Tattoo Aftercare

How to take care of a tattoo


Tattoo aftercare is a vital step to making sure your tattoo doesn’t fade, crack, or heal incorrectly. Follow these tattoo aftercare instructions to ensure that your new tattoo heals correctly:

  1. Your tattoo will be wrapped in a clear plastic wrap by your artist upon completion. Leave this wrap on for 3 hours following your appointment.
  2. Do not rewrap your tattoo. The wound needs to breathe in order to heal.
  3. When it is time to take the wrap off, gently wash the tattooed area with warm to hot water, using an antibacterial soap. Wash the tattoo with your fingertips or hand only, ridding the area of any dried blood, which can form a scab.
  4. After washing and for the duration of the healing process, pat the tattoo dry with a soft cloth, or just let it air dry.


During your tattoo’s healing time, do not use a washcloth or a loofa of any kind to clean the area. Gently apply a thin layer of fragrance free lotion to the tattoo. Lotions that we recommend include Aveeno, Eucerin, Keri, Lubriderm, Curel, and Jergens. Apply the lotion 5-7 times per day for the entire 2 week period. Do not use lotions that contain color, fragrance, or sparkles until the healing is complete. For larger tattoos, we recommend: Aquaphor ointment, this seems to be the best, made for tattoo ointment. Apply just enough to make it shine (a little goes a long way) and work it in well, dabbing off the excess with a paper towel. Too much ointment will suffocate the tattoo and liquefy any scabs that may have formed, causing the ink to fall out. For any tattoo, Aquaphor or lotion can be applied when the tattoo is feeling stiff or dry, but beware of over-moisturizing.

The area must be kept clean. However, avoid long showers or baths for the first 2 weeks following your tattoo. As long as scabs are present, it is important to avoid swimming in pools or the ocean, and soaking in a spa or a Jacuzzi is not recommended. This period usually lasts about 2 weeks. Finally, the sun is not a tattoo’s friend. It is especially important to avoid direct, long periods of exposed sunlight while your tattoo heals. Prolonged exposure during the first 2 weeks can create a number of problems like drying out, and promotes scarring, which can cause scabs and fade your tattoo. Do not apply sun block while your tattoo is healing. When the tattoo is fully-healed, high quality and high SPF sun blocks are highly recommended. We have seen a number of people over the years over-applying lotion and ointment. Keeping your tattoo too moist will only prolong the healing process. More is not better and applying more ointment will not make your tattoo heal any faster. Remember, this is a tattoo, not a scraped knee. Each person’s body heals differently, meaning that a tattoo on one person may heal much quicker or much longer than another persons tattoo.

Peeling and scabs

Scabs and peeling are part of the tattoo process and simply mean that the tattoo is healing. Let the process run its course to ensure your tattoo looks its best for a long time. We offer free touch-ups for your new tattoo, in the event that the healing process does remove some of the color. If the work is done by one of our artists, you're welcome to come in and have the tattoo touched up within 3 months of the original tattoo date, unless you have abused the tattoo. It is simple, follow our tattoo aftercare guidelines, and we will touch your tattoo up for free, if needed. We hope that these tattoo aftercare hints help you throughout your tattoo’s healing process. Take good care of your tattoo and it is sure to remain beautiful for many years to come!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, however we offer them in gift card form.  Feel free to email or call the shop to purchase a gift card for a loved one.

We can also send them out directly to the recipient as well.

Yes, there is always a level of pain when getting a tattoo and generally the tolerance level is up to the individual, but our talented artist take great care to make sure you are relaxed, comfortable and confident. A skilled hand can make the experience much more enjoyable, and those are the hands we employ here at Tattoolicious.

Infection is caused by bacteria getting into the raw wound, so yes, you are able to get an infection. But it all depends on how well you care for the tattoo after your appointment. Your artist will cover the area with a bandage immediately following your session and will provide you with instructions on how to properly care for the tattoo. As long as you follow the instructions provided, your risk of infection will decrease dramatically.

Proper care will help the tattoo heal properly, and reduce the risk of infection. It will also help with the overall appearance of the tattoo, causing the colors to remain bold and bright and remain beautiful for years to come.

Tattoos are permanent body art created by professionals using tattoo guns to puncture skin and insert ink below the first layer of skin. It is important to know how to treat a new tattoo in order to speed up your healing time and avoid negative side effects. Consider the following when learning how to treat a new tattoo.

  1. Listen to your tattoo artist. If you’ve done your homework and chosen a good tattoo artist, he or she will provide detailed instructions and you should follow them carefully. Think of your tattoo as having a warranty; if you don’t follow the artist’s instructions, you might void the warranty and he or she won’t give you free touch-ups.

  2. Leave the bandage on. You should leave it on anywhere between two hours to 24 hours. Make sure a thick, absorbent, non-stick ABD wound dressing is used. Your tattoo artist will give you a time frame. Be patient. The bandage is there to protect your tattoo from airborne bacteria, which can penetrate through your broken skin.

  3. Soak the bandage with warm water when removing it. This is optional, but recommended if the bandage is stuck to your tattoo and offers resistance.

  4. Wash the tattoo. Most artists recommend lukewarm water and mild, unscented liquid antibacterial or antimicrobial soap. Use your hands (not a wash cloth) and gently remove all traces of blood so it doesn’t scab. Pat (don’t rub) dry with a clean towel or a paper towel.

  5. Apply ointment. Many tattoo artists advise that you use ointment for 2-3 days. Ointment lasts longer than lotion, reducing the number of times you need to apply it and thus lessening the amount of rubbing. Apply a thin layer that’s just enough to make the tattoo shine, or else you’ll suffocate it. Apply it twice a day. Switch over to lotion when your tattoo artist says so.

  6. Continue washing and applying ointment or lotion as directed by your tattoo artist until the tattoo heals. The tattoo might look cloudy for a few days as it heals. This is called “onion skin.” You’ll know you have “onion skin” when the tattoo looks clearer when wet.

Yes, we require you to pay an $40 deposit to hold your appointment time, and also allow our artists to begin your drawing (drawing is work!). If you cancel within 48 hours, you will not receive your deposit back.