Caring for your new tattoo

Pay attention to what your artist tells you and do precisely what he or she instructs. All of our artists are professionals with many years experience.  They know what product and healing technique works best for their work, and their clients. Instructions may vary based on the body location of your tattoo.

It is your responsibility to take care of your tattoo once you leave the studio.

Your artist will most likely wrap your tattoo when you leave. This wrap should remain on for approximately, not longer. Do not wrap your tattoo again unless explicitly instructed to do so by your artist. It is important to keep the tattoo clean after the wrap has been taken off. Most artists will recommend hand-washing the tattoo extremely lightly with your fingers, using an unscented, anti-bacterial soap. Allow it to air dry or lightly pat it dry with a clean paper towel. Do not rub it.

It is common that a new tattoo may be sensitive, red or slightly inflamed. Most people experience some irritation a day or so after getting a new tattoo (it differs depending on the size, placement and amount of work in the tattoo). If these symptoms continues longer than 3 or 4 days, call your artist so you can set up a time to come to the shop so they can see it and advise you.

Your tattoo may weep in the first couple of days. The fluid may be clear or slightly colored the same as your tattoo. This is normal, and it does not indicate that your tattoo is coming out. Just clean it regularly as instructed and let it go through the healing process. Your body knows how to heal itself, you are merely assisting it.

Keep your tattoo slightly moist. If you allow it to dry out it can lead to scab formation which may damage the tattoo. Your artist will likely advise a cream or ointment to use and how often to apply to your new tattoo. DO NOT OVERSATURATE your tattoo! A very light coat is all that’s needed.

Within a couple of days to a week, your tattoo will start to peel and flake. This is totally normal. It is essentially the scabby layer and dead skin coming off. Do not scratch it or play with it! It will probably itch throughout this time, do not scratch!

Do not soak your tattoo for at least two – three weeks. No swimming, hot tubs, baths, or sauna. Chlorine can be especially damaging to a new tattoo. Your tattooist might encourage you to avoid these things for a longer period of time; it depends on your skin healing time and which aftercare you use.

Showering is fine.  In fact, cleaning your tattoo under the shower is probably the easiest way to do it. Clean it gently with your fingers and air dry, or pat lightly. Do not scrub, or rub dry your tattoo.

Do not expose your tattoo to direct sunlight, or tanning bed, for at least two weeks! UV rays damage the skin, and will fade your tattoo’s color. This applies forever. Even after your tattoo heals use the highest UV protection sunblock you can find whenever you are in the sun. Do not apply sunblock to a healing tattoo.

Your tattoo may take between 1 to 4 weeks to recover. The healing process will depend on your skin type, on the aftercare product you use, the size, position, and style of the tattoo. A full color tattoo will generally take longer to heal than a grey shaded piece. If you get a rash, or any type of unusual signs on or around the tattoo, contact your artist immediately.

Avoid working out. Tattoos covering big areas or those that are near joints (such as elbows and knees), may take longer if the skin is required to move too much, either during intense workouts or other physical activity. Working out could also cause the skin to break and become irritated, extending the tattoos healing procedure.

Contact your artist when you’re not sure of how to take care of your tattoo. A professional artist would have given you care recommendations prior to you leaving the shop. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot return to him or her if you encounter issues or need assistance. They are available to help.

Do NOT take your friends advice or try remedies that you find online. They may be well-meaning, but what works for someone else may not work for you, and can potentially do more harm than good. Follow the original advice of your artist.

– If your artist recommends aftercare, use a good quality product. It minimizes the threat of infection and helps to prevent/minimize scabbing, hence assisting the body to heal faster.

  • Looking after your tattoo isn’t really just for a week or so, it’s for life! The better condition your skin is in, the better the tattoo will look and last over the years.
  • Moisturize daily and make use of sun block on every occasion. Bright, clean, crisp tattoos are a fantastic thing to have. The body art you collect will stay with you for the rest of your life. So it’s well worth the time and efforts to appropriately care for them while they are healing, and then beyond.
  • Remember, the less sun they get, the longer they will stay bright.