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Whether your tattoo is small or takes up your entire back, you should make sure it fully heals. Rules vary by state or country about who can get tattoos, but your tattoo artist should always send you home with a clean tattoo.

At the federal level, the U.S. FDA has recommendations to help manufacturers and distributors prevent contamination of tattoo ink. Tattoo inks that contain germs or other harmful substances could cause infection.  So, how can you make sure that new tattoo is something you don’t end up regretting? Follow these steps while your new tattoo heals.

  • If you have Second Skin on: Keep it on for 4 - 7 days then follow the instructions below. If you have any reactions to the Second Skin please contact the artist or shop with any questions or concerns.

Always wash your hands before touching your tattoo!

  • When you get home, remove the bandage within 1 - 2 hours after getting your tattoo. DO NOT re-bandage. Your tattoo needs to breathe, just like any open wound.

  • Wash your tattoo with an anti-bacterial liquid soap. Be gentle, DO NOT use a washcloth or anything that will exfoliate your tattoo. Only use your hands.

  • The first 3-4 days, rub a small amount of ointment on your tattoo. You may use Vitalitree, Tattoo Lovers Care Salve, A&D, or an unscented lotion (with no alcohol in the lotion) – whatever you know you’re not allergic to. Always use clean hands and do not place your fingers back into the ointment after touching your tattoo.

  • Rub the ointment in so that it is not shiny, or greasy– you want the thinnest amount possible. Pat off any excess ointment with a clean paper towel. DO NOT use Vaseline, petroleum, Neosporin, or Bag Balm. Wash, dry and apply ointment 3-5 times daily, as needed. You want to do this for up to 10 days. 

You should repeat this process for 2-4 week. More tips for tattoo aftercare includes:

  • After 10 days, you can use Tattoo Lovers Care Cream to help the healing process even further.

  • If your tattoo scabs a bit or develops hard layers, don’t worry, it’s normal. But never pick, scratch, or peel your tattoo. You could get an infection or remove the color. If you think your tattoo is infected or isn’t healing properly, see your doctor.

  • Avoid swimming and the sun for about 2 weeks. You want to keep your tattoo dry and out of direct sun to give it the best chance to heal properly.

  • Avoid wearing tight clothing. Clothes that stick to your tattoo can be uncomfortable and delay the healing process.

  • Take cool showers. Scalding hot water will not only hurt, but it can also fade the ink.

  • Use sunscreen and moisturizer often. When you leave the tattoo shop, your ink will be bright and shiny. But remember, all tattoos fade over time. Always apply sunscreen on your tattoo, especially in the summer, to keep the colors bright. Choose a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher for best protection. Moisturize your tattoo daily, especially if it’s on an area of your body, such as your hands, where it can fade quickly.

If you have any questions about your tattoos healing process please contact your tattoo artist or you can call the shop directly at 281-339-7402.


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