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Your Tattoo Aftercare

So you got a tattoo. Great! Bet you're excited and probably a little nervous about the aftercare. I mean if you mess it up, it’s only permanent right? Good news, it isn’t as bad as you think. There are a number of things you can keep an eye out for to make sure that your tattoos heal up well. So let’s make sure that your tattoos heal the best out of all your friends! So they will all envy your healing skills. I got your back my friend.



Immediate Aftercare

What we are talking about here is right after the tattoo is finished. Ideally if you leave the plastic wrap on for 1 to 2 hours, that should help the body heal enough to stop the possible bleeding.


After you’ve removed the initial coverings, it’s time for you to wash your tattoo.

Washing Your Tattoo

Now that you’ve removed your coverings, wash in warm water. Excessive cold or heat isn’t necessary and may just make you feel uncomfortable while doing so.


Using an unscented or tattoo brand soap, pat wash your tattoo. Do not scrub at any time. Keep your showers short. The reason for doing this is that when you expose yourself to too much water, the outermost layer of the skin swells and it absorbs water. Your skin is tightly attached to the layers of skin underneath, so it compensates for the increased area by wrinkling.


This is called vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels). When you wrinkle up. We want to avoid this because what it can do to tattooed areas is moisten them too much, making them fall off prematurely. The reason why we don’t want this is because if the areas with ink fall off before the skin has had a chance to heal, they will take your new ink with them. Leaving you with larger gaps or maybe even scars. So for this reason, try and keep showers short and to the point. This means avoiding baths. Especially because the air is normally moist or damp from the heat of one. Don’t be sneaky, avoid baths if you can. Avoiding pools should also be a given.

When you’re finished washing your tattoo, one of the better ways to dry it off is with a few paper towel sheets. It’s normally more sanitary than older towels as they don’t leave fabric filaments or dust behind. Will it kill you to dry with a towel? Of course not. Your body is way more resilient than that. It’s just an extra precaution to make sure your body has everything it needs to heal. If you feel badly about using up paper towels, just throw them in the green bin! Now you’re environmentally minded!


Continuous Care

Now that we’ve talked about these two parts of the cleaning process, keep this up for the next three days or so of your healing process. Do this about once a day unless you have a particularly dirty or high temperature job. Like in a warehouse or kitchen. You’ll notice that the tattoo will start to feel dry and tight. It may even hurt a bit. That’s normal. Frustrating, but normal. It’s ok. We are getting to the next steps

On the fourth day or so now that the tattoo is starting to dry up and feel a little tight, it’s time to start moisturizing the tattoo. Similarly to the soap, use a tattoo brand provided by the studio, or an unscented moisturizer. Avoiding ones with alcohol will also help due to how it has the potential to dry the tattoo a little bit after every use. Apply minimal amounts of moisturizer, working it in little by little until you have applied it to the entirety of the tattoo.


Do not apply a large amount and slather it all over the tattoo. With this part of the process, you should do this three to four times a day, especially after showering. Showers can tend to dry you up right after them. So applying moisturizer to a clean and dry tattoo is best for its healing. That’s it for the main healing process. It’s rather simple. Your body is a complex machine that knows what it needs to do to take care of itself. Most problems occur when we don’t allow it to do what it needs to do.

Things To Watch For

Sometimes moisture can build up on the tattoo. This can lead to too much moisture and possible infections. Using an excess of creams like coconut oil or too much moisturizer can actually lead towards bacterial infections. Bacteria flourishes in damp organic areas. So with too much, this can create a breeding ground bacteria to spread and work its way into the body. You’ll notice this first by increased redness or even a puss build up. If this happens it is very important that you stop ALL forms of moisturizer.


No healing creams, no ointments, oils, and nothing with moisture that sits on the tattoo. You instead will begin to treat the tattoo as if it was fresh and new. Resorting to only soap and water. Allowing the skin to get dry and tight once again. Hindering and stopping the bacteria from spreading. This part will be tough to go through. As that tightness can lead to pain. Again, this is normal. Your body knows what it needs to do to heal. It will take care of the rest. When in doubt of what to do, it’s almost always best to just simply keep it clean and dry. Touch ups may be necessary, but that is also part of the normal process.


Working out! Use this as an excuse for some skip days. Some of you may be bothered by that thought, but please hear me out. Working out can cause excess stress to the skin, as well as moisture and bacteria build up as you sweat. Leaving the workout regime for the first two weeks will help the tattoo heal unhindered. So it’s best to give yourself a break while it heals. If you for some reason can’t bear the thought of the gains being so low, then try to stick to areas that aren’t related to the tattoo. Like running on a treadmill if you got an arm sleeve. Even if this is something you want to do, you really should avoid working out for a week at least.


That's It

That is about all there is to healing. You may have friends who have a number of ways to heal a tattoo. Some with Vaseline, others with scalding water, some with coconut creams. The “I did this and it worked great” stories. It’s important to realize that some of these scenarios may be unicorns. They may be that rare sighting that people tell their friends about. Just because it worked for them, doesn’t mean it will for you.

Remember, all of this is for ink retention. We want as much of the ink to stay as possible. Skin upkeep will also help in the long run. Keeping up with moisturizer will increase the tattoos lifespan. Your body is actively trying to destroy your tattoo. So not caring for your skin, and having your body have to remake damaged skin will begin to wear and tear your tattoos.


Most importantly, if you are lost, afraid, or even have any questions, don’t be afraid to reach out to our team for some help. It’s never embarrassing to ask for help. It’s only rough if you could have gotten it, but decided to not ask for it, and make things worse for yourself. This is a judgement free zone, so don’t worry. We are happy to help.


Thanks so much and enjoy your new tattoo

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