Preparing yourself and your body for your tattoo session is wise and can aid in the healing process.
Your tattoo is an investment, supporting your body by during the healing process is the best way to get the most our of your money and to insure your tattoo looks great for years to come.
It is advisable the week before your tattoo to be gentle with yourself.
Get good sleep, 8-9 hours a night.
Be hydrated, drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day.
Eat well, avoid high sugar foods, and get in those veggies!
I have found taking a quality multivitamin for the week prior and 3 weeks post tattoo can aid in speedy healing. (Or just do this always!)
We discourage getting tattooed if you are sick, recovering from surgery, hungover, or on drugs or alcohol.
Also if you are pregnant, postpartum, or breastfeeding it is advisable to wait to be tattooed. Please consult with me for more information.
If you have any autoimmune disorder, diabetes, cancer, or bleeding disorder, please consult with your tattooer before your tattoo to discuss potential risks so that you can make an educated decision.
During your Tattoo
Eat a good meal before your tattoo session. For those larger sessions, it is suggested to bring snacks along with you.
Bring water or any other non-alcoholic beverage that you enjoy.
It’s a good idea to wear comfortable clothing, and clothing that will make the area you are getting tattooed accessible. Also there is a chance that tattoo ink could get onto your clothes and it does stain so keep that in mind.
Feel free to bring any comfort items from home such as blanket or pillow or anything else that would help you feel comfortable, and at home.
Our private and cozy tattoo booths come equipped with TV's, and most streaming services. You are welcome to use those and watch whatever you'd like. But feel free to bring tablets, laptops, and headphones.
It can be a great distraction to create a playlist, listen to an audiobook, podcast, or watch your favorite show, or movie.
During your tattoo try your best to not tense up, once you start tensing up it can be hard to get back to a state of relaxation. Take several long full slow deep breaths throughout your tattoo session, and release and building tension with your exhale.
There are many ways to care for a new tattoo and advice and type of bandage will vary depending on factors such as the size of the tattoo, location on your body, your previous experience with tattoos, and even your work environment.
Tattoo Aftercare with a Standard Bandage
1| Leave the bandage on for 2- 4 hours, unless instructed otherwise by your artist. Or until you can remove it in a clean environment.
2| Wash your hands with an gentle soap, and dry with paper towel (Not a bath or hand towel, as they can harbor bacteria).
3| Gently and slowly remove the bandage.
4| Lather the tattoo with antibacterial, fragrance-free liquid soap, and cool/warm
water. We like unscented Dr. Bronners, plain liquid Dial, or Hibiclens.
* Do not use wash cloths, or anything abrasive, and be sure to wash all the plasma, blood and excess pigment off the tattoo.
5| Rinse the tattoo well, and blot dry with a clean paper towel. The tattooed area should feel clean to the touch and not greasy!
6| Once the tattoo is washed and dried, apply a very thin layer of Aquaphor, or coconut oil.
* Repeat washing and applying of the ointment 2-3 times a day for 2 days.
7| Starting on the third day, discontinue the use of the ointment.
You will now apply a thin layer unscented/fragrance free lotion after washing and drying the tattoo. We prefer unscented Derma-E, Shea Moisture, Aveeno, Lubriderm, or Hustle Butter.
* You should still be washing it the recommended 2x a day at this point. Once the peeling/scabbing phase begins, you can reduce washing the tattoo to once a day.
Tattoo Aftercare with Transparent Adhesive Bandage
1| Leave the first application on for 24 hours.
During this time, it is normal to see fluid build up beneath the bandage. If the bandage begins to leak, remove it immediately and continue to the next step.
2| Gently peel away the bandage, peeling back, not up and move slowly inch by inch. We recommend removing your bandage in the shower.
Then follow steps 2-5 in the Standard Bandage aftercare instructions.
* If you have completed your 3-5 day regimen with the adhesive bandage, move on to Step 7 of the Standard Bandage aftercare instructions.
APPLICATION OF SECOND BANDAGE
If needed your artist may have supplied your with a second bandage to apply to your healing tattoo. The following explains how to apply the bandage.
1| Your tattoo should be clean and completely dry before applying the new bandage. Following the instructions 2-5 in the Standard aftercare instruction section.
2| Peel off the backing of the sheet to expose the adhesive side. Gently apply using light pressure, starting from the center and smoothing out to the edges. Then peel off the clear, plastic top layer.
For the best results:
Skin should be in a neutral, relaxed position, not bent or stretched. *You may need a friend to assist you!
Allow at least 1-2” border of the bandage extending from the tattoo. This will increase the longevity of wear.
The second bandage can be worn for 3-5 days. (If any areas of the tattoo become exposed, remove the bandage immediately.) Gently peel the bandage away, wash the area thoroughly, and follow Standard Bandage aftercare, beginning at Step 2.
The bandage is there to protect your tattoo while it is still fresh and susceptible to germs.
Neither bandage options protect your tattoo from being submerged underwater. Absolutely no swimming, hot tubs, or baths for 2 weeks minimum, 4 weeks preferred.
Applying an ice pack to the bandaged area for 10-15 minutes at a time can help ease discomfort. Never apply a ice pack directly on a tattoo with out a clean barrier.
Working out and other activities may need to be altered during the healing process. It’s best to avoid any unnecessary strain or stress on the tattoo while it is healing. Its best to avoid the gym.
Avoid touching your tattoo with unwashed hands. Contamination of the tattoo site from touching with unwashed hands can result in infection!
Avoid cleaning with alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, or any harsh products, as these can damage cells. When in doubt ask your artist, not google!
Some scabbing may occur and it is very important to let these scabs fall off naturally. Never pick the scabs or pull them off! Scabs that are removed before they are ready to fall off naturally will often result in spotty coloring and longer healing times.
When your tattoo peels its is normal for the color to look softer, this happens after the new layer of skin grows over your tattoo.
Do not pick, itch, or scratch your tattoo. Itching is a normal part of the healing process, keeping it moisturized properly will help with this. You may gently pat your tattoo with a clean hand, or through a barrier to relive the itch, but remember not to touch with dirty hands.
Avoid direct sunlight and UV rays. Tanning and sunblock can damage your healing tattoo. However, after your tattoo has completely healed, using sunblock will help reduce fading over the years.
Avoid stress and recreational drug use, including excessive caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
You will know your tattoo is fully healed when it has stopped itching, is no longer tender, and is no longer shiny.
Until the healing process is finished, your tattoo is vulnerable to infection and irritation. If you notice any symptoms of infection, such as increased tenderness, warmth, or redness, please contact your doctor immediately.
If you have any additional questions don't hesitate to reach out!
Tattoos take on average 2-4 weeks to heal however each healing time may vary based on size, body part, and health of the individual. The following information applies until your tattoo is fully healed.