How to Take Care of Your New Tattoo
Congratulations on your new tattoo! Please follow the simple instructions below and the tattoo healing process should be quick and easy.
It’s best to keep the bandage on for a minimum of 6 hours. However, we recommend keeping it on overnight as long as it feels comfortable and secure. If you do decide to remove the dressing before going to sleep, follow the instructions in the next section to remove the bandage and clean your tattoo properly.
There’s a chance your tattoo will continue to bleed the first night. The blood may dry causing your clothes and bedding to stick to your new tattoo. If this occurs, gently separate the fabric from your tattoo. Important: DO NOT force it 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 can sometimes “weep” during the first few days, meaning that plasma and ink form a thin, moist coating on the skin. To clean this “weeping,” gently DAB the area with a clean paper towel. Do not wipe or be rough with your new tattoo. Do not panic if you see a small amount of tattoo ink on the paper towel or on your hands as you clean it.
Use towels and bedsheets with darker tones to avoid stains and wear dark clothing.
Taking off Your Bandage and Cleaning Your Tattoo
Before removing your bandage, make sure you have unscented antibacterial soap ready, and your hands are clean. DO NOT use soaps with fragrances, moisture beads, or scrubs.
- Carefully remove the bandage and tape. If the dressing sticks to your tattoo wet it with warm water and remove it gently.
- Lather up soap and warm water in your hands: DO NOT use washcloths, towels, or sponges on your healing tattoo.
- Clean your tattoo gently using a circular motion to remove all ointment and plasma.
- Rinse your tattoo to remove all soap.
- Pat dry with a clean paper towel. Then fully air dry for a minimum of 10 minutes. DO NOT SCRUB.
- Once the tattoo is dry, gently apply a thin coat of Aquaphor or Bacitracin into your tattoo. NOTE: Applying too much ointment can cause your tattoo to “suffocate.”
Follow these steps for the first 2-3 days to clean your new tattoo properly.
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.
Daily Tattoo Aftercare Routine
Apply the light amount Aquaphor or Bacitracin 2-3 times a day for the first 5-7 days or until your tattoo begins to flake/peel. After that, switch to a FRAGRANCE-FREE lotion such as Lubriderm or any other fragrance-free brand for an additional two weeks.
Most tattoos are completely healed within 2-4 weeks.
Lotion may cause breakouts for people with sensitive skin. If this happens to you, reduce the number of times per day you apply lotion.
Your new tattoo may become itchy or begin to form flaky scabs after the first few days. These are normal and will fall off on their own: DO NOT PICK OR SCRATCH AT YOUR TATTOO. Doing so can cause some pigment to disappear, and your tattoo may not heal properly. Instead, keep it moisturized, and the scabs will eventually dissipate.
Important Dos and Don'ts
- Be sure to use clean towels, bedding, and clothes during the healing process.
- Showering is acceptable; however, please DO NOT soak your tattoo, including swimming, baths, and submerging your tattoo for at least two weeks.
- Make sure to avoid direct sunlight on your tattoo until the healing process is complete. Following this, we advise putting sunblock (minimum SPF 50) on your tattoo whenever you find yourself in direct sunlight. 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 it can create healing problems.