Tattoo After Care

Caring for your new tattoo


  • Leave the tattoo bandaged for a minimum of 3 but no longer than 12 hours.
  • Remove bandage under warm running water. If bandage is stuck to the tattoo, gently remove it while under running water, therefore reducing the risk of damaging the tattoo.
  • Once bandage is removed, using unscented soap (baby soap is good), wash the tattoo off well with your hand and warm soapy water.
  • When done washing the tattoo, gently pat it dry with a clean towel and allow the tattoo to air dry for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Apply Bepanthen or coconut oil to the tattoo in a very thin layer 4-6 times a day.
  • Somewhere between 3 and 8 days, the tattoo will start to flake off like tissue paper.
  • pick at it or scratch. If you are continuing to travel through SE Asia after your tattoo, it may take longer, due to the humidity here. Let the skin peel naturally. You will notice small pieces of dry skin containing color coming off while using the lotion or washing the tattoo, this is normal. It is just the top layer of dead skin coming off. Your tattoo is not disappearing.
  • Be aware that if you will fly long distance soon after your tattoo, the air in the plane will dry your tattoo, so please be mindful of this and take your oil or cream with you in your carry-on.

Do Not:

  • Re-bandage the tattoo once the bandage is completely removed.
  • Allow direct sunlight on tattoo for the first 2-3 weeks (and thereafter sunblock will keep your tattoo looking newer, longer).
  • Swim, take a bath (showers are good), or enter a hot tub or sauna for 2 weeks or until the tattoo is completely peeled.
  • Shave or wax the area until the tattoo is completely healed.
  • Apply alcohol, Vaseline (petroleum jelly) or sun block to fresh tattoo.
  • Put too much faith in your friends’ advice: If you have questions, call, write or visit the artist that did your tattoo!

Some Extra Stuff:

  • Once you leave the shop, proper care of your tattoo is your responsibility.
  • Small amounts of color may appear on clothing or sheets for the first few days.
  • If the tattoo is in an area where it is exposed to air, allow it to breathe. Allowing the tattoo to breathe will help in healing.
  • If possible, wear loose fitting clothing over the tattoo and be careful not to suffocate tattoo with socks or pantyhose.
  • Please do not ignore these instructions, this is a tough environment for a healing tattoo, so baby your new tattoo a little bit

Your Ink Lab Tattoo Team