10 Dos and Don'ts of Tattoo Aftercare

Photo credit: Taylor oakes

Photo credit: Taylor oakes

1. Do listen to your tattoo artist’s aftercare instructions.

We always provide our clients with detailed aftercare instructions, but we know that different shops and artists vary in their approach to healing. No matter where you’re getting tattooed, follow the guide of your artist for best healing results.

2. Don’t take the bandage off for 24 hours.

Keep dressing on for 24 hours. This will minimize the risk of contamination and help prevent premature scabbing.

Tip: In case of seepage, place a towel under the tattooed area to avoid staining your sheets while you sleep.

3. Do use a gentle, mild soap to clean your tattoo.

We recommend lathering fragrance-free soap and creating a nice lather in your hands for 20-30 seconds before cleaning the tattooed area. This will eliminate excess blood and plasma and ensure the best healing possible.

4. Don’t use a loofah or sponge to clean your tattoo.

The bandage will come off nicely in the shower under warm water, be sure to use your hands to scrub. You want the ink to stay put - this isn’t meant to be exfoliating. Pat dry with a lint free towel.

5. Don’t apply an excessive amount of lotion.

Let your natural oils aid in the initial healing process. Once your tattoo starts to feel dry, itchy, or irritated, apply 1-2 drops of unscented, water-based lotion. Moisturize until the lotion has fully dissolved. Recommended lotion: Lubriderm Unscented.

6. Do keep your arm dry whenever possible.

Please refrain from submerging your tattoo in water for the first 2-3 weeks. This means no swimming, baths or saunas. Even while in the shower try your best to keep your tattoo away from the constant flow of water once you’ve cleaned it.

Tip: If you’re not going to drink the water, don’t be in it with your tattoo.

7. Do not pick or scratch your tattoo.

You will expect minor irritation and itchiness. This is a healthy sign that your tattoo is healing. Refrain from picking and or scratching. This will damage your tattoo and prolong its healing.

Tip: Aside from applying lotion, a light slap will help alleviate the itch.

8. Do avoid strenuous activities.

Avoid strenuous activities that may irritate the tattoo. Ie. gym, yoga, dance, and etc. If you still feel obligated to participate, ensure your tattoo is fully covered and your clothing is clean. Be mindful when sweating and pat dry every 5-10 minutes. Ensure your tattoo does not come into contact with equipment.

9. Do not expose your tattoo to direct sunlight.

Keep your tattoo covered for during the healing and for a week or two after. Over time direct sunlight can breakdown the pigment particles and cause the tattoo to ‘bleed’ (you know, like the ink, not your skin bleeding). Your skin is also especially sensitive during the initial healing process and exposing it to UV rays can cause a burn, blistering and a halt in the recovery.

10. Be patient.

Healing can take 2-3 weeks. Be patient and diligent with healing. This will produce the best results.

Bonus Tip: Do yourself a favour and do not listen to any self proclaimed tattoo experts at the bar. Follow these instructions.

Black Widow