Basic Tattoo Care

Failure to follow these suggestions may lead to loss of color, scarring, and/or infection. Please contact your artist for questions about touch-ups.

Our bodies are very good at what they do, so when it comes to caring for healing tattoos, keeping things simple tends to be better. With this in mind, the most important part of taking care of healing tattoos is to not touch with unclean fingers, and do not pick or scratch at it. Touching our tattoos will introduce bacteria to that open wound -the #1 cause of infection- and picking and scratching may cause damage to the tattoo.

While tattoos are healing it's very important to avoid the use of any harsh products, like Bactine, Neosporin, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, or witch hazel. Products like these are not appropriate, and will irritate and prevent tattoos from healing.

There may be "oozing" or "weeping" of the tattooed area for the first and second day. Bruising is normal. During the first couple weeks of healing, some flaking or light scabbing is normal. Healing times vary greatly, from person to person and sometimes even from session to session on the same person. Expect your initial healing period to be up to 2 weeks. At this point the outer surface skin should have healed completely, giving protection from infection. Once this outer skin has healed, exposure to the sun (with sunblock) and swimming are permitted.

Cleaning Your Tattoo

In most cases, your tattoo will be bandaged immediately after. Keep this bandage on for 2-4 hours. Do not re-bandage the tattoo!

-Immediately after removing the bandage, gently wash the area with a mild, unscented liquid soap using only your hands. Do not use washcloths or anything abrasive. Our preferred soaps are Dr. Bronner's unscented castile soap, or Cetaphil.

-Pat dry with a clean paper towel, or allow to air dry.

-Carefully apply a very thin layer of ointment. Keep your tattoo moisturized but never goopy! Our preferred product is Aquaphor.

Repeat this suggested care 2-3 times daily for the first 3 days, unless otherwise directed by your artist.

After 3-4 days have passed, you may switch to using a mild, unscented lotion to keep your tattoo moisturized.

Until your tattoo has healed:

-Do NOT soak in a bathtub or hot tub, showers are fine.

-Do NOT go swimming; no lakes, rivers, oceans, pools, or hot tubs.

-Do NOT touch your tattoo with dirty/unwashed hands.

-Do NOT wear tight/rubbing clothing over the tattoo.

-Do NOT garden with your exposed tattoo.

-Do NOT scratch, rub, or pick at your tattoo.

(a gentle pat or cool, clean cloth works great for any itchiness)

-Do NOT expose the tattoo to direct sunlight or tanning beds.

(continued exposure to sunlight can cause the tattoo to fade and blur over time)