Tattoo After Care – Standard

Always listen to your artist. Not your mailman, not the internet, not your Uncle Joe, not your friend. Regardless of anything you may have done in the past, I ask that you follow my instructions. I know what heals my tattoos, as well as what is recommended by the Oregon Health Department.

  1. DO leave the bandage on overnight.
  2. In the morning, WASH YOUR HANDS, remove the bandage, and wash the tattoo BY HAND (no washcloths) with warm water and unscented Dr Bronners soap only (No body wash, no antibacterial soap, no Tea Tree Oil soap, nothing with added fragrance or color) Wash well, make sure any blood, goo or anything shiny is gone. Pat dry with a clean paper towel. DO NOT RE-BANDAGE the tattoo. Leave it open to the air all day
  3. DO use a LIGHT film of Lubriderm Brand Lotion, once a day, opposite your shower. DO NOT put lotion on the tattoo directly out of the shower. let it dry a couple hours. DO NOT OVER LOTION YOUR TATTOO, It will cause it to heal light and unevenly. DO NOT use lotions with added fragrance, colors, tea tree, lavender, or anything that says “tattoo” Starting day 4, you can increase your frequency if you start to experience tightness or “pulling”.
  4. DO wash your tattoo gently with soap and water, once a day, everyday. As the healing progresses, go not try and scrub off any peeling skin.
  5. DO NOT use Bacitracin, Neosporin, Vaseline, Aquaphor, A&D ointment, or anything that is thick, or sits on the surface of the skin. Avoid any commercial “tattoo aftercare products”.
  6. DO WASH YOUR HANDS before touching or applying lotion to a new tattoo.
  7. DO NOT expose your new tattoo to direct sunlight for 7-10 days, or until its done peeling.
  8. DO NOT soak in a tub, sauna, jacuzzi, hot tub, or go swimming while your tattoo is healing. Showers are fine. Try not to let the shower hit your tattoo directly. Doing so can knock off flakes and scabs before they are ready.
  9. DO NOT let clothing, or anything else, irritate your new tattoo. Clean, cotton clothing is better than synthetics. Loose clothing better than tight clothing.
  10. DO make sure your bedding and clothes are clean while the tattoo is healing.
  11. DO NOT RUB OR PICK at the healing tattoo, as tempting as it may be. DO NOT TRY AND SCRUB THE PEELING SKIN OFF IN THE SHOWER. Loss of color and/or infection can occur. It is important that the thin, tiny scab stay on as long as possible during the healing process. Your body will complete this process all by itself. Do not help the peeling process! For itching, use lotion, a cold pack, or slap the tattoo.
  12. DO use 50+ SPF sunblock AFTER the tattoo is healed, for the rest of its life and your life. Clear Zinc is a good option. Extreme sun and exposure over the years can, and will, fade your tattoo.
  13. DO NOT overthink the healing process, or obsess over the tattoo. Just follow the instructions, and leave it alone.

*please note: It is normal to lose approximately 1/3 of the color in the first few days. A percentage of the ink is in the outer layer of skin, and will slough off in about a week following treatment. Some clients do not lose 1/3 of the color, some lose more. Remember that everyone is different.

please see the picture below to understand the standard healing phases.

tattoo healing process


Tattoo Aftercare Instructions for ‘Recovery DermShield’ Product
(follow only if you have been given Dermshield at your tattoo appt)
Directions for Use:
The first Derm Shield application at your tattoo session should stay in place for 24 hours, depending on level of exudation. It is normal for blood and fluids to collect under the bandage.

After 24 hours, thoroughly, but gently clean the tattoo and surrounding area with baby Doc Bronners soap, and warm water, Rinse well, ensuring there is no soap or any residue on the skin, and pat dry with a clean paper towel. Let the skin open to the air and dry for approx 2 hours, do not let the area get dirty. Cut the replacement Derm Shield to cover tattooed area, plus a 1 to 2 inch margin from the edge of the tattoo. Peel off backing to expose adhesive side and position the Derm Shield over the tattoo with the adhesive side facing the skin. Gently apply using light pressure, starting from the center to the edges to eliminate air bubbles. Do not stretch the Derm Shield during application.

A second application should be worn for 4-5 days. Do not wear any piece longer than one week.

After the second removal, wash the tattoo with baby Doc Bronners soap and rinse well. pat dry with a clean paper towel. that night, use Lubriderm lotion a couple times a day for dryness, up to two weeks or longer.
Directions for Removal:
Gently peel the Derm Shield by pulling it slowly from the edge back over itself. Do not pull the bandage upwards.