Aftercare Instructions

OINTMENT:  A&D (typically found in the baby care or first aid aisle).  A vegan alternative to A&D would be Hustle Butter.  Using any other ointments such as Aquafor, Tat Wax, Bag Balm, etc. before the scabs are completely gone is done so at your own risk.  NEVER use neosporin or antibiotic ointments without consulting your tattooer first.

SOAP:  Liquid Dial Gold is preferred.  If you can’t find Dial Gold, use an equivalent liquid soap that is anti-bacterial, fragrance free and unmedicated. 

LOTION:  Any fragrance free, unmedicated skin lotion, such as Lubriderm, Curel or Aquafor.
DAY OF TATTOO:  Leave the bandage on for about an hour after leaving the shop.  NEVER RE-BANDAGE A HEALING TATTOO.  When you take the bandage off, give the tattoo a good wash using anti-bacterial soap.  Wash your hands before touching the tattoo and NEVER use a washcloth, loofah, etc.  GENTLY wash the tattoo using your fingertips only.  DO NOT USE ANY OINTMENT ON DAY 1.

1ST WEEK:  GENTLY wash the tattoo 3 times a day (morning, afternoon and night).  After each wash, apply a THIN layer of A&D ointment.  Start with a small amount and gently massage into the tattoo.  If you need more, add a little more.  If you can ever see ointment on top of the skin, you are using too much.  A very small amount is needed to begin the healing process without damaging the tattoo.  Too much ointment will cause ink rejection and too little may cause the tattoo to dry out and crack.

2nd WEEK:   Continue washing the tattoo 3 times a day.  If absolutely NO scabbing is left, and the tattoo now looks dry and flaky, you can switch from the ointment to an unscented, un-medicated skin lotion.  If there are ANY scabs left, continue using the A&D ointment.  Switching to lotion too soon can cause scabs to soften and you may lose pigment.  NEVER PICK AT OR BRUSH AWAY SCABS OR FLAKES.  EVER.  You will damage the tattoo.

WEEK 3 & 4:  Even if your tattoo appears to be healed by now, it takes about a month for a tattoo to completely heal.  You may use lotion as often as you like at this point, which will help the skin finish healing.  The tattoo may look “cloudy” at this stage, which is normal. 

  • Don’t pick or scratch at the tattoo.  This includes “brushing” off the flakes or scabs as it heals.  You WILL lose pigment in the tattoo by doing so.  NEVER touch a healing tattoo unless you are cleaning it. 
  • Keep the tattoo away from pets/animals.  DO NOT let pets come in to contact with your tattoo.  This includes lying in bed near your healing tattoo, brushing up against it, licking it, etc. 
  • Don’t expose the tattoo to bodily fluids (sweat, blood, tears, saliva, etc.).
  • Don’t submerse the tattoo in water or expose to direct sunlight for 2-3 weeks.  Showering is fine, but avoid letting the water beat down directly on the tattoo.  NO pools, spas, tubs, lakes, ocean, tanning beds, etc.
  • A fresh tattoo IS a wound and needs to be treated as such.  Your broken skin is susceptible to infection if YOU do not properly care for it upon leaving the shop.  Keep it clean and out of harm, follow the aftercare instructions and your tattoo should heal within 2-4 weeks. 

AFTER EFFECTS:  Within the first 24-48 hours, it isn’t unusual for a tattoo to appear to secrete ink, blood or plasma.  THIS IS NORMAL.  Ibuprofen can be taken to ease pain and swelling. Avoid any medications that thin the blood, such as Tylenol or Aspirin.  If your tattoo sticks to clothing or bedding, wet the material gently until it releases.  DON’T TUG!

CONCERNING EFFECTS:  High fever, pus or green drainage, blistering or extreme (unbearable) pain.  If anything out of the ordinary should happen while your tattoo is healing, PLEASE contact the shop for additional instructions.