Tattoo Aftercare



During your appointment, we will go over aftercare instructions with you to make sure you understand them, and provide a written copy if you’d like one.

We may give you more specific instructions for certain parts of the body, or for larger or more heavily saturated tattoos. Everyone’s skin is different, so once you have healed a few tattoos, you’ll figure out what works best for your skin.

We will happily answer any questions about aftercare if there’s something that you’re not sure about, and you can always call, message, or come by if you have any concerns about how your tattoo is healing.

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When you get home: Remove your bandage after 1-3 hours. Wash all ointment and bodily fluids off of your tattoo with warm water and antibacterial soap. Pat dry with a clean paper towel. Apply a thin layer of A&D ointment. Always wash your hands before touching your new tattoo.

Your artist may recommend re-bandaging your tattoo for the first night. Immediately before bandaging, wash your tattoo with warm water and antibacterial soap, pat dry, and apply a thin layer of A&D ointment. Apply the bandage before bedtime, and remove the bandage in the morning.

For the first 2 days after getting your tattoo, repeat this process 3 times a day: Wash your tattoo with warm water and antibacterial soap. Pat dry with a clean paper towel. Apply a thin layer of A&D ointment. It is not necessary to rub the ointment in.

After 2 days, stop using A&D ointment and switch to a fragrance-free lotion. Wash your tattoo twice a day with warm water and antibacterial soap. Pat dry with a clean paper towel. Apply lotion as often as needed throughout the day. Continue until your tattoo is no longer peeling, flaking, or shiny.

Your tattoo will take about two weeks to heal. Your tattoo will weep some initially, and start to peel after a few days. Do not scratch, rub, or pick at your tattoo. Wear loose clothing that does not scratch or rub your tattoo. Showering is fine, but avoid soaking your tattoo in a bath or pool. Limit sun exposure until the tattoo is fully healed and you are able to wear sunblock.


Remember that it is an open wound initially. Always wash your hands before touching your tattoo. Avoid contact with anything that may contain bacteria, such as dirty hands, gym equipment, pools, etc.

These aftercare instructions are recommendations only. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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We will give you A&D ointment for the first 2-3 days of healing, so you don’t need to purchase anything ahead of time. After the first 2-3 days, you will need a fragrance-free lotion. If you’d like to get that while you’re here, there is a CVS within walking distance, but you won’t need it right away. We can give you specific recommendations if you have sensitive skin.

While we find that fragrance-free lotions and natural oils (coconut oil, vitamin e oil, etc.) work well for most people, there are lots of tattoo aftercare products out there, and everyone’s skin is different, so you will likely find products that you prefer as you get tattooed more and have more experience healing them. Avoid using Vaseline or antibiotic ointments like Neosporin or Bacitracin for regular healing.

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Tattoos generally take about 2 weeks to heal initially – sometimes a little less if it’s just linework or lettering, sometimes a little more if it’s a large area, heavily saturated, or on a high-movement area on/near a joint. They can take a couple months (or sometimes longer depending on the location and your skin type) to “settle in”, where your skin returns to its normal texture.

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During the healing period, you’ll want to avoid soaking the tattoo, which means no swimming or sitting in a bath or hot tub. Definitely wash it frequently! But don’t soak it. Avoid wearing tight or abrasive clothing that will rub on the tattoo – this includes waistbands, bra straps, shoes, socks, etc. Avoid touching the tattoo with dirty hands or dirty surfaces such as gym equipment, computer keyboards, etc.

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We want you to be happy with your tattoo. We know that even if you followed aftercare instructions to the letter, sometimes shit just happens. It is skin after all, and not paper. We will do most touch ups on our own work at no charge, with the exception of hands, feet, and anything from the neck up. We take pride in our work, and we want you to be proud to wear it. If you notice a spot that needs a touch up, just give us a call to set up a touch up appointment. Please give your tattoo at least three weeks to heal before requesting a touch up – sometimes that one spot that looks a little lighter is just still healing.

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Tattoos will age just as your skin ages. Over your lifetime, the ink will spread a little and the colors will fade some. You can keep your tattoo looking fresh and bright longer by avoiding sun exposure and keeping sunscreen on it. Ink quality has improved a lot over the years, so tattoos tend to hold up better over time now. You can also have old tattoos redone if you want to freshen them up a bit.

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