this only applies to tattoos I have done. other artists will have completely different procedures for aftercare; they’ll use different bandaging, different techniques, and be working in different climates. also, I may give you different instructions for different areas of the body, so this is not universal.
1. standard bandage: remove when you get home and are settled in for the night. (2-12 hours)
adhesive bandage: remove when parts of the tattoo are exposed (1-3 days)
2. wash tattoo thoroughly with liquid antibacterial soap and your clean, bare hands. make sure tattoo surface is not oily or gooey, wash all that off. any temperature of water which is comfortable to you is fine.
wash two or three times daily- more if the area gets dirty.
3. Pat dry with a clean towel or paper towels. allow tattoo to air dry, continue patting until surface is dry.
do this each time you wash and before applying anything to the tattoo.
4. only rebandage if I’ve provided extra and directed you to do so. otherwise, apply a tiny amount of plain, undyed, unscented lotion when tattoo feels dry or tight only. too dry is better than too damp.
continue to moisturize only as needed for the first three or four weeks.
5. wash hands before touching tattoo, sleep on clean sheets and wear clean, loose clothing in area for at least two weeks.
6. first two weeks: do NOT soak, swim, scrub, pick, scratch, or expose healing tattoo to direct sunlight.
after two weeks: use sunblock, moisturize as needed, do not pick or scratch.
showers are fine. wash your tattoo last, right before you get out of the shower.
working out is fine; wipe down any equipment others may have used BEFORE you use it, and wash tattoo after working out.
signs of infection: yellow pus, heat under the skin around the tattooed area after the first day, red rash spreading more than an inch or so from the tattoo. if you see signs of irritation or infection please come see me or contact me. infections are rare if you keep your tattoo clean and dry.
some scabbing or flaking is normal. your body is healing an abrasion. large tattoos can seep for quite some time after the procedure; this is why repeated washing is suggested. keeping the tattoo clean and dry will speed up healing time.
you may have swollen joints or lymph nodes near the tattooed area. a clean ice pack and elevation will help.
don’t be afraid to contact me for any questions or concerns, it’s part of the work that you pay for! always contact me if you’re not certain what to do or what’s happening with your tattoo.
with few exceptions (hand, genital, and facial tattoos) one touch up is free. let me know, once your tattoo is healed, if you see any missing spots or areas that you think are imperfect. my goal is to make sure your tattoo is absolutely perfect. let me do that!
firstname.lastname@example.org is the quickest way to reach me- put “tattoo aftercare” in the subjectline for the fastest response.