Tattoo Aftercare Instructions


  • ✦  Your artist will apply a bandage/plastic wrap over your tattoo to protect it from bacteria, friction, and irritation. Don’t remove this dressing for at least a few hours — consult with your tattoo artist.

  • ✦  When you remove the dressing, first wash your hands with soap and warm water. The, gently wash the tattoo with fragrance-free soap and water. Pat your skin dry with a soft cloth (no rubbing!), and apply a small amount of unscented lotion to the surface. Keep your tattoo undressed to let your skin breathe.

    While your tattoo heals:


  • ✦  wear sun-protective clothing whenever you go outside.

  • ✦  call your tattoo artist or doctor if you have any signs of infection or other problems.


  • ✦  cover your tattoo with sunblock until it’s fully healed.

  • ✦  scratch or pick at your tattoo.

  • ✦  wear tight clothing over your tattoo.

  • ✦  go swimming or immerse your body in water, with the exception of showers.

    Aftercare Timeline

    DAY 1

  • ✦  You’ll leave the studio with a bandage protecting your tattoo. After a few hours, you can remove it. Please consult with your artist for recommendations on how long to wait.

  • ✦  While removing your bandage, you’ll likely notice some oozing — this is normal and it’s blood, plasma, and extra ink. Your skin will be red and sore, and may feel warm to the touch.

  • ✦  Clean your hands with soap and water, then wash your tattoo with fragrance-free soap without scrubbing. Apply unscented lotion and leave the bandage off to allow the tattoo to breathe and heal.

    DAY 2-3

  • ✦  Scabs will start to form over your tattoo, and it may have a duller, cloudy appearance as your skin starts to heal.

  • ✦  Wash your tattoo once or twice a day and apply a fragrance- and alcohol-free moisturizer. As you wash, you may notice some ink running into the sink — this is normal and is just excess ink being pushed back to the surface of your skin.

DAY 4-6

  • ✦  The redness should start to fade, and you’ll have some light scabbing over your tattoo — resist the urge to pick as this can cause scarring!

  • ✦  Continue washing your tattoo once or twice a day, and apply moisturizer. DAY 7-14

  • ✦  The scabs will have hardened and will begin to flake off. Let this happen naturally, and don’t pick or pull at them. This could pull out the ink and produce scarring.

  • ✦  Your skin may feel very itchy. Gently rub on a moisturizer several times a day to relieve the itch.

  • ✦  If your tattoo is still red and swollen, this could be signs of an infection. Consult with your artist or a


    DAY 15-30

  • ✦  This is the last stage of healing and most of the big flakes will have shed, and the scabs should be going away. Dry skin should be clearing up as well. Continue applying moisturizer.

  • ✦  It can take up to 3-4 months for the lower layer to completely heal.