Tattoo Aftercare: Know The Basics

tattoo aftercareTattoo aftercare is probably the most important step in getting a tattoo. Going to a tattoo parlor without proper knowledge of tattoo aftercare is like going to war without any bullets. Preparedness is the key to a successful tattoo.

Every tattoo parlor have their own tattoo aftercare instructions. Unfortunately, tattoo aftercare isn’t standardized in the tattoo world, so it is not surprising to find a lot of first time tattoo goers that are confused about tattoo aftercare. Below are general instructions on how to take care of a fresh tattoo.

Prepare Before Going to The Tattoo Parlor

Buy all the stuff needed before getting a tattoo like:  cotton towels or lint free paper towels, antibacterial soap (liquid preferred) and your favorite tattoo aftercare lotion. It is important to go straight home after stepping out of the tattoo parlor to prevent your fresh tattoo from getting contaminated. Skipping one trip to the grocery store is one good way to do this.

Go For Cotton Bandage

After the tattoo session, your artist will ask you if you want to wrap up your tattoo and he will probably give you an option if you would prefer a cotton bandage or plastic wrap, always go for the cotton bandage. These bandages are great in wound healing because they absorb any excess ink and body fluids. It also allows the wound to breathe.

Wash Your Fresh Tattoo

Upon reaching home, remove the bandage. If the bandage somehow sticks to the tattoo, you can moisten the sticky part until you can gently pull the bandage out. Now wash of any excess ink and body fluids using the antibacterial soap. Expect to find clear amber coloured body fluids from time to time, this is called plasma and is a normal part of wound healing. When plasma dries up it turns into a thick hard scab. We don’t want this tattoo healing, so this plasma should be washed off from time to time. After washing pat dry, never rub your fresh tattoo. Do not re-bandage

Apply Tattoo Aftercare Lotion

After drying your fresh tattoo, apply a thin film of your favorite tattoo aftercare lotion. You will find that a lot of tattoo parlors still use nappy/diaper rash lotions for tattoo aftercare. In the past, tattoo artist don’t have any choice but to use these lotions but today there are products specifically made to aid in tattoo healing.


Repeat the process above. For the first few days, wash more often because we don’t want the plasma drying up. If no more oozing plasma, then you can wash less often. Expect your tattoo to form a thin scab, keep the scab moist using the tattoo aftercare lotion. After two to three weeks the scab will fall off. Congratulations you got yourself a new tattoo.