Tattoo Aftercare

Tattoo aftercare is extremely vital to the healing process.  How your tattoo looks and heals depends on how you treat it AFTER the tattoo is complete.

For Atom’s aftercare information, click here.

You should keep the tattoo covered with the bandage for at least 1 hour. At this time remove the bandage, if the bandage sticks to the skin, wet the area down with cool water and remove it carefully. Once the tattoo is exposed, wash thoroughly with either H2Ocean Foam Soap or you can use a non fragrant white soap, such as Dove, Lever 2000, etc. and water. We love the foam soap because it does not dry the skin out, rather it moisturizes while cleansing and was developed for tattoos specifically.

Be sure to remove all surface blood and rinse off all remaining soap. There should not be a reason to re-bandage the tattoo at this point unless instructed by your artist.


Why is Aquaphor better than the usual A&D ointment?

All Aquaphor products are water based formulas. They will allow a person’s skin to breathe. Products containing wax, oil or petroleum( Vasoline, Neosporin, A&D ointment etc.) will suffocate the skin. By cutting off the air supply you end up damaging skin cells which then will not allow the ink to be retained properly. Also using A&D will prolong the plasma cycle or “oozing” process of a new tattoo. When this process is lengthened there is a greater chance for scabbing and ink loss.

Using Aquaphor is fool proof, you can’t apply too much to clog pores and prolong healing, as so many people tend to do unknowingly. By using Aquaphor you are reducing the chances of something going wrong after you leave the studio, which is the most important part.

At this point pat lightly to dry.  DO NOT RUB, PICK OR  SCRATCH THE TATTOO.

Then with clean hands, we recommend  applying Aquaphor between 3-6 times per day depending on your skin type and time of year. If you have dry skin, then you may have to apply more often. When applying the aftercare product apply a small amount and gently rub until it is completely absorbed. The tattoo will start to develop a layer of dry skin, let this fall off naturally. It peels like a sunburn.

It is very common that a new tattoo be sensitive, red or slightly inflamed. Most people experience some irritation a day or so after getting a new tattoo (it differs depending on the size, placement and amount of work in the tattoo). If these symptoms persist longer than 3 or 4 days, call your tattooist to set up a time to advise you on what steps to take.

Your tattoo will weep in the first couple of days. The fluid may be clear or slightly colored the same as your tattoo. This is normal, and it does not indicate that your tattoo is coming out. Just clean it regularly as instructed and let it go through the healing process. Your body knows how to heal itself, you are merely assisting it.  If during healing you experience cracking, peeling, or scabbing it is normal. Also, if you experience some ink loss due to your swelling subsiding or some ink flaking, that is normal as well. We recommend a touch-up session on some pieces just to make sure they look perfect. We want you to wear our best!


After the dry skin has fallen off, there will be a period of adjustment for the new skin. Your tattoo may look shiny or the colors may even look a bit milky. This is normal, and you should continue use of the a skin moisturizer like Lubriderm.

DO NOT EXPOSE TO DIRECT SUNLIGHT FOR 3-4 WEEKS .After 4 weeks, it is advised to cover your tattoo or use a sunblock with an SPF of 30 to 45, when tanning or being outdoors. The sun or tanning bed are the only things that fade your otherwise bright tattoos. Please keep this in mind. Tattoo aftercare is extremely vital to the tattoo process. How your tattoo looks and heals depends on how YOU treat it. 

AVOID WORKING OUT. Tattoos covering big areas or those that are near joints (such as elbows and knees), may take longer if the skin is required to move too much, either during intense workouts or other physical activity. Working out could also cause the skin to break and become irritated, extending the tattoos healing procedure.

DON’T FORGET! Looking after your tattoo isn’t really just for a week or so.  It’s for life! The better condition your skin is in, the better the tattoo will look and last over the years. Moisturize daily with Lubriderm, and make use of sun block on every occasion. Bright, clean, crisp tattoos are a fantastic thing to have. The body art you collect will stay with you for the rest of your life. It’s well worth the time and effort to appropriately care for them while they are healing and then beyond. (Remember, the less sun they get, the longer they will stay bright.)