Preparation and Aftercare
how to care for your tattoo
Your tattoo will require proper preparation beforehand, and care and maintenance after you get it done. Please read through these instructions.
Before Your Tattoo
- If you have any health conditions that could affect your safety or the tattoo, contact your doctor first. Heart and blood conditions can be affected or worsened by receiving a tattoo.
- If you are taking any medications, please let your artist know. Even such commonly prescribed medications as antidepressants, painkillers, and acne medications may alter the way your tattoo heals.
- Let your artist know if you have had to take antibiotics prior to dental procedures. If you have any continuing health concerns, check with your doctor prior to getting a tattoo.
- Drinking alcohol even 24 hours before getting your tattoo can thin your blood and make the tattoo hurt more. Don’t drink.
- Eat a good meal prior to getting tattooed. It can be a tough process on the body no matter how gentle your artist is. If your body is properly nourished, it can handle the tattoo process more easily.
- Wear comfortable clothes. Your artist will need access to the area being tattooed, so dress accordingly. Ink and ointment are difficult to remove from clothing.
- Some locations on the body will need touch-ups. Talk to your artist if you have questions regarding your location choice.
- Always wash your hands prior to touching your tattoo. Dirty hands can spread infection.
- 3 to 6 hours after receiving your tattoo, remove the bandage and gently wash the tattoo with soap and water. This will remove ointment, excess color and white blood cells.
- Dry your tattoo by blotting it with a dry, clean, lint-free paper towel. Do not rub your tattoo.
- Use ointment for the next 3 days, approximately 3 times a day. Gently apply enough ointment to keep the tattoo from getting dry. Apply a thin film, but do not drown the tattoo in ointment or lotion. Soggy is not good. Listen to your body.
- After performing the above care for three days, switch to using a fragrance/dye-free lotion.
- Keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight and away from tanning booths for 10 to 14 days. Use sunscreen of at least SPF 30 after it has healed.
- Your tattoo may scab, flake. or peel. This is natural. Do not pick at the scab. This may remove ink and damage your tattoo. Sometimes the skin flakes that come off are the same color as your tattoo. This does not mean your tattoo is “falling out.” If you have any questions please call your artist.
- If you think you are allergic to the tattoo or the aftercare products, or believe that you have an infection, please contact your doctor. Discontinue use of the aftercare product if you think you are having a reaction to it.
Things to Remember
- Don’t soak your tattoo until it is completely healed. This means no swimming in rivers, pools, or spas. Also, avoid long baths and showers. Get in, get clean and get out. You can permanently damage your tattoo if you do not take proper care of it during the healing process.
- Do not let your tattoo dry out during the healing process. If you let it crack, it may scar, and your artist may not be able to fully repair the damage to the art.
- Keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight. If your tattoo is healed, still remember to put sunscreen on your tattoo. Sunlight will fade colors. Remember what color your outdoor furniture was before last summer?
- Do not pick at your tattoo.
- Do not scratch your tattoo.
- Some areas of the body do not keep color as well as others. Also some skin types, colors, and textures do not like certain colors. This is completely natural. Contact your artist if your tattoo needs a touch-up to learn more about your artist’s touch-up policy.
- The skin over the tattoo can remain open for a couple of days and is capable of getting an infection if not properly cared for during the healing process. Contact a physician if any signs or symptoms develop, including: fever, prolonged swelling and pain, redness at the site, and/or green or yellow discharge.