Basic Care Instructions
When you leave the shop, your tattoo will typically be bandaged up. Follow these instructions to ensure proper healing with minimal discomfort.
- Remove your bandage no more than 3 hours after the tattoo is completed
- Gently rinse the tattoo with lukewarm water and clean with anti-bacterial soap
- Repeat this process 3 times a day, for 3 weeks
- For the first 2-3 days, keep the tattoo clean with an antibacterial soap and water
- Pat the tattoo dry with paper towel after every wash
- After the initial 2-3 days, begin applying a fragrance free lotion 3-5 times a day when the tattoo feels or appears to be dry
As you go through the healing process ALWAYS REMEMBER this rule of thumb: if you don’t remember what to do, call the artist!
- AFTERCARE BALMS AND OINTMENTS: If needed, an aftercare product such as Ohana Gold or H2Ocean may be used after washing and drying your tattoo.
- LOTION: When applying lotion, rub it gently into the skin until all is absorbed into the skin just as if you were using it on your hands. We recommend you to specifically use a fragrance free lotion such as Aveeno, Curel, Lubriderm…. NO OTHER BRANDS OR PRODUCTS! Your tattoo needs to breathe and stay moisturized, and these are the BEST products to use.
What to Expect
- IRRITATION: During the healing process, you tattoo will typically be red and irritated for a few days. This is completely normal and is NOT a sign of infection, so don’t stress unless your tattoo begins pussing colors not in the tattoo. If it appears like ink is seeping from the skin, this is a sign that there is too much moisture being introduced to the tattoo. In this case, pat it dry with paper towel and don’t apply lotion until it’s dry again.
- WEEPING AND BLEEDING: Your tattoo is essentially an open wound and will produce plasma and bleed a bit for the first 24 hours. This is completely normal.
- SCABBING AND DRYNESS: After a few days to a week, your tattoo may start to scab, become itchy, and/or become dry. This is normal. DO NOT pick at it no matter what! Apply a fragrance free lotion to relieve itchiness.
What to Avoid
- COVERING: Do NOT cover or bandage the tattoo for the duration of the healing.
- WATER SUBMERSION: Never submerge the tattoo in any water while the tattoo is healing (a.k.a. no baths, or swimming of any kind). We recommend waiting at least 3 weeks after getting a tattoo before submerging your tattoo in any water of any kind. If all the scabs fall off and the skin over the tattoo is shiny, then continue to wait until after the shininess has subsided. This shiny skin is called a secondary scab and is a sign that your tattoo is not yet done healing.
- PRODUCTS WITH CHEMICALS: When showering, make sure that all body washes, shampoos, and conditioners are not used on the tattoo and are thoroughly rinsed away from the tattoo to prevent further irritation.
- SUN AND UV EXPOSURE: Same as with swimming, I recommend waiting at least 3 weeks, unless it is not completely done healing. Remember that once healed you need to use sunscreen on your tattoo while tanning to prevent fading.
- EXERCISE: We recommend waiting at least 2 weeks before working out. The reason for this is that your body sweats out toxins that you don’t want coming in contact with your open wound (a.k.a. your tattoo). Also, sweat will cause too much moisture entering the skin, potentially causing some ink to seep out of the pores, causing inkless spots in your healed tattoo.
- TOUCHING: Don’t touch, pick at, or scratch your tattoo. This will cause further irritation, expose your tattoo to germs, and potentially cause uneven coloration to the healed tattoo.
Again, if you have any problems, concerns, or questions about the healing process, reach out to your artist. You can also reach out to us via phone or the contact form on this site for assistance.
If your tattoo becomes infected, immediately see a doctor and contact your artist for help.