The aftercare of your tattoo is just as important, if not more important, than getting the actual tattoo. Please keep in mind that tattoos are not permanent until they have fully healed. This means that if a tattoo doesn't heal properly, it may not turn out as you wanted it to. This is why we also give our customers the proper aftercare steps in order for the tattoo to come out perfect.
Always wash your hands before touching your tattoo!
When you get home: Remove bandage within 2-3 hours after getting your tattoo. Do not re-bandage.
Wash your tattoo with an anti-bacterial liquid soap. Be gentle, do not use a washcloth or anything that will exfoliate your tattoo. Only use your hands.
Gently pat your tattoo dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. Do not rub, or use a fabric with a rough surface.
The first 3-4 days: Rub a small amount of ointment on your tattoo. You may use Bacitracin, A&D, Aquaphor, or Tattoo Goo, a non-fragrant lotion, or coca butter – whatever you know you’re not allergic to. We also carry some of these products at the shop, as well as H2Ocean and Hustle Butter. Always use clean hands and do not place your fingers back into the ointment after touching your tattoo. Make sure to rub the ointment in so that it is not shiny, or greasy– you want the thinnest amount possible. Pat off any excess ointment with a clean cloth or paper towel. Do not use Vaseline, petroleum, Neosporin, or Bag Balm. Wash, dry and apply ointment 3-5 times daily, as needed.
On the first night, you may want to wrap your tattoo in saran wrap to prevent sticking to your bedding. Do not use any cloth bandages or pads, as the fibers of this material can adhere to your open tattoo and hinder the healing process.
Wear clean, soft clothing over your tattoo for the first 2 weeks– nothing abrasive or irritating. For a foot tattoo: go barefoot as much as possible. If you must wear shoes, first wrap your clean tattoo in saran wrap, then cover with a clean cotton sock before putting on your shoe. Avoid sandals or flip flops for this period to prevent chafing and damage to the tattoo.
After day 4: On the 3rd or 4th day your tattoo will begin to peel. This is normal! Do not pick at the skin. If you are using A&D oitment or Bacitracin switch to one of the following care methods after 3 days. Begin using a mild, white, unscented lotion (free of dyes or Perfumes), cocoa butter, Hustle Butter, or H2Ocean. You can also continue to use Aquaphor if you prefer that, just remeber to use very thin coats when applying.
Use care products for a minimum 2 weeks, 1-2 times daily.
Things to avoid:
Do not pick, scratch, peel, slap, rub or irritate your tattoo.
You can shower, but you may not soak your tattoo for 2 weeks. No swimming, soaking or hot tub.
Do not expose your tattoo to the sun for at least 3 weeks, after that you must use sun block.
Do not wear abrasive materials, jewelry, or shoes that rub against your tattoo.
Do not let anyone touch your tattoo.
Beware of gym equipment, wash it well before using it.
You can also
Ice your tattoo to reduce swelling.
Elevate your tattoo, to reduce swelling.
Take short showers.
Your body is doing all of the hard work healing. Soaps and saline solutions are great in aiding the healing process but by doing things to boost your immune system; as in eating right, staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest; will help heal your new piercingfaster. If you don’t do these things it will not harm the piercing in any way but could make for a longer healing time.
It is important to not touch your new piercing. Hands carry a lot of germs and you want to keep that area as clean as possible.
You do not need to constantly be moving the piercing around for it to heal. The more you play with it; bump it or get it snagged it can become irritated.
• Packaged sterile saline solution with no additives
-Non-iodized sea salt mixture: Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of (iodine-free) sea salt into one cup (8 oz.) of warm distilled or bottled water. A stronger mixture is not better; a saline solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing.
• A mild, fragrance-free liquid soap—preferably anti-microbial (Soft-Soap)
(Usually something that says for sensitive skin or in the organic soap isle), fragrance soaps usually contain alcohol that can irritate the new skin. Make sure you are not using bar soap. These collect bacteria that can get into your new piercing. Use the liquid soap in the shower as your last step.
CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS FOR BODY PIERCINGS
• WASH your hands prior to cleaning or touching your piercing.
• SALINE solution 3-4 times a day. Soak the end of a few Q-tips in the solution and gently clean around the new piercing, removing any crust or dead skin in the process. A brief rinse afterward will remove any residue.
• SOAP no more than once or twice a day. While showering, lather up a pearl size drop of the soap to clean the jewelry and the piercing. Leave the cleanser on the piercing no more than thirty seconds.
• RINSE thoroughly to remove ALL traces of the soap from the piercing. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry through the piercing.
WHAT IS NORMAL?
• Initially: some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or bruising.
• During healing: some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewelry. The tissue may tighten around the jewelry.
• Once healed: the jewelry may not move freely in the piercing; do not force it. If you fail to include cleaning your piercing as part of your daily hygiene routine, normal but smelly bodily secretions may accumulate.
• A piercing may seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because tissue heals from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the interior remains fragile. Keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.
• Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, keep jewelry in.
WHAT TO DO
• Stay healthy; the healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal. Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet. Exercise during healing is fine; listen to your body.
• Make sure your bedding is washed and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercingwhile you are sleeping.
• Showers tend to be safer than taking baths, as bathtubs can harbor bacteria. If you bathe in a tub, clean it well before each use and rinse off your piercing when you get out.
WHAT TO AVOID
• Avoid cleaning with Betadine®, Hibiciens®, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, harsh soaps, as these can damage cells. Also avoid ointments as they prevent necessary air circulation. Click here to download information on triclosan dangers
• Avoid Bactine®, pierced ear care solutions and other products containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK). These can be irritating and are not intended for long term wound care.
• Avoid over-cleaning. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.
• Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewelry, and vigorous cleaning. These activities can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing, and other complications.
• Avoid all oral contact, rough play, and contact with others’ bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing.
• Avoid stress and recreational drug use, including excessive caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
• Avoid submerging the piercing in unhygienic bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs.
• Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays, etc.
• Don’t hang charms or any object from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed
• For the next 24 hours: A cold compress and elevation are recommended to help reduce discomfort
• Avoid for the next 24 hours: Physical activity, hot showers and saunas.
• Apply for the next 3 days: Aquaphor, Elta MD Post Balm, Neosporin, Polysporin or A&D Oinment
with bandage. Any of these ointments will work. Change the dressing daily.
• Avoid for the next 1-2 weeks: Direct sun exposure, hot tubs, pool water and salt water until tattoo is
• Keep the treated area clean and dry while it is healing. Clean the area with antibacterial soap if
needed and then pat the area dry. AVOID HIGH-PRESSURE WATER HITTING THE TREATED
• Some scabbing, blistering, light bleeding and itching may occur. Immediately after treatment, there
may be erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) at the treatment site. This usually lasts 2 hours or
longer. The erythema may last up to 10 days.
• Do not pop blisters. If you do blister, continue to apply one of the recommended ointments until the
blister has popped naturally.
• Do not pick at the scab or allow the skin to become scraped, as this may result in infection and
scarring. Shaving should be avoided in the treated area until it is completely healed
• You may notice that blistering may occur in some treatments and not others. If blistering does not
occur, it does not mean that your most recent treatment was less aggressive or your treatment is not
working. Sometimes your body will react, while other times it will not. Regardless, the treatment is
• You may take only Tylenol to help with discomfort. Please avoid aspirins, ibuprofens and naproxens
because they may increase the risk of bruising and/or bleeding.
• Shaving should be avoided in the treated area until it is completely healed (5-10 days).
• Please apply sunscreen every day to the treated area after the tattoo has completely healed (5-10
days), even if clothing covers the treated area. Sun will travel through your shirt or pants. The use of
sunscreen everyday on the area will also help the ink absorb and help with itching.
• No active tan, self-tanner, bronzers or spray tan 4-6 weeks before and after treatment.
• Massage the treated area 5-10 minutes daily after treated area has healed (5-10 days). Daily
massage will help ink absorb.
• Remember, not all tattoos will clear 100%. Your tattoo may just fade.
• Please call your primary care physician if an infection occurs.
• If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.
• Remember: Drink lots of water!