Tattoo Aftercare Guide
LEVEL UP Congratulations! You have successfully gained an awesome level by completing a tattoo session! Go you! To help you on your next adventure we’ve put together a guide which lets you know how to look after your brand new tattoo. Aftercare If this is your first tattoo or even if you are a seasoned pro we recommend having a read over these aftercare instructions. Keep in mind that caring for your tattoo as it heals is JUST as important having the tattoo done. We guarantee all our tattoos and offer one free touch up ONLY if these aftercare instructions are followed (we’ll be able to tell if you don’t). As the world is ever evolving so is the way we tattoo and the way we care for our tattoos so in this entry we will go over the 2 options that Shop 9 & 3/4 provide and recommend
TRADITIONAL AFTERCARE (option 1) Wrapping Your Tattoo
Before leaving the studio your tattoo will be cleaned and covered with cling wrap to protect it from the outside world. A fresh tattoo is an open wound so needs to be protected and kept clean.
Keeping your tattoo wrapped helps to draw out a lot of the blood/ink/plasma that’ll weep out over the next few days. By regularly cleaning off the residue rather than letting it dry, you get less scabbing and an easier healing process.Be careful though as too much fluid build up, left for too long can lead to infection.
We will advise you at the end of your appointment how long we recommend you wrap your tattoo as every tattoo is different and some won't need to be wrapped as long although it is generally for 2-3 days. If you notice an increase in heat or redness after the first night contact us immediately.
1 hour after leaving the studio: When you get home (no more than 2 hours after the tattoo) it’s time to wash and replace the glad wrap as it will be getting pretty gross under there. The easiest way to this is usually in the shower (depending on the size and placement of the tattoo). Remove the original wrap and with clean hands gentle wash the tattoo. It will be a bit sore and stingy but it’s important to get all the blood and lymph off the tattoo and any surrounding areas. You can use a small amount of soap (unscented and plain) and use little circle motions, do not vigorously scrub the tattoo.
Once the tattoo is all clean use a CLEAN towel or unused handy towel to pat it dry. Don’t rub or be rough when drying the tattoo.
After the tattoo is completely dry apply a small amount of aftercare cream to just lightly cover the surface of the tattoo. Then reapply some clean glad wrap to the area. For tricky areas you might need a few pieces of glad wrap or some medical tape to hold this in place. Make sure you have a clean item of clothing to go over the top or and clean sheets on your bed for that night.
Remember to clean the tattoo and change the wrap EVERY 4-5 hours (3/4 times a day) until the tattoo has stopped bleeding/weeping. Leaving glad wrap on overnight is ok as long as you replace this using the steps above when you wake up.
After removing the final wrap, clean your tattoo well and leave it to air out for approximately 24 hours. Once it starts to look a little dry and feel a little tight you’ll need to start applying a small amount of aftercare cream 2-4 times daily. Less is more, too much cream can damage the tattoo so only use enough to cover the area but little enough that the skin can still breathe.
Continue cleaning morning and night, applying a small amount of cream after drying. You’ll notice the skin starts to scab like a graze, or peel like sunburn. Both of these are normal and each tattoo heals a little differently, you’re more likely to get thicker scabs with solid colour than soft grays or lines.
It’s normal for your tattoo to itch while it’s healing, but don’t scratch or pick at it, this can cause scarring and pull out ink so just let the scabs and dry skin fall away naturally. Most will come off when applying cream and cleaning.
SECONDSKIN AFTERCARE (option 2) What is second skin? It is a thin self-adhesive film which is placed directly on to the skin straight after being tattooed. It works as a barrier and creates a moist healing environment for the initial healing stage of your tattoo. Second skin products mean you don’t have to do much. They’re hygienic, breathable and waterproof and keeping it covered during the initial healing process means you have minimal risk of infection. e will not use this product on any client who is allergic to adhesives and it is not the right choice for all tattoos but it is a great and revolutionary way of healing your tattoos. Feel free to ask the artist if you would like more information on this.
Before leaving the studio your tattoo will be cleaned and covered with a second skin, this protects it from the elements for around a week. It is an open wound so this helps keep it protected and clean.
After 24 hours you’ll need to remove the first bandage. You’ll notice a lot of fluid build up under this but that’s normal and why you change the first one. Remove it slowly in the shower using warm soapy water, pulling gently at the corners until it comes off. Wash your tattoo firmly with your hand (not a cloth) and an unscented liquid soap. Dab dry and reapply a fresh layer with clean hands.
After 4-7 days remove the second bandage. Some areas will hold better than others due to sweating and movement but the longer you can keep it on the easier it’ll be. Once the second layer is removed your tattoo will peel over the next day or two, so apply a small layer of cream as needed and wash morning and night until it’s done peeling.
Tips: Use multiple small pieces to minimize air bubbles, overlapping each piece by approximately 1cm. Leave approximately 1 inch around the tattoo to allow the bandage peeling around the edges.
General Precautions for ALL Tattoos
All of the following will damage your tattoo while healing, be sure to minimize or avoid them as much as possible.These activities are fine once the tattoo is healed
Direct sunlight – will cause the tattoo to fade, especially in the first few weeks.
Swimming and soaking – baths, spas, swimming pools and the ocean will cause damage.
Tight clothing – rubbing against clothing can cause scabs to come off early.
Exercise – contact sport or stretching/work outs can remove or split scabs causing damage.
Touching – Avoid touching unless cleaning/applying cream, hands carry a lot of bacteria.
Picking/scratching – can pull off scabs early, causing damage.
Dirty items – Wash your sheets, towels and clothes and avoid jewelry, pets, children etc.
Shaving/waxing – will cut or pull at scabs causing damage.
Excessive cream – your tattoo needs to breathe to heal, don’t overdo it.
Infections – if you notice increased redness, heat or discolouration contact us immediately.
Other products – Only apply soap/aftercare while healing. No moisturisers, fake tan etc.
Long Term Care
Once the top layers have peeled and healed the hard part is done. The skin may look a little milky and dry or stay itchy for a few weeks or months as the deeper layers continue to heal. Now that the tattoo is a part of your body you will need to take just as much care of it as you would the rest of you. One of the most important things is keeping your tattoo out of direct sunlight and ALWAYS use a high SPF sunblock when staying out of the sun isn’t an option. You tattoo will age and grow just like the rest of your body so keep this in mind for any drastic weight gain/loss as the tattoo can only stretch/shrink with your body so much before the lines become distorted.
Most importantly if you have any questions about your tattoo or are unsure on any of the instruction please get in contact with us as we are more than happy to help.
Good luck adventurer! Shop 9 & 3/4