After care

Q: How should I care for the tattoo after I leave the shop?

A: Many artists will recommend you take care of your tattoo different ways; this is how we recommend my clients get tattooed.  My recommendation comes from over a decade of tattooing and receiving tattoos, I suggest what I think works best both scientifically and personally.

  • For food grade plastic wrap on your new tattoo; leave the bandage on overnight.  If for any reason you need to wash the tattoo before bed, re-bandage with clean plastic cling wrap.  This prevents your new tattoo from sticking to your sheets and oxygenating creating thick scabs which pull ink out.

  • For Saniderm/Taciderm self-adhesive bandage: leave bandage on for a minimum of overnight and a maximum of 4 days.  Bandage is water proof, shower as normal and wash/dry around the bandage area.  Should the bandage leak or start to come off before 3-4 days, remove as soon as possible and wash.  If the bandage becomes red, irritated, itchy and/or puffy remove immediately and wash.  Do not strenuously exercise with bandage on, sweat will pool under the plastic.

  • Wash your tattoo with a fragrance-free unscented soap.  always wash your hands well before touching the tattoo.  Using warm to hot water, do not burn yourself; make a good lather with your hands or a clean wash cloth and gently wash the tattoo until all slimy fluid washes off the surface of the new tattoo.

  • pat clean tattoo with clean towel or paper towel.

  • do not re-bandage the tattoo or wear tight clothing, or wear jewelry, purses or bags that irritate the tattooed area.

  • for the first week to two weeks wash the tattoo once or twice a day with unscented soap.  pat the tattoo dry (never rub).  when the tattoo feels tight or dry like a sunburn, use a small amount of water-based fragrance free (unscented) lotion; just enough to moisturize. Rub lotion into tattooed skin and wipe off the excess. When applying lotion to your new tattoo do so like you would any other part of your body.  Do not use an excessive amount of lotion as this will complicate the healing process.  you may not need lotion for the first day or two, wait until the tattoo looks and feels “thirsty.”  The tattoo will become itchy, use lotion to alleviate the itching, never pick or scratch your tattoo.

  • Do not use any petroleum-based products like A&D ointment, Aquaphor, Vaseline, Neosporin…etc.

  • Do not soak the tattoo. no bathtubs, hot tubs, oceans, lakes…etc. for the first week to two weeks until tattoo has stopped peeling.

  • Stay out of dirty situations where bacteria and sediment could come into contact with your new tattoo.  Be safe!  A new tattoo is an open wound and you could get very sick from contact with bacteria from a beach or gym.If tattoo becomes crusty, discolored or extremely painful, seek out medical attention.

  • My recommendations for soaps and lotions are as follows: Cetaphil, Eucerin, Cerave, Dr. Bronner’s baby mild unscented, any unscented soap or lotion from a health food store, Lubriderm.  read the ingredients on your product, if you see a lot of preservatives and alcohols go for something gentler.  if you have sensitive skin, use a mild hypoallergenic brand you are comfortable with.