal a tattoo, you should keep it clean, properly moisturized, and reduce unnecessary movement of the healing skin.
Immediately after your tattoo
Leave your bandage on for a maximum of 1-3 hours. This is really only a protective measure to ensure your tattoo stays clean on your way home.
To dry your tattoo
Gently pat dry with a clean paper towel only. DO NOT use a cloth towel, as this will leave lint and other debris on your skin that can cause healing complications and may increase your chances of infection.
Repeat the cleaning and moisturizing process at least 3 times a day for 3 weeks.
After taking off the plastic wrap
After removal of plastic wrap, wash thoroughly with lukewarm water. DO NOT use a cloth towel to wash. Use clean hands only to gently massage the area with unscented soap, non-abrasively. We recommend Dr. Bronner's unscented liquid soap, available for purchase at the shop.
After washing & Drying your tattoo
Apply a THIN layer of tattoo aftercare ointment to entire tattooed area. We recommend Hustle Butter, which can be purchased at the shop after your appointment or is available at Ulta. If your tattoo scabs are looking wet and like they are going to fall off, discontinue ointment usage to all them to dry out.
After one week
After the first week of your tattoo healing process, you may apply a thin layer of unscented lotion instead of ointment to minimize itching. If lotion burns, immediately switch back to aftercare ointment.
DO seek medical attention immediately if you suspect your tattoo is infected. Signs of infection may be: colored pus/discharge, excessive
heat, pain, etc. from the tattooed area longer that the first few days.
DO apply sunblock after your tattoo is completely healed to keep your tattoos beautiful and looking new. Make sure to apply sunblock only after your tattoo
is completely healed, as the skin is especially sensitive to sun exposure.
DO keep your tattoo looking fresh by moisturizing regularly using low alcohol content lotions and creams after your tattoo is fully healed.
DO NOT go into a pool, hot tub,
bath, lake, ocean or any body of water for a minimum of 3 weeks. Do not submerge your tattoo in water for at least 3 weeks. Submerging your tattoo in water can greatly affect the healing process.
DO NOT expose your fresh tattoo
in any unsanitary environments. If
your tattoo DOES happen to come
in contact with something unsanitary or questionable, wash it thoroughly immediately.
DO NOT pick your tattoo scabs.
Scabs are natural and often form after the tattooing process, especially large areas of skin with color/shading. Picking scabs will result in scarring on your tattoo that your artist is not responsible for.
DO NOT use Neosporin, Vasoline, or Petroleum Jelly as ointment to heal a tattoo. These products create a barrier and leave your skin unable to breath and complete the healing process.
A note on Saniderm:
Many artists have begun using saniderm and other like kind products as part of their healing method. The use of saniderm is up to the artists discretion based on your skin type and what healing would work best for you and is a complementary service. If saniderm is applied at your appointment, the artist will go over specific aftercare instructions with you at the end of your appointment.