1. Leave the bandage your artist puts on overnight. Carefully remove bandage in the morning and discard. (your tattoo will not need to be re-bandaged again during the healing process.)
2. With clean hands gently wash new tattoo with cool water and gentle antibacterial soap in a circular motion, until ointment, blood, and lymphatic fluid is removed. Excess ink may come to the surface and easily rinse off as well, this is normal for a fresh tattoo. We recommend Dial Gold Original or tattoo specific Antibacterial/Antimicrobial soap. Rinse, ensuring no soap residue remains. Repeat this step 2x a day for atleast 10 days.
3. Lightly pat tattoo dry with either a clean towel or a new paper towel. Let tattoo air dry for 30-60 minutes and apply a very thin layer of approved ointment. Ointments should be light and non-scented with as little petroleum content as possible.
Our recommendations are: Devils Club Ointment, Hustle Butter, Aquaphor or Lubriderm.
For larger tattoos we recommend using an ointment based lotion (like Aquaphor) for 3-4 days then switching to a gentle non-scented cream based lotion (like Lubriderm) for the remainder of the aftercare. *Devils Club Ointment does not contain any petroleum and is suitable for all stages of the tattoo healing process.
After 2-5 days your tattoo will begin to peel like a sunburn, this is your skin replacing its damaged top layer and is completely normal. Do not pick or scratch these & let them slough off naturally. Picking may cause scarring, ink pullout 'bald spots' and/or complicate your healing process.
Your tattoo may itch while healing, do not scratch it, instead try soothing by washing with cool water & antibacterial soap, or gently patting the area.
4. Re-apply ointment when tattoo starts to feel dry from last application. About 6x a day for at least 14 days, or until all scabs are healed and pealing is completely done. After this step we highly recommend applying a light cream based lotion or Devil's Club 1-2 times a day as needed to further heal any irritation & help expedite your skin returning to its natural texture.
Think of your new tattoo as an open wound, the better you take care of the healing process, the better it will ultimately heal/look.
Do not touch your new tattoo or let other people! Keep all hands and paws off of your fresh tattoo, except for your own briefly when washing with clean hands. You don't want whatever's under Fido's fingernails in your new piece. Help prevent unnecessary germs from coming into contact with your healing tattoo by wearing a loose, breathable fabric to provide a protective barrier from the outside world. If any incidences do occur immediately wash tattoo with antibacterial soap & apply ointment.
Do not soak tattoo in water for 3 weeks, or until ALL scabbing/peeling is done. This includes hot tubs, saunas, baths, pools, natural saltwater/freshwater & dishes.
"Less Is More."Your tattoo needs to breathe to heal, a common aftercare mistake is applying ointment too frequently or too thickly. Ointment should be applied in a VERY thin layer when tattoo starts to feel dry from last application, this is to moisturize & ensure any skin/scabs do not crack or split while healing. Instinct for some when experiencing complications is to apply more ointment, but this is not the case, if your tattoo seems abnormally wet or 'bubbly' or your scabs are slightly tender & look sunken, this usually means you are applying much too heavily and your tattoo is not getting the necessary oxygen it needs to heal. If this is the case we recommend giving your skin a break from any ointment and letting your tattoo have several days (2-3) to rest and "dry out" before continuing with aftercare.(continue to wash with antibacterial soap during this time)
Do not expose tattoo to sunlight or artificial sunlight for at least 30 days, and there after apply sunscreen when doing such activities to keep color fading from UV exposure & skin damage minimal. Do not apply any bronzing lotions or sunless tanner into tattoo for at least 3o days! Pigments in these lotions can leech into & permanently tint fresh tattoo ink.
Wear clean, loose clothing over healing tattoo until all scabbing/peeling is done, (about 2-3 weeks) making sure no part of your garment repetitively rubs/constricts your new tattoo, potentially causing further skin damage/irritation and prolonging heal time.
Do not overly stress the skin while your tattoo is fresh, while the ink is settling, over stretching the skin can lead to ink migration or cause scarring and prolong healing time. (I.e. Don't play tennis with that fresh wrist tattoo, or have ab day with a new side piece.) Approx. 10-12 days or until all scabbing is healed.
For tattoos below the knee we recommend resting/elevating as much as possible for the first 2-5 days. Calf skin already is naturally taut, & taking Ibprophen can be helpful to soothe 'tightness' or irritation caused by swelling.
If you believe you are experiencing an infection, please immediately contact a physician or medical professional.
These are common aftercare tips & troubleshooting, however if you have ANY questions about your healing, please contact us at (907)220-1914. Our staff are more than happy to help with any concerns you might have.
-Touchup Policies -
Even if you're a saint when it comes to healing, everyones skin takes ink differently. For this reason we guarantee the quality of our work with a free touchup if needed after 30 days of your initial heal time.
Your touchup is valid for one year from your tattoo date, and must be with the original tattooist that completed your piece.
Tattoos that do not include free touchups are hand/finger or foot/ankle & elbow/knee tattoos. These placements are advised against by our artists because the skin in these areas will not hold ink well. Touchups in these places are charged by your artists regular hourly rate. (Please see FAQ page #5 for more info.)
Upon completion of your tattoo during the initial appointment your artist will have you thoroughly inspect your new piece to make sure you are happy with it. Touchups are for any inconsistencies in the healing of the artwork, I.e. a line that fell out, or a scab that pulled out the ink with it creating what's known as a 'holiday'. Free touchups are not for making modifications to your tattoo.
We are happy to book your touchup at the same time as making any modifications to your tattoo. The time that is spent reworking the existing tattoo is charged while the time spent for any touchup corrections is not.
You can call, stop by or email us to book an appointment for your touchup. Deposits are not taken for free touchups, however if you fail to show up for any reason, or reschedule more than once the future touchup will require a $50 deposit/touchup fee.