- Use a mild, fragrance-free, liquid anti-bacterial, anti-microbial or a germicidal soap. We highly recommend using Tattoo Goo Deep Cleansing Soap for Tattoos and Piercings or Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps Unscented Baby-Mild Pure-Castile Soap.
- Use a prepackaged sterile aftercare product. We highly recommend using either H2Ocean Aquatat Tattoo Ointment or Original Tattoo Goo.
- WASH your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching the tattoo.
- REMOVE the bandage after 1 hour.
- SOAP should be used no more than 1 – 2 times daily. While showering, lather up a pearl size drop of soap and gently clean the tattoo using only your fingertips. Leave the cleanser on the tattoo for no more than 30 – 60 seconds.
- RINSE thoroughly, with cool water, to remove all traces of soap from the tattoo.
- DRY by gently patting with a clean, disposable paper towel. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria.
- WAIT 10 -15 minutes for the tattoo to air dry. This allows excess moisture from swelling under the skin, and also moisture introduced by washing, to evaporate.
- APPLY a very thin layer of a recommended tattoo aftercare product, 2 – 3 times daily, until the tattoo begins to peel. Be sure to gently rub the aftercare product completely into the skin and pat with a clean, disposable paper towel to remove any excess.
- SWITCH to a moisturizing lotion for the remainder of the healing process. Be sure to rub the moisturizing lotion into the skin completely. Use only a fragrance-free lotion that does not contain any alcohol, oils, dyes, glitter or bronzers. We highly recommend Tattoo Goo Tattoo Aftercare Lotion.
- The tattoo will take 2 – 3 weeks to heal. It can take 4 – 6 weeks for the skin to completely recover
- Initially, blood and a secretion of a whitish-yellow, clear fluid (plasma) may form some crust on the tattoo. To remove dried blood or plasma, gently clean the tattoo, as directed above.
- Localized swelling, tenderness and minor bruising can be expected.
- Both redness surrounding the tattoo and skin that is warm to the touch are normal signs of healing.
- A thin membrane will form to protect the tattoo while it heals. This layer will peel off, very similar to a sunburn. It is perfectly normal to see small flakes of colored skin peel off during this period.
- The tattoo may appear dull, dry or flaky and, may itch excessively. Itching is natural during the healing process. As a protective measure, the body releases histamine in response to the wound and its sudden exposure to outside elements. Be mindful not to scratch or pick at the healing tattoo. Use a moisturizing lotion, as directed above, to help relieve the itch.
- Red or white bumps may form in the hair follicles over an area that has been shaved prior to tattooing. This can also be caused by over saturation of a recommended aftercare product or by using the incorrect aftercare product. Please contact us if this should occur.
What To Do
- Treat the tattoo with the same respect as you would any other kind of broken skin.
- Wash your hands prior to touching the tattoo. Leave it alone, except when cleaning or applying a recommended aftercare product or moisturizing lotion.
- Maintain an avid daily hygiene routine throughout the entire healing process.
- The healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for the tattoo to heal. Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet. Drink plenty of water.
- Wear clean, loose fitting clothes that do not rub or irritate the tattoo.
- Make sure your bedding is washed and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects the tattoo while you are sleeping.
- If clothing or linens become stuck to your tattoo, lightly moisten the area with cool water and gently work the cloth away from the tattoo.
- During the healing process, showering is okay but you should avoid a steady stream of water on the tattoo.
What To Avoid
- Avoid caking or globing on a recommended aftercare product. Your skin needs to breathe to heal and smothering it with a thick layer of aftercare product will extend the healing time and damage the tattoo. Do not wrap or bandage the tattoo.
- Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area and vigorous cleaning or soaking the tattoo. These activities can cause disruption of the soft tissue resulting in irritation, the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue and many other complications.
- Avoid all oral contact, rough play, and contact with others’ bodily fluids on or around the tattoo.
- Avoid submerging the tattoo in unhygienic bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, etc.
- Avoid the use of isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on or around the tattoo.
- Avoid using Bactine and other products containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK). These products should not be used on puncture wounds or over large areas of the body.
- Avoid all petroleum based ointments such as Neosporin or Bacitracin, as they can collect and promote the growth of bacteria. Do not use Vaseline or Vitamin A & D Ointment.
- Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the tattoo, including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays, etc.
- Avoid direct and indirect sunlight, tanning beds and the use of tanning products on or around the tattoo.
While tattoo pigments may initially simulate the exact color and tone desired, they may not always remain true. Tattooed pigments are constant, while your own skin color will vary depending on exposure to cold, heat, sun, and circulatory changes.
Exposure to UV rays, sunbathing and tanning can cause your healed tattoo to appear faded. A sun block of SPF 35+ or higher will help prevent exposure. We highly recommend using Tattoo Goo Renew Tattoo Enhancing Lotion with SPF 50+.