Tattoo Aftercare

Your new tattoo will have a light coating of petroleum jelly on it, and may be temporarily bandaged to keep it from bleeding or oozing onto you, your clothes, your car, or people. The bandage will keep it clean until removed. The bandage should be discarded in an appropriate container. Do not re-bandage. Once the bandage is removed it is good to clean the tattoo with soap and water. For a large tattoo it is good to apply ice to reduce swelling. Some swelling or redness, and mild pain can occur during the first few days, and is normal. Some bruising may occur under the inside of the arm or on the ribs when a large tattoo is placed there. Several days of oozing is common, and some color coming out during the oozing process is not a problem- other than that the color may stain your clothes, sheets or blankets.

Wash the tattoo with warm soap and water several times each day. Ointment is not necessary. Many people find ointment to be soothing and prefer to have the tattoo heal in a softer way, instead of with a hard scab. Ointments can cause problems in the healing of the tattoo. We strongly recommend that you DO NOT USE any ointments which have petrolatum in them, such as A&D Ointment, Neosporin, Vasoline, or Triple Antibiotic ointment, as they can cause serious allergic reactions in the form of red bumps all over and around the tattoo. Reactions like this will cause you to suffer. If you use an ointment and it causes a red bump reaction please stop using it and just wash it with soap and water.

There are many products that are reasonably safe to use and may provide comfort, but you will need to check the ingredients, as many preparations have ingredients that you could be allergic to. It is best not to use lotions or creams with scented fragrances or alcohol in them, as they will sting. If you are not sure, it is best to just wash it daily and let it heal without complicating the healing process. The Only aftercare product we sell or recommend is called Ink Fixx. It contains Shea Butter, Coconut oil, Vitamin A, and Olive oil.

You can go swimming in a pool or in the ocean. Swimming or bathing does not hurt the tattoo. Sunburn or contaminated water or super-bleached water ( like in a public hot tub) during the first week may hurt the tattoo and cause a difficult heal, or cause it to lose color. Tanning is not good on the site of the tattoo during the initial healing phase, which may last 2-3 weeks. We recommend suntan lotion over brightly colored tattoos to protect their color. Going to the gym is OK, but protect your tattoo from the germs on the gym equipment. Areas on the body which can be challenging to heal are: the upper part of the inner forearm where the Biceps meets the forearm ( when the arm is bent), the crease where the limbs bend, or where clothes such as a bra strap, or a uniform, can irritate. Tattoos in these areas should be protected from too much bending during the healing process. Tattoos on the feet, hands, fingers, or elbows typically do not stay as crisp or colorful as on other parts of the body, and some color loss should be expected over time.

Excessive swelling, redness, or pain is abnormal. Antibiotics and antibiotic ointments are used to treat an active infection. Tattoos that become infected are very rare, but do happen occasionally. Infections are not from our needles, but from bacteria in the environment after your tattoo is applied. NJ law requires us to describe the signs and symptoms of an infection; therefore: the signs or symptoms of an infection may include excessive soreness, abnormal swelling, redness, and heat, accompanied by pus and a foul smelling odor coming from the wound. A red line under the skin that appears to be traveling from the tattoo needs immediate medical treatment. If you think you are having a problem, please call us or come in and show us, or email us at . If it is a serious problem, or if you think you need to see a doctor, then we recommend you see a doctor. If you do not know where to go to see a doctor, we will help make arrangements for you to see a doctor who can help you ….at your own expense.
Take care of your new tattoo, don’t drink and drive, and be nice to dogs!