If you have your own way of healing tattoos feel free to disregard this page since you know your body best. Also other artists may have differing healing methods to this page. However, this is my general guide of aftercare for those new to receiving tattoos or anyone that wants to try alternative methods for healing. I will also explain the aftercare at the end of your session.

At the end of your session, I will clean the tattoo one final time and apply the derm, a clear bandage, over the clean dry tattoo area. Until your tattoo peels, treat it like an open wound since that is essentially what it is. Please give your tattoo the proper time and attention to heal.

Things You’ll Need

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  • Mild Soap (preferably unscented & antibacterial, such as Dial)
  • Paper Towels (do not use bath towels, you will want something disposable) – Ointment or your preferred Tattoo healing product (My go-to is Aquaphor, water-based, travel-sized should be enough unless you got a tattoo that is larger than 5-6 in.)
  • Unscented Lotion (ex. Cetaphil, Eucerin)
  • Healing with Derm (Saniderm/ Tatu-Derm/ Tegaderm):

Supply List

  • Mild Soap: Preferably unscented & antibacterial, such as Dial
  • Paper Towels: Do not use bath towels, you will want something disposable
  • Ointment or your preferred Tattoo healing product
  • Unscented Lotion: Cetaphil or Eucerine for example
  • Healing with Derm: Saniderm, Tatu-Derm or Tegaderm are good choices

Recommended Products

*Not endorsed, just thoughts on products I’ve used myself

Overall, I prefer products in tube containers rather than tubs for easier and hygienic handling. If your preferred aftercare is in a tub just remember to have clean hands when handling the product and never share it with anyone else. Otherwise the product is easily contaminated and when you apply it on your tattoo it can cause infection.

  • A & D Ointment: Apply sparingly since it’s usually a thick consistency.
  • Aquaphor: Water-based & my usual recommendation since it has no scent, has a more lotion-like texture, and is easily found in any convenience store. Travel-sized should be enough unless you got a tattoo that is larger than 5-6 in.
  • Bactine Spray: Also easily found in pharmacies or convenience stores. I sometimes use it as an extra precaution when cleaning the tattoo.
  • Cetaphil & Eucerine: Both good mild lotions for sensitive skin and they usually have cleansing soaps as well.
  • Hustle Butter: Has good moisturizing ingredients, however it comes in a tub container which I’m wary of because it’s easier to contaminate. I recommend getting the smallest size.
  • Tattoo Goo: Extremely watery so it easily absorbs, which is helpful since your skin will be irritated. However, it’s so watery that it can just fall out of the tube.

My Go-to Healing Method

– Especially good for new clients because it minimizes the aftercare process and risk of infections for the first couple of days.
– Best for clients that aren’t able to look after their tattoo throughout the day.
– Not recommended for clients with sensitive skin since sometimes people are allergic to the bandage adhesive.

  • Remove the bandage. Wash your hands first. Then use warm water and soap to help break down the adhesive. Sometimes removing the derm in the shower is easiest.
  • Remove the bandage immediately if you notice any itchiness or excessive irritation within the 24hrs. It could mean your skin is having an allergic reaction to the adhesive. Once the derm is removed, wash the tattoo and continue with the Healing with Ointment instructions. Also you can take a benadryl/ anti-allergy over the counter medicine.
  • Pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Continue with the Healing with Ointment instructions from after bandage/wrap removal.

Healing with OinTment

Easier for clients with larger work as it would be irritating to remove dermal bandanges in large areas. Also best for sensitive skin.

After your tattoo session I will clean your tattoo one final time, apply a thick layer of ointment and wrap you up. This is the only time ointment will be applied this thickly because it is a fresh tattoo.

2-4 Hours After the Session Remove the Bandage Wrap:

  • With clean washed hands use soap and water to thoroughly clean your tattoo.
  • Make sure all the previous ointment is gone and any excess blood or plasma build up.
  • Rinse with cool water to help close your pores. Gently pat dry with a paper towel and air-dry for 10 min.
  • Apply a small amount of ointment/ your preferred tattoo-aftercare to the tattoo. Use a small amount, such as a couple of dots, and spread it out evenly. The tattoo should be slightly shiny, but not wet looking. Blot any excess moisture with a paper towel. If ointment is applied too thickly, it can sometimes block pores and cause small pimples and rash to appear on the tattoo area.

Day 1-4 or Until You Reach the Peeling Stage:

  • Repeat and clean your tattoo as previously explained every morning and night, or after any strenuous activity where you might sweat. Washing the tattoo when you shower can also count as a cleaning. Do this until the peeling stage.
  • Depending on how dry your skin normally gets, reapply a thin layer of ointment 2-3 times throughout the day or as needed depending on your preferred product. If the tattoo is itchy you may also reapply then.
  • Avoid scratching the tattoo, touching it outside of cleaning, or touching it with unclean hands since you are most prone to infections during this stage.

Day 5 Onwards or Until Your Tattoo is Done Peeling:

  • The tattoo will flake and peel like a sunburn.
  • Do not pick or scratch the cracked or flaking skin
  • Replace ointment with a fragrance-free lotion/ your preferred aftercare lotion to help keep your tattoo moisturized.
  • Moisturize 2-3 times a day, as needed, or to help with itchiness. Continue until the skin returns to it’s normal texture.

Aftercare FaQs

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  • Mild Soap (preferably unscented & antibacterial, such as Dial)
  • Paper Towels (do not use bath towels, you will want something disposable) – Ointment or your preferred Tattoo healing product (My go-to is Aquaphor, water-based, travel-sized should be enough unless you got a tattoo that is larger than 5-6 in.)
  • Unscented Lotion (ex. Cetaphil, Eucerin)
  • Healing with Derm (Saniderm/ Tatu-Derm/ Tegaderm):

Expected Healing Time

  • 7-10 days for minimal work, linework or fineline work
  • 2-3 weeks for larger work especially for cover-ups, color, or shading sessions. Healing may take longer because there was more trauma done to the skin as well as some skin reaction while healing to certain colors.

Is My Tattoo Completely Healed?

  • Flaking and peeling is finished and the tattoo skin returns to regular skin texture, flat and matte. If there are any scabs, they will have naturally fallen off.

Can I Shower After Getting My Tattoo?

  • Yes, and sometimes it’s easier to clean the tattoo while showering. Just avoid showering for too long, using hot water directly on the tattoo, and soaps with fragrance until the tattoo is healed. However, no baths.

Can I Exercise After Getting My Tattoo?

  • It’s good to take a break for a couple days if possible. If you must work-out try to stick with cardio or physical activity that will avoid exposing the tattoo area to any public surface or equipment. Also be sure to clean the tattoo and apply ointment after sweating.

Can I Take Anything After the Tattoo Session?

  • Tylenol, aspirin, or Advil is fine to take after your session.

Can I Get My Own Derm & How Do I Apply It?

  • Derm comes in various brands (Saniderm, Tatu-Derm or Tegaderm) and can be found online, CVS, or Target. Rolls are more available online and are best for large tattoos. Patches are sold more in stores.
  • When applying the derm, first clean the tattoo and pat it completely dry with paper towels. Do NOT apply ointment or lotion or the derm will not stick and it can clog your pores. Over the dry tattooed area, apply the derm making sure to press out any air bubbles. Derm can be layered to properly cover the tattoo area.

My Tattoo has Small White Pimples & Rash

  • This usually happens if too much moisture has built up over the skin from applying too much ointment and clogging your pores. If this happens it will take longer for the tattoo to heal and the area will feel itchy, painful, or irritated. If this happens, clean the area and do not apply anything. Allow the area to air-dry and peel on it’s own. Once the area is less irritated apply a thin layer of mild lotion.

My Tattoo is Leaking

  • It is normal for the tattoos to lose some fluid for the first 1-2 days because your skin has been traumatized. You can just blot the excess fluid with a clean paper towel. You will see this especially if you’re healing with the derm bandage. It is okay for there to be fluid in the derm bandage. If it starts to leak excessively from the derm, blot and or change the bandage after cleaning the tattoo.

Is My Tattoo Infected?

  • Aside from the normal small amount of fluid usually lost in the first 1-2 days, if the fluid appears thick, pus-like or has a smell, it could be infected. Especially if the tattoo has come in contact with any unsanitized surfaces before the peeling stage, usually within the first 1-3 days.
  • If you suspect an infection, seek out medical attention immediately to avoid more serious complications. If you are able to please also clean the tattoo. Bactine spray is a helpful product to cleanse, relieve pain, and disinfect.

Things to Avoid while Your Tattoo Is Healing

  • Water activities (hot tubs, swimming, submerging your tattoo in water for a long period of time in general, etc), sweat build up, tanning, excessive sun exposure, public/ unclean surfaces or environments, letting the skin get too dry that it scabs, clothing rubbing on your tattoo, pet hair/dander, picking or scratching the tattoo

Studio Rules

- No piercings or cosmetic tattoos (eyebrows, eyeliner, etc)
- I will not tattoo anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- I will not tattoo if pregnant or nursing
- I do not tattoo minors under any circumstances

- For payment at the tattoo appointment: Cash is preferable, although I do accept payments through Venmo, Zelle or Cashapp
- Prices are quoted after I've reviewed & accepted your Tattoo Inquiry
- Deposits are required to book appointments & are non-refundable
- Tattoos start at $120

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23330 Frederick Rd. Clarksburg, MD 20871

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