Tattoo Aftercare

Day 1:

Your new tattoo will be somewhat tender and will feel like a new sunburn, take two Advil to relieve pain. The care of your tattoo is your responsibility. How you take care of it in the first few days determines the way it will look forever. 


  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Remove bandage carefully – wet in shower if it seems to stick.
  • Wash tattoo with warm water and a mild soap, lathering with hand.
  • Rinse tattoo well with warm water until surface of tattoo feels squeaky clean.
  • Pat dry with clean, disposable paper towel.
  • Apply small amount of cream or ointment to tattoo and work into skin.
  • Blot excess lotion or ointment with a clean paper towel – tattoo should NOT be greasy. LESS IS MORE!


  • Do not re-bandage tattoo!
  • Do not use washcloth, loofa or sponge to wash tattoo.
  • Do not dry with a towel. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria!
  • Do not touch tattoo with dirty hands. Do not let anyone else, either!
  • Do not apply excess lotion or ointment. Tattoo should not look “soggy”.
  • Do not use products containing aloe vera, alcohol or cortisone.
  • Do not expose tattoo to natural or artificial sunlight for a minimum of three weeks.
  • Do not soak in tub, pool or lake. They all contain bacteria.
  • Do not pick or scratch tattoo. Use a little lotion for itching.

Day 2 thru 14:

Healing tattoos will peel, flake and small bits of colored skin will shed. It may not look as “crisp” as the first few days and may appear “hazy”. This is completely normal and will clear up in 2-3 weeks. Continue to wash and dry tattoo twice a day, in the morning and at night, as directed in Day 1. Apply lotion or ointment 4-5 times a day, being sure to use a small amount only and work it in. IMPORTANT: Aquaphor or Lubriderm can be used for 10-14 days. If a sign of redness or infection occurs, switch to a good, fragrance free hand lotion for a short period of time. Problems can occur with prolonged use and the sun should be avoided at all costs as some ointments are photosensitive and a rash can develop if exposed to natural or artificial sunlight.


Soap: Liquid Dial or equivalent, Ivory bar or Pure and Natural bar soap.

Lotion: Aquafor, Lubriderm, Vaseline Intensive Care (NOT JELLY) or Eucerin.


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