Tattoos by Carmie - Tattoo Portfolio

Tattoo Aftercare

Every time you ask a different tattoo artist the "best" way to heal a tattoo you will probably get a different answer.  Please follow your artists instructions!  Once you leave the shop it is your responsibility to properly care for your tattoo.  We can only give you the instructions, it is up to you to follow them.

  • Before you leave the shop your new tattoo is bandaged; leave the bandage on at least 1 hour no longer than over night if totally necessary.  If the bandage sticks to the tattoo soak with water prior to removing it, do not just pull it off if it is stuck to your tattoo!  Do not re-bandage the tattoo once you remove it, the tattoo needs to breath. 
  • As soon as you remove the bandage, gently wash the tattoo with your fingertips and antibacterial soap or mild fragrance-free soap of your choice. Gently massage the tattoo with soapy water for about 2-3 minutes.  Gently rinse all of the soap from the tattoo and pat dry with a clean towel. 
  • After patting the tattoo dry,  let it  air dry for about  about 15 - 20 minutes before applying ointment. 
  • When applying ointment, do so with clean hands!  Gently rub a small amount of ointment "into"  the tattoo, don't leave the surface of the tattoo all slimy 'rub it in' and pat off excess with paper towel if needed, the tattoo does need to breath. 
  • Repeat this washing and moisturizing routine 2 - 3 times a day the first few days, and once per day after that until healed, keeping the tattoo moisturized during the entire healing process. 
  • Quick washes only (2-3 minutes), do not soak or submerge for long periods. 
  • On about day 3 your tattoo may start to lightly scab and look dry, this is normal.  Do not pick or scratch, you can smack it if it itches. 
  • If using Aquaphor, I normally suggest using it for the first few days then switching to an unscented, lanolin free lotion. 
  • When applying ointment and/or lotion, don't smother the tattoo, gently rub it "into" the skin making sure it is all absorbed!
  • If you ever have questions don't hesitate to call!  If anything you use on your tattoo causes  burning, itching, raised skin, red bumps or pimples, stop using it immediately and contact your artist so they can recommend something else. 


Aquaphor,  Palmers Cocoa Butter, fragrance free Aveeno, Curel, Lubriderm, Cetaphil, or any unscented, water base, lanolin free lotion.  I recommend Aquaphor or Palmers Cocoa Butter for the first 3-4 days then switch to unscented white lotion. 


"DO NOT" do any of the following while healing: Pick or scratch at your tattoo, scrub it, tan, expose to the sun, go to the gym (staph is everywhere), hot tub, sauna, swimming, baths, apply ointment or touch the tattoo without first washing your hands, shave over the tattoo, share ointment or lotion with a friend or use previously opened products, hold pets if they will be on your tattoo, wear clothes that are tight over/rub the tattoo such as bra straps, tight waistbands, shoes, etc.

Every tattoo and every person heal differently, this is normal.  There are so many different things that can affect the healing process....a few you follow the aftercare instructions, excessively touching your tattoo with unwashed hands, your skin type, the area of the body you have the tattoo, letting pets rub against,  different artists methods, climates, reactions to ointments or lotions, etc..If you are ever concerned or have a question, call right away.  Please see the list (above) Things "NOT TO DO" while healing your tattoo.

Tattoos often seep during the first couple days, mainly plasma and small amounts of ink, so it is recommended you wear clothing you do not cherish for the first couple days after getting a tattoo.  Always wear clean clothes and sleep on clean bedding while healing (Don't use your favorite sheets the first day or so or you may spot them with ink)  Tattoos can cause swelling, especially on the extremities; if this happens elevate the area for the first few days.  If you are able to use Ibuprofen it will help, ice packs for about 10-15 minutes can also relieve swelling.  If you are ever unsure about the way your tattoo is healing, call or stop by the shop. 

Tattoos by Carmie

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