There are many ways to take care of your fresh tattoo during the healing process. Artists like to suggest their favorite methods based on their tattooing style and how they have seen tattoos heal over the years. There are different ways to care for a small tattoo with line work and a larger full color tattoo. I will explain the different methods I suggest. Of course, if you have been getting tattooed for awhile and find a particular method works for you, then continue with that method.
Small tattoos with minimal color or black and gray pieces:
-Always wash your tattoo gently with warm water and an unscented soap in about an hour after you first get it done. Use your hand to gently remove any plasma or blood that may have dried on the surface. Dry it gently with a clean towel or paper towel and allow it to breathe. There is no need to cover your tattoo after this unless you are doing an activity that may affect the tattoo. Typically clean, loose clothing is preferable at this point. Please avoid any bandages as they can stick to your tattoo. You can wash your tattoo twice a day in the same method as before until it begins its healing stage.* Please no soaking your tattoo in water. This includes baths, swimming, or any other time the tattoo would be submerged in water. You will also want to avoid direct sunlight for the first 30 days.*
When your tattoo begins to feel dry you can apply an unscented lotion to your tattoo. You may notice after a couple of days that your tattoo will begin to peel and this is a normal process. The lotion will be beneficial at this point. Any lotion that is free of dyes and perfumes will work* Lubriderm.* If at any point it feels like it is irritating your skin stop using the lotion you were using and either dry heal it or find another brand. Your typical healing process is a week to 10 days.
Larger color tattoos:
-The cleaning process is the same as above. I do like to add that with these types of tattoos you can also add in a small amount of aquaphor to the first couple of days of your healing process. If you use this use a VERY small amount up to twice a day for the first 3 days. The rest of the procedures are the same as above. Your typical healing process will be a week to 14 days.
Tattoo touch ups:
-After your tattoo has had time to heal, at least 3 weeks, and has settled in your skin it may have a spot or two that may look lighter. This is not abnormal and is covered on your recently done tattoo as a touch up session. This typically takes only a small amount of time to do. I recommend not waiting to schedule your touch up past 6 months. By this time your tattoo has settled and the colors will appear different. I am currently scheduling touch ups on my next available day. If you would like to schedule email me at and I will get you in as soon as I have an opening.
- Although uncommon it does happen. Typically if you are seeing any redness or bumps around your tattoo during the healing process it is caused by either a reaction to the ointment, lotion, or soap you are using. On occasion if you are using an already opened container it may have been contaminated with dirt or bacteria. These issues typically resolve once you discontinue use of these products. If you have any concerns you can stop in and I can take a look. If it is something you are really concerned with always seek advice from a medical professional.