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Proper tattoo aftercareTattoo kits

Tattoo aftercare is an important part of the tattooing process. If this step fails to be properly followed, all of the artist’s hard work will have been for not. 8 out of 10 touch-ups are caused by the improper care the tattoo has received once home. From the time you step out of the tattoo shop, it becomes your sole responsibility in the way your new badge of honor looks after it heals.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to follow the guidelines your tattoo artist has given you. If you did not receive a care packet, then I would suggest a follow-up call to your artist on the proper care of your tattoo. A beautiful tattoo can become a complete mess if you skimp on the aftercare.

The following steps are meant to inform, and by no means are to replace the instructions given to you by your artist.

  • Bandaging- Yes, it may look odd, feel odd, and make you want to pull it off. But, LEAVE IT ALONE! This thin film helps to prevent air-born bacteria from infecting the fresh wound. New tattoos can become a breeding-ground for infection if you remove it too soon. You should leave the bandage on for a minimum of two hours, after which the tattoo should be cleaned up as the body’s natural defenses will cause weeping.
  • Treating and washing your tattoo- Using luke-warm water, and mild liquid antimicrobial soap (try to stay away from Dial, as it can be too harsh on your skin), to wash away any ointment, plasma, or dry blood from your new tattoo. Do not use anything abrasive, your hand, or a soft paper towel works well. Pat, do not rub the area with a clean towel, or dry paper towel to dry. Apply a thin layer of D&D ointment, Bacitracin ointment, H2Ocean,or the Tattoo Goo which should have been included in your care kit. DO NOT use Neosporin the healing accelerator can cause excess scabbing, and pigment loss.
  • You should clean your tattoo 2-3 times daily, do not allow your tattoo to completely dry out, as it can cause cracks, and again pigment loss. This routine should be preformed for 5-7 days until the skin is smooth, or the scabs have hardened. After this point in time, you can then use un-scented lotions such as Lubriderm, or Vastaline.
  • Showering and Bathing- It is alright to shower with your new tattoo, however submerging your tattoo in a bath can cause damage to the wound. Avoid soaking your tattoo for 2-4 weeks.
  • Swimming and hot tubs- You should avoid the chemicals which are in a swimming pool, and hot tub environment for at least 4-6 weeks after getting your tattoo. You should also avoid swimming in lakes, or ponds as the water can introduce infection to your tattoo.
  • Scabbing- You will notice that your tattoo has the feel, and look of a snake shedding. There is no cause for alarm with a little scabbing, however excessive scabbing can be indicative of poor tattooing. Keep the tattoo moist with lotion, do not pick, or scratch at your tattoo while this is occurring as it can cause major problems.
  • The sun- Even when your tattoo is healed, you will always want to protect it from the sun. It can fade, and severely damage a tattoo’s vibrant colors very quickly. I would suggest wearing clothing to protect your new tattoo, if it isn’t an option remember to cover it with an SPF of 30.


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