Tattoo Aftercare

Please remember for the first few days your tattoo will look like a ‘tattoo’. However, do not forget it is still an open wound. At this stage it is extremely important to keep it clean and take care of it properly to avoid potential infection or improper healing.

You can remove your bandage within an hour and wash immediately afterward. When washing your new tattoo, be sure to use water as warm as you can tolerate with a liquid unscented antibacterial soap (Dial Gold). A wash cloth will definitely be too abrasive to wash your new tattoo with. Instead, only wash your new tattoo with freshly cleaned hands. On a daily basis we touch money, door knobs, along with countless other surfaces that easily transmit bacteria. To avoid infection, be sure to always wash your hands immediately before performing aftercare.

***Tips on other ways to prevent infection include not letting your friends/children touch your fresh tattoo, avoid pet hair getting directly on your tattoo, making sure that any fabrics that come in contact with your tattoo are freshly clean such as bed sheets or clothing, and not letting your tattoo rub against anything that may harbor staph infection such as shower curtains or gym equipment. Also, do not share aftercare with anyone. It is cross contamination of your bodily fluid with theirs.

Let the warm water run over your tattoo for 30 seconds to a minute. During this time it will burn and be sensitive, however, after a little while the warm water will actually start to feel soothing. At this point, lather up your tattoo and cleanse thoroughly, removing any blood, plasma or excess ink. Once the tattoo is clean, allow the tattoo to air dry or gently pat it dry with a clean paper towel. Bath towels or hand towels should be avoided as they may have bacteria hidden in them. It is better to use a single use paper towel to avoid potential contamination of your new tattoo.

You will wash your tattoo like this for a duration of two weeks, two to three times a day. This is the average amount that your tattoo will need to be cleaned, not the maximum amount. Do not let your tattoo dry out and if it does, continue aftercare on it even if it exceeds two to three times per day. Avoid dirt, oil, grease, scented products such as lotions or perfumes, and other irritants. If your tattoo comes in contact with any of these things, wash it immediately after. If you exercise, wash it immediately after.

FAQ: How long after getting my tattoo can I shower?

Answer: You can shower as you naturally would; the only difference will be avoiding scented body washes as the chemicals used to make the product scented can irritate the wound.

FAQ: How long after I get my tattoo can I start exercising again?

Answer: The very next day as long as it’s comfortable for you.

After the tattoo has been thoroughly washed and dried, apply a thin layer of petroleum free lotion. We do not recommend A&D ointment for the aftercare of your tattoo. Be sure not to apply too much lotion as it may clog the pores, possibly causing a break out on and around the tattoo. In addition to this, applying too much lotion may pull out the ink from your new tattoo. Keep in mind less is more. Only apply the lotion after the tattoo has been cleaned and never reapply without again washing your tattoo. Anything foreign that may be naturally sitting on the surface of the tattoo will get trapped under the lotion if it is not thoroughly cleaned first. You will apply the lotion for 5-7 days after receiving your tattoo depending on how your body heals.

Myth: You should dry heal your tattoo...

Fact: Dry healing a tattoo is one of the worst things you can do. Typically you will get up to 70% more ink loss this way.

Myth: You should apply Neosporin or Vaseline as your ointment...

Fact: You should not use either of the products in the healing of your new tattoo. Neosporin will pull the ink out as it has healing properties and ink is a foreign object to your body. Vaseline has no healing properties and is simply a petroleum based product which can harbor bacteria.

You will know when your tattoo is ready to switch to unscented lotion when the skin starts to flake and peel similar to sunburn. Do not pick at your tattoo while this is happening. This will usually happen after the initial 3-5 days. Some people may take longer to get to this stage as everyone’s body heals differently. An unscented lotion such as Lubriderm or Aveeno works great. Like the ointment, apply only after washing thoroughly. At this point, your tattoo will most likely be itchy. Do not scratch your tattoo no matter how badly it may itch.
For two weeks after receiving your new tattoo do not swim, soak in a bath tub, go to the beach, go tanning, leave it exposed to the sun, pick at it, scratch it, let it dry out, let anything rub against it excessively, etc. The better you take care of your tattoo, the better it will heal and the nicer it will look. Furthermore, don’t listen to your friends when it comes to healing a permanent addition to your body, listen to the professionals. Protect your investment.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your artist at 847-260-5076 or message us at Tattoo4aces@gmail.comwith the subject: AFTERCARE. If needed, we do offer lifetime free touchups. Chances are, if you loved your tattoo when you left the shop, and it happens to need a touchup after it’s healed, it’s the way your body healed the tattoo, and not the way the artist performed the tattoo. Understanding this is important. We would much rather you come back to us for a free touchup than throw money away somewhere else. Thank you for choosing 4 Aces Tattoo!