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Everyone heals differently, and every method for healing a tattoo works differently for different people. If you have a tattoo aftercare method that has worked well for you on previous tattoos, talk to your artist about it! Chances are, if it worked well for you before, your artist will tell you to use the same method.
Your artist will wrap your tattoo to keep it safe during your trip home from the studio. After one hour, you will remove the wrap, and wash your tattoo gently with warm water and a very mild unscented soap. Pat it dry with a disposable towel, and leave it alone. Repeat the gentle wash and dry 2-3 times a day for the next 3-4 days. When your tattoo starts to feel tight and tough, you can use a tiny amount of unscented lotion on the tattoo directly after drying. Using this method, your tattoo will likely develop thin, colorful scabs that will start to fall off in a few days. It is IMPERATIVE that you don’t pick these scabs, and let them fall off naturally. Your tattoo will itch, do NOT scratch.
This method is great for larger tattoos with solid color. Your artist will apply a second skin waterproof bandage to your tattoo before you leave the studio. You will leave that bandage in place for the first 24 hours. During this time, liquid may accumulate under the surface of the
bandage (yuck and neat!). The bandage keeps that liquid from hardening into a scab. After 24 hours, you will remove the bandage and thoroughly but gently wash your tattoo with warm water and mild unscented soap. Pat the tattoo dry with a disposable towel. Then you will apply a new tegaderm second skin bandage. When applying the new bandage, be sure that:
Once the bandage is applied, you will leave it in place for the next 3-4 days.When you remove the bandage, the tattoo will tighten, and then peel like a mild sunburn. Don’t forcibly remove this peel, let it fall of naturally. It’s okay to apply a small amount of unscented lotion during this stage to help with any itchiness.
The easiest way to troubleshoot a healing tattoo is to contact the shop or stop by for us to take a look. Don’t forget: Everyone heals differently, your experience might be slightly different from what is stated above. But if you are ever concerned, please reach out, we’re here to make sure you end up with a beautiful tattoo that we can all be proud of!
Sometimes, a tattoo will need a touch up. Maybe part of it got accidentally scratched or bumped during the healing stage, or maybe something just healed out a little lighter than you or the artist intended.
Don’t worry! If a tattoo requires a touch up, it’s free within six months of your original tattoo date. Just stop by, show the artist your tattoo, and the two of you can decide whether a touch up is necessary and get you scheduled for one if it is. A tattoo must be fully healed before it can be worked on again. This usually takes 4-6 weeks depending on the individual and the tattoo.
During the last few weeks of healing, a tattoo will appear slightly lighter than it will look when fully healed. That’s due to new skin growing over the design. New skin is more opaque, and will become more translucent as it heals.