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Tattoo Aftercare

Taking care of your tattoo is one of, if not the, most important parts of the process. The key is to keep it clean and moisturized.

For the first three days, wash the tattoo with a mild, non-scented soap three to four times a day. If possible, let it air dry for about 10 minutes and re-apply the ointment of your choice. Hustle Butter, Aquaphor, A&D Ointment, or something specifically designed for tattoo care are all typically a good choice. Avoid scented products, even if they say they are "natural" or "organic" (those words don't mean something is automatically good for your tattoos -- manure is natural and organic). If you have something that you know works well with your skin, its probably fine as long as there is no fragrance in it. 

Between washing, keep the tattoo covered with the ointment, but just a small amount. You don’t want to use too much and clog your pores. Ideally, your skin will just have a slight shine.

When applying the ointment, be careful not to scratch the area, as abrasion can pull the ink out of the skin. After approximately three days, the tattoo should begin to peel, a bit like a sunburn. At this point, if you prefer, you can switch to a non-scented lotion.


The entire process  will generally take between seven to ten days. However, it can take up to about two weeks to a month, depending on your skin. 

If you begin to break out in the surrounding area, this is often due to clogged pores from the ointment. This should not affect the tattoo healing (but if you are concerned, do not be afraid to contact us). If this occurs, switching to a lotion can often help.

A tattoo is an open wound, so treat it as one. Avoid anything that breeds bacteria, such as pools, hot tubs, and even placing it on a restaurant table. Harsh chemicals or scents will irritate it and make the area burn. Treat your tattoo well, and you should heal smoothly.


Derm products


Derms are hypo-allergenic, self-adhesive bandages. They allow your skin to breathe, but protect it from the environment. Because of this, it is safe to keep a derm product on for three to five days, but if it is bothering you, remove it and follow the regular aftercare instructions.


When the tattoo feels closed — dry and less sensitive — then you should remove the bandage.


Remove immediately if:

- Excessive water or fluid pools up under the bandage. Some plasma will leak from the tattoo, making it appear blurry. This is completely normal and doesn’t mean your tattoo is bleeding out. 

- The skin feels irritated by the bandage itself. It is uncommon, but some people may be sensitive to Tatu-Derm. The tattoo will be itchy and the bandage may be an annoyance, but if you see a rash forming under the bandage or it feels painful, remove the bandage.

- The tattoo becomes exposed to the air. If the seal is compromised, remove bandage immediately.


Remove Tatu-Derm carefully. Peel the Tatu-Derm back gently from the edge. Warm, soapy water will help break down the adhesive. It may be helpful to pull the bandage straight out to stretch and release the adhesive. After removal, clean the adhesive off the area gently but thoroughly. The tattoo should be mostly healed, but some areas may still be in the initial stages. Pick up with normal aftercare where you are in the healing process.

Day 1-3

Wash with unscented soap 3-4x a day. Air dry. Apply ointment.

Day 4+

Tattoo may start to peel. You can switch to unscented lotion, if preferred.


Your tattoo should be nice & healed. 


Always use sunscreen to protect your tattoo!


Want to learn more about taking care of your tattoo?

We've got more information about tattoos than any reasonable human could ever want on our blog. Give it a peep.

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