How do I look after my new tattoo?

Once you’ve finally done the deed, gone ahead, and gotten your tattoo, you’ll need to take care of it. How you treat your tattoo throughout the first few weeks of its existence will have an impact on how it turns out.

Will my tattooist bandage my new tattoo?

Once your tattoo session is finished and you’ve had a quick look in the mirror to admire your new best friend, your tattooist will apply a bandage to protect your tattoo for the journey home….or maybe they won’t.

Keep the bandage on for a minimum of 6 hours. We recommend keeping it on overnight provided the dressing feels comfortable and secure. If you decide to remove the bandage before going to sleep, follow the instructions in the next section to properly remove the bandage and clean your tattoo.

Taking off the Bandage and Cleaning Your Tattoo

Before you start, make sure your hands are clean and you have unscented antibacterial soap ready. Avoid soap with fragrance, moisture beads, or scrubs.

Carefully remove the bandage and tape. If you feel the bandage sticking to the tattoo, wet it with lukewarm water and gently slide it off.

    1. Make a lather in your hands with soap and warm water. NO washcloths, bath towels, or sponges on a fresh tattoo.
    2. Gently clean the tattoo using a circular motion until all ointment and plasma are removed.
    3. Rinse the tattoo gently until the skin is clean.
    4. Pat dry with a clean towel or paper towel then allow to fully air dry for a minimum of 10 minutes. DO NOT SCRUB.
    5. Once the tattoo is dry, apply a very small amount of Aquaphor or Bacitracin. Gently rub the ointment into your tattoo. Dab any excess off with a clean paper towel.

Applying too much ointment can cause your tattoo to “suffocate.” Apply only a very thin coat so your tattoo can breathe.

Clean your tattoo this way once a day in the shower for the first 2-3 days.

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. 

Your Daily Tattoo Aftercare Routine

Apply the Aquaphor or Bacitracin 2-3 times a day (Remember, keep it light!) for the first 5-7 days or until your tattoo starts to flake/peel like a sunburn. When the peeling begins, switch to a regular FRAGRANCE FREE lotion such as Lubriderm, or any other fragrance free brand for an additional 2 weeks.

Your tattoo should be completely healed within 2-4 weeks.

If you have extremely sensitive skin, the lotion may cause breakouts. If this happens, just reduce the number of your daily lotion application.

After the first few days, your tattoo may become itchy or begin to form flaky scabs. They will fall off on their own, so DO NOT PICK OR SCRATCH AT YOUR TATTOO. Doing so can cause some of the pigment to disappear, and your tattoo may not heal properly. Keep it moisturized and the scabs will eventually dissipate.