Avoid touching your tattoo as much as possible. If it is necessary, make sure your hands are clean first. Your tattoo should be treated like an open wound. Dirty sheets or clothing, coming in contact with pets, pet hair or pet dander, touching your tattoo with dirty hands, etc. all put you at risk of infection.
When you get home:
- Wait to remove the bandage on your tattoo for 2-3 hours and until you are home or in a clean environment.
- Wash your hands.
- Gently wash your tattoo with warm water and soap (scent free soap such as castile soap, baby soap, or dove. Avoid anti-bacterial soap or any soap containing micro beads/ exfoliants).
- Pat dry with a clean paper towel.
- Tattoo ink may stain sheets or clothing. After washing you may bandage your tattoo with only a new piece of saran wrap. Do not use the bandage you were sent home with or anything with adhesive.
First week of healing:
- Wash your tattoo often (3-5 times daily).
- After washing apply a very thin coat of ointment to your tattoo (up to 3 times daily).
- Ointment from a previous application should be washed off before you apply more. When applying, if you do not have enough ointment and need more make sure to use a different finger or wash your hands so you are not putting bacteria from your tattoo back into your aftercare packaging.
- Ointments may include Hustle Butter, A&D, Aquaphor.
- Do not use Neosporin, Bacitracin or petroleum jelly.
- Near the end of the first week of healing your tattoo may begin to peel, feel dry, or start to scab.
- Do not pick, peel, or scratch the scabs; this could cause damage to your tattoo! Keeping your tattoo and body hydrated (using lotion and drinking water) will help relieve the itching that comes along with the healing of your tattoo.
- At this point you can keep your washing routine but stop using ointment and switch to a lotion. Apply a mild, dye free, unscented lotion 1-2 times daily after washing.
- Eucerin, Aveeno, Lubriderm, Jergens (Hustle Butter is shea butter based and can also be used as a lotion!)
- Lotion in a bottle with a pump will work but may have a minor burning or tingling sensation as it typically contains alcohol. If using a lotion that comes in a jar or squeeze bottle make sure your hands are clean before each use. You do not want to contaminate the jar with bacteria from your hands or tattoo.
For the duration of healing- (around 2 weeks):
- Do not soak your tattoo for at least 2 weeks.
- This includes swimming in pools, bath tubs, oceans or hot tubs
- Do not expose your tattoo to direct sunlight for a minimum of 2 weeks. After your tattoo is healed, apply sunscreen when exposing it to sunlight to avoid fading.
- Improper care of your tattoo can lead to damage, scarring, or infection. Please be mindful of your aftercare.
If you suspect infection please seek medical attention.
- If you have any questions about your aftercare, products to use, or the healing process, please call our studio!
- There may be cases where your artist provides different aftercare instructions. Follow your artist’s instructions but if you forget these general aftercare guidelines will also work.
- If your artist gave you a clear bandage (tegaderm, saniderm, etc.) to leave on for the first few days of healing, but it started leaking or you needed to remove it you should follow the above instructions instead of trying to reapply or cover your tattoo.