Tattoo facts and aftercare

WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOUR TATTOO…

Stay hydrated! Be sure to drink water during the 48 hours before your tattoo. Staying properly hydrated helps the healing progress and greatly increase your comfort level DURING the the tattoo process.

The second part of staying hydrated is to not drink alcohol the night before you get tattooed. Even a few drinks can significantly increase how much you bleed, and greatly compromises the density of the pigment going into your skin. Also, having a hangover never made for a good tattoo experience.
If you cancel for being hungover, you’re definitely losing your deposit.

Stay out of the sun and sunblock carefully for a full week before your tattoo. If you’re skin is even a little pink, it can prevent us from being able to do your tattoo.
Again, if you come in sunburnt on the day of your appointment, you’ll lose your deposit.

Eat a meal! Don’t gorge yourself, but MANY people have gotten light headed, passed out, and/or vomited from getting tattooed on an empty stomach.

Get a baby sitter. Our zoning does not permit minors in our tattoo studio for more than the briefest of times, and bored children are a massive annoyance.
Cancelling at the last minute because you don’t have your kids covered will cost you your deposit.

Dress appropriately. We’re worried about doing your tattoo well, not keeping pigment off your favorite white shorts.

BASIC AFTERCARE

1. Leave the bandage on until the following morning unless otherwise instructed by your artist.
2. Remove the bandage and wash your tattoo with warm water and unscented antibacterial bar soap with your fingertips. Rinse and gently repeat until all discharge has been removed.
DO NOT use a washcloth, and DO NOT use the liquid or gel form of antibacterial soap!
3. Gently pat the area dry with a dry, clean towel. DO NOT RUB!
4. Dry with a fan or a hair dryer using the cold button until your tattoo is dry to the touch with no damp or tacky spots.
If your tattoo starts to “weep” and get damp while you’re drying it, repeat step 3 as needed, and continue with step 4.
*5. Do NOT re-bandage your tattoo, and DO NOT apply lotion for the first 48 hours after removing your bandage.
**After the first 48 hours, begin lightly applying a small amount of lotion twice a day. To avoid causing a moisture rash, be careful to not lotion heavily and to not apply lotion more than three times a day.
6. For every shower after the initial cleaning, lightly wash your tattoo with warm water and unscented antibacterial bar soap, then repeat steps 3 and 4

ADVANCED AFTERCARE

*If your tattoo was completed and wrapped AFTER 6pm, leave your wrap on overnight and then follow the steps below.
*If your tattoo was completed and wrapped BEFORE 6pm, wait until one hour before you go to bed, and then follow the steps below.
1. Remove the bandage and wash your tattoo with warm water and unscented antibacterial bar soap with your fingertips. Rinse and gently repeat until all discharge has been removed.
DO NOT use a washcloth, and DO NOT use the liquid or gel form of antibacterial soap!
2. After your shower, pat the area gently with a dry, clean towel to get off water from the shower. DO NOT RUB!
3. Dry with a fan or a hair dryer (using the “cold” button) until your tattoo is dry to the touch with no damp or tacky spots. If your tattoo starts to “weep” and get damp while you’re drying it, pat the area off with a dry, clean towel again, and then continue to dry with the fan or a hair dryer using the “cold” button.
4. Wait one hour and then re-bandage your tattoo, but DO NOT APPLY LOTION!
*** It is CRITICAL that you let your tattoo breathe for one hour between wraps to avoid moisture rash. HELPFUL HINT: Set an alarm on your phone so you don’t forget to re-wrap after one hour of drying.
5. Repeat steps 1-3 at LEAST three times (morning, about halfway through your day, and before going to bed), or four times if you can manage it (morning, 4-5 hours later, 4-5 hours later, and before bed).
6. On the second morning after you were tattooed, follow steps 1 and 2, but do NOT re-bandage your tattoo unless instructed by your tattoo artist, and do NOT apply lotion!
*Wait 48 hours after removing your FINAL bandage to begin lightly applying lotion twice a day.
**To avoid causing a moisture rash, do not lotion heavily or apply lotion more than three times a day.
7. For every shower after the FINAL wrap is removed and the tattoo is cleaned, very lightly wash your tattoo with warm water and unscented antibacterial bar soap, then repeat step 2 and 3.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER YOUR TATTOO

Once you leave the shop, it is up to you to follow these instructions and make every effort to take proper care of your tattoo.
If you’re not sure about any instructions concerning the healing process, contact your artist directly with any concerns or additional questions.

As it heals, your tattoo will dry, get itchy, begin to scab and flake up, then peel off for the next 7 to 14 days. Your scabs and peelings WILL be in the colors of your tattoo! This does NOT mean you’re losing color. It’s just the damaged skin that was also colored during the tattoo process, so…
DO NOT PICK YOUR TATTOO!

If for the most part your tattoo has healed, but you still have a few stubborn spots, DO NOT STOP CARING FOR YOUR TATTOO. This doesn’t mean that any particular spot is going to lose color.

Be patient, and continue to clean, dry, and apply lotion until those stubborn spots come off in their own time. If the color looks milky when those stubborn spots come off, continue to apply lotion to the area twice a day until those spots fully recover and stop being shiny and/or discolored.

A few things that can help you be more comfortable while your tattoo heals:

The most important is to drink water for the whole duration of the healing process!

To reduce swelling while your tattoo is covered by a bandage during the first 24-48 hours, you can also use an icepack for about 5 minutes per half hour as long as you place a thin, clean towel or wash cloth between the bandage and the icepack.

THINGS TO AVOID

ADVICE:
Your friends do not tattoo for a living, so don’t follow an amateur’s instructions…follow ours. If you have any questions not covered in these instructions, please contact the artist that did your tattoo.

SOAKING:
Normal showers are permitted, but DO NOT SOAK YOUR TATTOO! While healing your tattoo you should avoid pools, spas, hot tubs, the beach, and baths.

SUN:
Avoid the sun completely or cover your tattoo with clothing until your tattoo is healed. To prolong the life of your colors once it is fully healed, always use sunblock when your tattoo is exposed to sun. Also, consider using a sun shade shirt or rash guard with 50 SPF fabric to add another layer of protection for your tattoos.

LOTION:
DO NOT use heavy medicated products with aloe or high petroleum content like Eucerin, Aquaphor, Vaseline, A&D ointment, Bacitracin, Neosporin, or any antibiotic ointment.

Common brands used by our clients with good results are Lubriderm, Vaseline Intensive Care, Aveeno, and Palmer’s cocoa butter, but the brand is not as important as selecting a lotion that is scent free, dye free, and labeled hypoallergenic.