Wash and Treat
After you remove the bandage, you will want to wash your tattoo. Use lukewarm
water and mild, liquid antibacterial or antimicrobial soap to gently wash away any
ointment, blood and/or plasma and to completely clean the area. Do not use a
washcloth or anything abrasive. Your hand is your best tool in this case. (If your
tattoo feels slimy and slippery, you have probably been oozing plasma. Try to gently
remove as much of this as possible - when the plasma dries on the skin surface, it
Then pat (do not rub) the area firmly with a CLEAN towel or paper towel to get it
completely dry. Follow with a very light application of your choice aftercare.
**Do not use Neosporin. This is a wonderful product for cuts and scrapes, but not for
tattoos. Some can have an allergic reaction to the Neosporin, which causes little red
bumps. When the bumps go away, so does the ink, and you end up with a
Specialty Products and Lotions
If you prefer, you can also use a specialty product such as Tattoo Goo Loition or Tat
After that, continue to keep it clean, but you can use lotion when needed instead of
ointment, to keep the skin soft. Whatever lotion you use, it should be dye and
fragrance free. A lot of artists recommend Lubriderm, but I have found that
Lubriderm stings when I apply it. Instead, I have had great success with Eucerin.
Bathing, Showering, Hot Tubs, and Swimming
Yes, you can (and should!) shower with a new tattoo. It's OK to get your tattoo wet -
just don't soak it. Submerging your tattoo in a bath or hot tub can cause serious
damage, so you'll want to avoid those for 2-3 weeks, but showering is perfectly fine
as long as you don't saturate your tattoo. If you get soap or shampoo on your tattoo,
just remove it quickly with water. Swimming - whether it be a pool, fresh water or salt
water - should be avoided for at least 2 weeks.
Scabbing and Peeling
After a few days, you will notice some peeling and possibly a little scabbing.
Excessive scabbing could indicate a poorly-done tattoo, but a little is sometimes
normal and there is no need to panic. Apply warm moist compresses to the scabs for
about 5 minutes 2-3 times a day to soften them and they will eventually come off on
their own. (Do not apply ointment or lotion to a softened scab - wait for it to dry) You
will also start to itch, just like a sunburn when it begins to heal. The advice here is,
don't pick, and don't scratch! If the skin itches, slap it. If it is peeling, put lotion on it.
And if it is scabbing, just leave it alone. Your tattoo is almost healed, and now is not
the time to ruin it!
Protection from the sun
After your tattoo is healed, from now on, you will always want to protect it from the
sun's ultraviolet rays. These can fade and damage a brilliant tattoo very fast. Before
spending a lot of time in excessive heat, protect your tattoo with a minimum 30SPF
sunblock. This will keep your tattoo vibrant for many years, and it will continue to be
a source of great pride.
Piercing - Aftercare Instructions
General Piercing Aftercare
Cleaning Your Piercing:
1. First, wash your hands thoroughly. Never touch your piercing or jewerly with
2. Apply a generous amount of liquid antibacterial soap to your hand, and apply
to the piercing site and jewerly. Make sure you get the soap everywhere, but
rotating the jewelry is not really necessary unless you notice it trying to "stick"
to your skin.
3. Rinse the piercing and jewelry several times with warm water, ensuring that
all soap has been removed.
4. Dry your piercing with a clean paper towel, and throw the towel away.
Many piercers will tell you to rotate your jewelry. This is not wrong, but I have
found that in many cases, this causes more problems than it solves. If you want
to rotate your jewelry, go right ahead. If it becomes a problem or is painful, try
not rotating it for a couple days.
Cloth towels, especially those that have been already used, can harbor germs
and bacteria. This is why it is safest to use a disposable paper towel.