How To Take Care Of Your Tattoo: Post-Tattoo Aftercare

Anyone who has gotten a serious tattoo knows how much effort goes into them. With the time, money, and effort invested in your work, it's important to take proper care of them. We're here to help you keep them looking good for years to come! Regardless of the approach, you select, it's critical to understand how to heal your tattoo and prevent infection. Make sure you follow these essential steps to keep your tattoo looking beautiful for life!

There are two different healing methods we recommend, and which one you use depends on your unique set of circumstances, so make sure to consult with your artist before selecting what method you will be using. If you got tattooed by us, we recommend that you come back to us and use a wrapped healing approach (we'll explain). We may, however, suggest that you apply ointment to heal your tattoo if you have allergies to medical adhesives or other factors that might complicate matters. Either way, never touch your tattoo during the healing process without washing your hands first. Not doing this will likely result in an infection, which you can avoid easily by washing your hands.

METHOD #1: WRAPPING YOUR TATTOO

If done correctly, this approach results in the most minimal amount of effort and risk of infection. Unfortunately, there are a million different approaches out there, the majority of which end poorly. Using a wrapped healing technique, you wash and then wrap your tattoo in a transparent dressing so you can show it off while protecting it and preventing scabbing. This is a wonderful approach to healing your tattoo, but there are a few things that might complicate it and cause infections, so be sure to follow these steps precisely.

Wash Your Hands

This is important here, and we're going to keep stressing it. STOP TOUCHING YOUR TATTOO WITH YOUR DIRTY HANDS. Get a proper hand soap, and wash your hands for a full two minutes to get all the nasty stuff off of them that accumulates on human hands. Trust us on this one, wash them.

Remove The First Bandage & Wash Your Tattoo

Now that you have clean hands, remove your bandage. We recommend doing this in the shower so the water can help remove it without pulling at your skin. Once the bandage is removed, it's time to wash your tattoo. Using a non-scented antimicrobial soap, massage it over your tattoo and use your fingertips to work it into the skin, removing any residual fluid or ink. After that, simply rinse it clean with water and then wait for it to dry or pat it dry.

Prepare The Wrap

For our clients, you can skip this step, because we did it for you. For the rest of you, cut the wrap to size so there is at least a half-inch overhang on all sides. Make sure not to cut away any of the breaks in the front or back liner, as you'll need these to help in applying the wrap. If your tattoo is larger or covers areas such as the shoulder or elbow, you may need to cut more strips and/or pieces to ensure that it does not lift away when you move around.

Remove The Backing & Apply

You should only peel a portion of the backing away initially to avoid accidentally sticking the wrap to itself. When applying the wrap to your skin, start on one side and work your way to the center to minimize wrinkles. Once the first part is on, remove more backing, and continue until your entire tattoo is covered (you may need to get someone to help with this). If you're our client, you can always come back to the studio and get your bandage changed for free.

Remove The Front Liner

Remove the front liner from the bandage to reveal the clear wrap, allowing you to show off your well-protected fresh tattoo. Leave this bandage on for 3-5 days or until your tattoo is healed.

WARNING: If you use this method of healing, and any fluid leaks out of the bandage at any point, you need to remove the bandage. This leaves a path for bacteria and foreign contaminants to enter the tattoo, so compromised bandages should be removed immediately, and the tattoo cleaned.

METHOD #2: OINTMENT AND LOTION

If you can't use medical adhesives due to an allergy/sensitivity, or if you work a job where the bandage is likely to irritate, this is the method for you. It involves using a combination of ointment(s) and lotion(s) to promote healing and prevent scabbing. With the increased contact being made daily with the healing tattoo, infection is a risk, so make sure to follow these steps closely.

Wash Your Hands

Seriously, wash them, for two full minutes. We proved a long time ago that handwashing prevents infection, and you should never touch a fresh tattoo with unwashed hands for any reason at all.

Remove The Bandage & Wash Your Tattoo

Now that you have clean hands, remove your bandage. We recommend doing this in the shower so the water can help remove it without pulling at your skin. Once the bandage is removed, it's time to wash your tattoo. Using a non-scented antimicrobial soap, massage it over your tattoo and use your fingertips to work it into the skin, removing any residual fluid or ink. After that, simply rinse it clean with water and then wait for it to dry or pat it dry.

Apply Ointment/Lotion

There are a variety of lotions and ointments available for tattoo aftercare these days, but regardless of which one your artist suggests, don't apply it with unclean hands or from a container that has previously been used with dirty hands. You should use enough to be able to massage it into your tattoo, rather than leaving a film on the skin. The goal here is to keep the tattoo moist and give it the nutrients it needs to heal, not prevent it from breathing. So if your tattoo is glistening or shiny, you're doing it wrong.

We recommend using a cream until your tattoo begins to peel, at which point we suggest switching to an unscented lotion. At this point, it doesn't hurt to pick up a lotion to apply daily, but it isn't strictly necessary.

AFTER YOUR TATTOO HEALS

Once your tattoo is fully healed, there are two things you can do to ensure its longevity. The first is to pick up a lotion to apply on it, which will keep it vibrant and protected. The second is to put sunscreen on your tattoo any time it will be exposed to the sun. If you do these two things, you should be able to keep your tattoo looking beautiful for many years.

It happens though, people get a tattoo, and something goes wrong. Maybe it faded over time, maybe it healed roughly because of the location, or maybe you got an infection from not washing your hands before touching your tattoo (told you we were going all-in on this one). Whatever it is, sometimes a tattoo needs a touchup. Depending on the policy of your artist, this may be free or may cost anywhere from a discounted fee, to full price. It is considered polite in the tattoo industry to first talk to the original artist about touchup work, so make sure to get in touch with them if your art needs a little revitalizing.

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS



 



 


You May Also Like View all