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An Essential Guide to Tattoo Aftercare

Posted on July 01 2019

Washing your tattoo

When you first receive your new stick and poke tattoo, it is likely that you will have a bandage, or some sort of dressing applied to it. This dressing or bandage should be left on the tattoo for two to three hours, or even overnight if you have it done later in the day. When you do finally remove the dressing, you should shortly after thoroughly wash the tattoo with warm, soapy water. Fragrance free soap is considerably less irritating to the skin and therefore may be more beneficial to you. Ensure that your hands are clean when washing the tattoo, it is important that you do not use any sort of flannel or scrub as it can be very abrasive on the delicate skin and therefore cause unwanted damage.

If the tattoo seems to be seeping ink, you should not be concerned. This is just excess ink that has mixed with fluid from your skin and is completely normal. A good way to ensure that your tattoo is being washed every day, is to do it in your daily shower or bath. Once the tattoo has been correctly washed you should pat it with a towel to dry it, try to avoid any sort of rubbing. There should be no reason for you to apply any extra dressing, however if you do then you should ensure that the dressing is unused and sterile. Check out our range of aftercare products here. 

Correctly applying ointment to your tattoo

Once you have properly washed and dried your tattoo, it is important to apply a barrier ointment for the first two to three days. A good example and easy to obtain example of this is Vaseline. When you apply this ointment, you should carefully massage it into the tattooed area of skin. The effect of this will be that it protects the tattoo and provides moisture to aid the skin in properly healing. Over this period of time, it is common that you will see your tattoo weeping or leaking fluid or excess ink. This is perfectly normal. Always try to ensure that the skin on and around the tattooed area is kept clean and moist with ointment and as needed dab away any seeping fluid coming out of the skin with a clean, dry paper towel. Once the first few days have passed, you are able to change from using a protective ointment to using unscented lotion to moisturize your tattoo and prevent it from drying out. Frequently apply a moisturizing lotion to your tattoo for the next two to four week and if done correctly, it should be completely healed. If you happen to notice that the skin around your tattooed area begins to become red or irritated, you should try switching to a hypoallergenic lotion, or alternatively reduce the amount of times you apply lotion each day. Check out our range of Tattoo Ointment products here. 

Ensure you wear loose, clean clothing

Over the complete process of healing your tattoo, you should make an extra effort to wear loose, clean clothing over the tattooed area. Furthermore, you must make sure that you sleep on clean bed sheets until your tattoo has fully healed. It is crucial that you protect your skin from any potential germs that may have built up on clothing or bed linens, as these have the potential to cause infection. Wearing any tight clothes over a freshly performed tattoo can also cause a delay to the healing process. You should ensure that you avoid wearing any articles of clothing that may cause any direct rubbing or friction onto you your tattoo until it has fully healed. The preferable material for clothes you should wear is breathable fabrics, such as cotton.

Do not scratch or rub your tattoo

Once the first few days of your tattoo’s healing is over, it is likely that it will become itchy as it scabs over. You must avoid scratching this at all costs as it can lead to serious infection and scarring, two very undesirable outcomes. Some tattoo inks can have the effect of causing an allergic reaction and therefore may cause itching. If your tattoo seems to be excessively itchy, you should contact your doctor about obtaining some prescribed over-the-counter allergy medicine for relief. Furthermore, if your tattoo or skin is showing any signs of infection such as prolonged redness, feeling hot to touch, swelling or if it is raised, hard or painful, you must notify your doctor immediately as you may be in need of antibiotics.


Tattoos are a form of body art that, if correctly looked after, will last your entire life. By ensuring that your new tattoo is kept clean and safe by using the guidelines above, you can completely minimize the chances of developing and infections or complications that may cause long term damage.

Check out our range of aftercare products here. 

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