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Tattoo Aftercare

Your new tattoo is specific to you and your lifestyle, so are your aftercare instructions. Here are some tidbits to help you along the way. Always consult your professional artist with any questions or concerns.

Keep your dirty hands away from your tattoo! Bacteria resides on your skin no matter how clean you think your hands may be. As your tattoo is healing it may peel. DO NOT: pick, itch, scrape, peel, chisel, chew, gnaw, rub, scrub, lick, play, blast (with any item), exfoliate, bake, bleach, smother, wax, tweeze or glue googly eyes to your new tattoo… please.

  • Wash hands before and after caring for your tattoo.
  • Wash your tattoo 3 to 5 time a day with antimicrobial soap. Use warm water to soap, cool water to rinse. (it should feel like normal skin, not slimy)
  • When in shower wash tattoo last.
  • Use a clean paper towel to gently pat dry tattoo.
  • Depending on your artists instructions apply lotion or a thin layer ointment.
  • Within 4 to 7 days your tattoo will begin to scab and peel. (leave it alone)
  • After tattoo is done peeling apply lotion several times a day to keep it soft and moist.

Picking your tattoo and cracking from lack of lotion or ointment can cause lose of detail, color and may increase chance of scarring.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to follow your artists instructions. When it comes to healing your tattoo, your tattoo artist is the professional… not your friends or family, as great and super smart as they may be. What to use and what not to use on your tattoo is just as important as how you apply it. More is not always better. Again, follow your artist’s instructions!

A few things to never use that we can all agree upon: Neosporin, vaseline, soaps, ointments or lotions containing fragrances or dyes.


  • Pick at your tattoo.
  • Submerge tattoo in water. Ex: pools, oceans, lakes, ponds, rivers, hot tubs, bath tubs for 2 to 3 weeks
  • Tan for 2 to 3 weeks and if or when you do tan, cover your tattoo or use an SPF 30 or higher. The sun and tanning are your tattoo’s worst enemy

Here is Billy Hill with some aftercare advice that I agree with, pay attention…


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