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Tattoo After Care Instructions!

Everything on this page was Written by Kris Howes, from over 12 years Tattooing Experience & Knowledge. 
These are
MY Aftercare Instructions, MY Opinions, and MY way of helping you heal your Tattoos.

~ Every Tattoo Artist will recomend different Healing Instructions for their Tattoos.  Truth is, every Artist knows how their Tattoo Style will Heal in Skin.  Different Artists use Different Needle Types, different methods, different machines, different  Inks, Ointments, Etc.  Best thing to do, is a combination of what the Artist Recomends for that particular Tattoo, and trying out methods/ointments on your own.  The more you get Tattooed, the more you'll know how to heal it. 

~ Some Tattoos just have problems healing, especially in certain areas.  Here at INK! we offer 1 Free touch-up to our Tattoos, as needed,  but only if we know the Tattoo just didn't heal right, slightly faded, or holidays, we will touch it up to perfection.  We will be able to tell if the Tattoo did not heal because of improper aftercare. 

InkMaine's After Care Tattoo Instructions


At INK! we Recomend A&D Ointment & Udderly Smooth Lotion.  Or AquaPhor.
~Keep Your Tattoo Clean ~ Warm Water & Pat Dry with Fresh Clean Towel
~Do Not keep it Covered for long periods of time.
  ~Keep Ointment on for First 3 Days, Every 4 to 5 hours; Clean, Apply Very Thin Coats & Wash before Recoating
~Switch to White Unscented Lotion After 3/4 Day, After Peeling begins, Apply 8 to 10 Times a Day.
~Showering Daily & Cleaning them before re-applying ointment is the best care for new Tattoos!

What To Expect During Your Tattoo…
*Pre Tattoo    -You will have fill out a Form asking personal information, Provide ID, Medical History, etc
        -The work station, tables, chairs, etc. will be clean & sterilized before you enter the work area.  
        -The Artist will wait for the client to be present before opening sterile packages.
        -Your skin will be properly cleaned, then an image or transfer of your design will be placed on your skin.
*During Tattoo   -You will feel a slight discomfort, called…Pain!
         *The first line in usually the worst, especially for first timers.
         *Try to keep your mind & body relaxed, keep your breathing steady & slow!
         -Speak Up!  If your feeling nauseated, light headed, a cramped muscle, cough, or a sneeze, etc
*After      -After your Tattoo is finished, your Artist will thoroughly clean your skin, then apply
    vitamins/ointments and cover your fresh tattoo with plastic/gauze to avoid infection.
        -Your new Tattoo is an open wound!  Treat it as one!

Taking Care Of Your Tattoo…              

*Directly after leaving the Tattoo Shop…
        -Leave your Tattoo covered for an hour or two. It’s covered for a reason!  But do not leave it covered!!
   Cover will allow your skin to finish bleeding out, and let the new open pores close up, to avoid infections & contamination.
CLEANING YOUR TATTOO    *WASH YOUR HANDS, Always wash properly before touching your new tattoo!
        -Wet your Tattoo with warm water, use antibacterial soap & water and delicately rub/wash the whole tattoo.  
            -Don’t scrub it, or rub to hard. If you peel off a scabbed area, you could damage the ink underneath.
        -Rinse off completely, and lightly pat dry with a fresh clean towel.
        -After washing/drying, apply a thin coat of ointment to whole Tattoo (Recomend A&D, AD&E, or Generic Neosporin)
        *DO NOT LET IT GET DRIED OUT, Keep it lubed!
*1st Day/Night    -Keep it clean, but leave it alone!!! Don’t clean it to much, don’t touch it more than needed.    
        -Wash it 3 to 5 times a day, whenever it feels necessary. When it’s tight, irritated, dry or flaking off skin.
        -Wash it in the shower daily!! Be gentle, avoid direct hard water pressure, and pat dry.
        -Covering your tattoo the first night is optional, recommended for bigger or full color pieces.
            -Coat with thin layer of ointment, cover with plastic wrap. Do not use Gauze or anything that will bond with the Tattoo.  Do only at night or while needed, It will give a layer between the Ink and blankets, and reduces friction & drying out the tattoo.  No not leave covered for excessive amounts of time which will allow sweating, chaffing, heat, & bacteria growth.
*First 3 to 4 Days    -Use the recommended ointment as instructed above on your new Tattoo for the first 3 or 4 days.
        -Wash it, Pat Dry, Lube, and Leave it.  If it itches, use a light finger or give it a few pats or light slaps.  Gentle!
*For The Next Week    -After 3 to 4 days,  your top layer of skin should be flaking off similiar to a sun burn.
        -This is completely normal.  Wash it, Lube it with White UNscented Lotion instead of Ointment, Leave it!
        -Important!!!  Switch to a casual fragrant free lotion, Don’t use vitamins/ointments anymore.
        -You’ll now need to lube your Tattoo more times periodically throughout the day, every few hours.
        -WASH YOUR HANDS, and apply the lotion whenever it feels tight, dry, or itchy.
        -Don’t use the old fashioned spit it in the hand to lube it up, use some damn lotion!

*IF Your  Having Problems With Your Tattoo…        
        -If Your Tattoo is healing improperly, hurts, or scabbed really bad, it was probably from complications with aftercare.  It could be a number of things from just minor irritation, acne/pimples, allergic reactions, or a number of possibilities.  Consult your Tattoo Artist with any questions, and he will provide you with information on how to correct your problems.  If need be, the proper forms to resolve the situation.  Most complications can be healed properly, and touched up to perfection once again. 

Frequently Asked Questions We've Had About Tattoos!

Does a tattoo hurt? Yes…
How long will it take to heal? Heals to the Touch usually under 10 to 14 days and you should be good to treat your tattoo as normal skin.  The Skin actually takes several months to heal completly.  Use lotion often to help aid the skin healing.
If my dog licks my tattoo, will it heal faster? No! Besides that, Your dog licks everything. Don’t let it get near your ink!!!
Can I Go in the Sun With my new Tattoo? No! avoid all direct sunlight on fresh Ink.  Try to keep it in the shade.  Clear Ointments and things like Plastic Wrap will intensify the suns rays and burn your skin easy.  Be Careful. 
Can I get my tattoo wet? Yes, despite the old day rumors, water isn’t bad for a tattoo. Wash it 3 to 4 times a day. Shower
Can I swim with a fresh tattoo? You shouldn’t,  But if you do, try to wait until after the scabbing/flaking period. After the 3 or 4 day mark. Swimming in fresh clean running water only, for a short time isn’t too bad. Avoid chlorine & pools and the salty ocean.
Is Bruising or Swelling Bad? Some people just have semsitive skin, So bruising may occur around or outside the Tattoo Area, but it shouldn't be that bad and should go away fast.  Swelling, Most Tattoo's swell up during the application and can remain or re-swell for the next few days.  It's pretty normal, keep it clean, let it run under cold water, soak in ice water if painful. 
What can I do when I get a pimple or pimples in or around my tattoo? Could be from many things…shaving, reaction to gloves/ointments/soaps/etc.  Chances are if it’s a few to a bunch of little tiny pimples, it’s from shaving and will heal up soon. If it’s a couple bigger pimples, white heads, it’s probably a reaction from you putting on ointment too thick, or an allergic reaction to the ointment. Keep it cleaner, use very small amount of lube and rub it in good, don’t cover it!
What should I do if I think my tattoo is infected? Honestly, most times people think a Tattoo is infected, its really just irritaed.  If it’s infected, it’s probably from bad aftercare, or contact with something that caused an infection.  Most cases, it's not from the Tattooist. But you should call them and seek advice. Usually it can be cleared up in a short time, and touched up to perfection.  If you think it's infected, contact the Tattoo Artist personally.  He will then give you instructions on how or what to do, or get the proper medical forms to treat the Infection.
Will the colors in my new Tattoo Bleed Together?  With the advancements in Ink & Needles in the past few years, your Tattoo should stay close to what it originally looked like after healing.  Granted, future aging and skin growth over the Tattoo will make it fade slightly, the Tattoo, if Done & Taken Care of Properly, should last a lifetime of happiness.

Here Are Some Direct Questions mailed in to InkMaine.com  If you have questions, fill out the form below!

Michael Crippen Asked:I work in a machine shop, where dust and metal it's everywhere. Mostly my arms get dirty. I have two new tattoos on my inner arm (forarm, inner bicep). Should I just wear sleeves or should I wrap it in Saran Wrap and just let it breath during breaks and reapply ointment??
Kris Howes Answers: I
f the tattoos aren't to big, I would cover them with seran wrap. Not to large of a piece, it could make you sweat.  Don't use to much ointment under it. Clean and change it often.  Only cover for a day or 2.  (Sometimes it is better to cover a Tattoo to keep out harmful debris.  But remember, to much coverage can damage a tattoo as well)

Hezzah Hansin Asked:  I am afraid my tattoo may have healed 'tight'. I applied lotion to it fairly regularly but I feel like it may not have been regular enough in retrospect. I have other tattoos and none of them healed the same way. Is there a way I can remedy this?
Kris Howes Answers: Sometimes the tightness goes away after a while. Skin after being tattooed actually take a couple months to heal 100%.  So if your tattoo is still a little fresh, just keep using lotion often & give it some healing time.

Tonya Asked: There is an area on my tattoo that is not done correctly. My artist is a great guy and will fix it. My question is, I tipped him 60.00 for the original, so do I tip him again when he touches it up? This is not my first go around with tattoos, but I've never had to get one "fixed" before :-) Thanks so much!
Howes Answers: 
Every artist charges differently, the very seldom times I have to touch up a piece, I never charge cash and don't expect a tip.  Sometimes people throw me anywhere from $5 to $20.  The Artist must still use a lot of supplies to do a touch up, so something is better than nothing and I'm sure he'd appreciate it.

Amit Ludhwani Asked: i want to make my new tattoo more darker for life time, what can i use to make darker or suggest any way to make it dark , i am Indian guy my skin colour is Wheat brown. I am waiting for your valuable feedback
Howes Answers: 
Hi Amit, as of right now, I do not know of any method or topical cream that would Darken a Tattoo. The only way I know how to darken it would be to have it tattooed over again using a pure & uncut black pigment.  Better quality ink always holds up darker for a lifetime.  Hope this helps?
Amit: Thanks for your email and suggestion.Also i want to ask you how can i measure the quality of ink and i want it should look black ?

Kris: There's no way to 'measure' it. But some Artists use water or products to cut the black to its unpure.  Make sure the Artist uses it straight from the bottle to skin with no alterations.  Good brand are millenium, dynamic black, or Fusion

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