Once your tattoo is completed, it is up to you to ensure that it heals properly! The first step in doing this is to understand two basic principles of tattoo aftercare…
1. When you wash your tattoo, get it THOROUGHLY CLEAN.
2. When you moisturize your tattoo, DO NOT OVER MOISTURIZE.

Second Skin.

1

Leave the second-skin on for 3-5 days. The longer, the better. If your bandage starts leaking, gently wipe away any leakage with a soft cloth or paper towel, as needed. If the second-skin does not stay secured and begins to slip, you may use medical tape to help keep it in place. If, however the second-skin fails to stay in place to a point that your tattoo is exposed, the bandage must be removed. It is advisable that while wearing the second-skin, you avoid wearing your favorite light-colored clothing or sleeping on your favorite sheets, in case of leakage. 

Don't Freak out!

2

Fluid accumulation under the second-skin is NORMAL and should be expected. It is your blood plasma & it is working hard to re-build your skin, so leave it alone!

Swelling handling.

3

If you experience any swelling in the new tattoo, try to treat the body part as you would a sprained ankle. ICE, ELEVATION, and ADVIL. Lower extremities are particularly vulnerable to swelling. It’s usually nothing to be concerned about, but it is uncomfortable. If you experience swelling just rest and get your feet up a while. 

Stay Chill.

4

Avoid activities that will stress the second-skin bandage. For example, if the bandage is on your arm, avoid jogging, and other repetitive motion activities as much as possible for the 3-5 bandage period. Highly repetitive movements, especially if they induce perspiration, will cause the second-skin to come loose prematurely. 

Are you wet?

5

For the duration of the 3-5 day period, avoid excessive water exposure. This means that when you shower for the first three days, just get in, and get out, be careful to minimize the water spray onto the second-skin. 

Second Skin Removal.

6

When it is time to remove the second-skin, the easiest way is to do it in the shower or bath, by allowing it to soak a while in warm water before attempting to peel it off. Have a friend help you peel it off if needed. Rub the edges of the bandage with dial soap, as you GENTLY pull it free from the skin. Draw the bandage along the surface of the skin with one hand while supporting the skin behind the bandage with the other hand. Removing the second-skin may be just a bit painful, but with patience and gentleness it shouldn’t be too bad or take too long. DO NOT PULL THE BANDAGE DIRECTLY AWAY FROM THE SKIN AS THIS MAY CAUSE UNDUE PAIN.

Clean that shit!

7

Once the second-skin is removed, wash the tattoo thoroughly with very warm soapy water. Use a liquid anti-bacterial soap. The trick to getting your tattoo clean is to wash it VERY gently, not just once, but at least 2-3 times daily. So once in the morning when you wake up & once at night before bed, & any time during the day you feel it needs a good wash. Avoid using a lot of pressure while washing it as this may cause discomfort. Your tattoo isn’t clean until it no longer has any areas that feel “slippery” to the touch.

A good Rinse.

8

Once your tattoo is clean, rinse it one last time with cold water. This will help close the pores of your skin & help the tattoo to stop oozing. 

Dodge Bacteria.

9

Dry the tattoo, either by air drying, or GENTLY pat the tattoo dry using a CLEAN paper towel. AVOID USING A BATH TOWEL THAT YOU’VE BEEN USING FOR SEVERAL DAYS, AS THESE MAY CONTAIN BACTERIA & CARRY LINT, WHICH COULD IRRITATE YOUR NEW TATTOO. 

A good Rinse.

10

Once your tattoo is clean, rinse it one last time cold water. This will help close the pores of your skin & help the tattoo to stop oozing. 

final steps.

11

Once you take the second-skin off & after its been washed & dried, wait at least 10-15 minutes before applying your aftercare. You want it to be dry, until it feels tight, itchy, or tender. Afterwards moisturize it with the aftercare you had selected. You can use a petroleum-based ointment such as: Aquaphor, AquaTat, or A&D, However, I DO NOT RECOMMEND THESE! Reason being, those are greasy products & things will tend to stick to your tattoo more, allowing for a higher chance of infection! I always tell clients that they should follow & use what their tattoo artist recommends, because they know what will heal "their" tattoo. Every tattoo artist is different. Avoid over-moisturizing. Your tattoo should NEVER look shiny. All you need is a thin layer of your aftercare rubbed in. 

DO NOT...

  • Please do not scratch or pick at your tattoo.

  • Definitely do not use Neosporin. 

  • Avoid tight clothes.

  • Don't go tanning.

  • Don't hang out in the sun. 

  • Don't go swimming while your tattoo is healing.

Image by Steven Erixon

© Since 2019, by Tattoo JoJo.