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There are many different ways to heal a tattoo in my experience these  are the ways that work for most people 

Standard Aftercare


  • Remove the bandage after 2 hours. The purpose of the bandage is two-fold: The first is to prevent the blood from getting all over your clothes. The second is to create a barrier between the fresh tattoo, which should be considered an open wound, and any bacteria within the vicinity of the tattoo. Ideally, a tattoo should be allowed to get plenty of fresh air, as it helps the clotting process.

  • Wash gently with warm water, using an unscented antibacterial soap (I prefer Dial Gold): When removing the bandage the tattoo area should be cleaned with cool to lukewarm water and a mild antibacterial soap. Any dried blood should be carefully washed off (do not scrub) and pat dry with a clean paper towel. (DO NOT RUB!). Do not use your bath towels or wash cloths as they contain bacteria. For the most part, you will not need to re-bandage after this point.


  • Apply a very thin coat of ointment 2-3 times a day: The type of ointment recommended for use on a fresh tattoo varies from shop to shop or even from artist to artist. I recommend Griffin tattoo aftercare

  • Don’t over saturate the skin with ointment. It is not needed and does more damage than good. A thin, conservative coat is all it needs.

  • Avoid the gym or excessive sweating for 2-3 days.

  • You may shower normally. DO NOT use any scented soaps, acne washes, or exfoliants.


  • Continue applying ointment if using Griffins or you can switch to using a moisturizer.

  • I recommend using a non-scented moisturizer and to apply a thin layer 2-3 times a day on your tattoo for 3 weeks or more.
    Recommended: Cetaphil, CeraVe, Lubriderm or Aveeno brand lotions

  • Avoid submerging the tattoo in water, the sea and swimming pool until healed (at least 21 days): A quick shower won’t do it, but a soak in a bathtub will.

  • Avoid the sun or tanning until healed (at least 28 days):

  • Refrain from picking at scabs: Your tattoo will start to scab around day 3. Flaking and peeling is normal. DO NOT PICK AT OR ITCH YOUR HEALING TATTOO.

    Scabs will fall off as the tattoo heals, usually in one to three weeks. As a tattoo heals it may become itchy and you might get an uncontrollable urge to scratch at it to alleviate the discomfort. DON’T. A scab is your body’s natural way of healing itself. However it may look, a scab is still attached to the underlying skin. By picking or scratching at it there is the potential of it tearing away from your skin pulling skin tissue and the underlying ink along with it. If itching does occur it is usually a good indication that the skin is dry. Applying a thin coat of ointment will help alleviate the discomfort. When washing the scabbing/flaking tattoo, never use anything other than your hand to clean it. This includes washcloths, sponges and paper or cloth towels. Use warm water and a mild anti-bacterial soap. If there are any loose flakes you can remove them using a gentle brushing action with your finger tips. Avoid the temptation to ‘help’ the flaking along by brushing roughly.

  • Use ice packs if swelling or redness occurs. Your tattoo will be swollen and feel hot to the touch for 24-48 hours — this is normal. You may also experience swelling of the tattooed area for about 3 days. Call a doctor if you experience signs of infection (signs of infection include redness, excessive swelling and discharge from the tattoo)

  • Your tattoo should heal within 4 weeks: Different people have different physiology. With this in mind you should understand that you may heal quicker or slower. Some tattoos require a lot more work to be done to the skin. The more damage your skin receives, the longer it may need to heal.

  • AVOID excessive sun or tanning for AT LEAST 14 days.



  • Moisturize as needed.

  • Enjoy your new tattoo

  • Use sunblock (30 SPF or higher) to avoid tattoo fading over time.

  • Limit unnecessary prolonged sun exposure as it causes tattoos to fade over time. The easiest way to help prolong the colors in your tattoo is to keep it out of the sun. Use sun block! There are many products on the market today that have SPF ratings strong enough to keep those harmful UV rays from dulling your tattoo. Select an SPF of 30 or higher and apply it to your tattoo when you go out into the sun. Re-apply every 60-90 minutes as directed on the sun block container. If you don’t use sunblock for your entire body, make sure you carefully cover only the tattoo.

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