Tattoo Aftercare: The Complete Guide to Happy Healing

Everything You Need to Do for Your New Tattoo


To ensure that your tattoo looks as beautiful down the road as the day you got it done, proper aftercare is a must. Your new ink is an open wound that needs to heal--and the final outcome of your tattoo depends on a few basic rules. We’ve made tattoo aftercare simple, so just follow these steps for proper healing!

When you leave the studio with your new tattoo...

Your tattoo will be bandaged. Please leave the bandage on overnight to protect your tattoo and help sweat out excess plasma. (Other studios might have different recommendations, but this is our tattoo aftercare protocol.)

Resist the urge to take the bandage off to show your friends!

Day one: How to remove the bandage and clean your tattoo...

  1. Remove the bandage GENTLY and immediately take a warm (not hot!) shower.Image of premium aftercare product from Ora's Amazing Herbal that is 100% natural, available at Paper Crane Studio in Long Beach, CA
    • If the bandage feels stuck, let the water run over it, which will make it fall off on its own.
  2. Use an antibacterial liquid hand soap to wash the tattoo with your fingertips (DO NOT use a rag).
  3. Dial is a go-to brand for our artists, but any brand will do provided it is perfume-free.
  4. Gently massage the tattoo as you wash it, then rinse it fully clean and lightly blot it dry with a clean cotton towel or clean paper towel.

Let your tattoo air dry for a few minutes, then apply a small amount of Ora's Tattoo Salve (available at our st
udio).

  • Remember, just a small amount: Your tattoo should not feel wet.
  1. After you’ve gently massaged the salve in, DO NOT bandage your tattoo. Wear comfortable, nonrestrictive clothing that is clean and preferably made of cotton.

First 10 Days: How to care for your tattoo...

  • Wash your tattoo daily and reapply Ora's Tattoo Salve three times a day for ten days as part of your tattoo aftercare or until your piece has completely peeled.
  • Peeling should start after four to six days.
  • It’s normal to see scabs for up to two weeks.
  • DO NOT PICK OR SCRATCH at peeling skin or scabs, as you will lose color and re-open the wound to potential infections (neither of which is the responsibility of your artist!).
  • You can gently slap your tattoo to relieve itching.

What to avoid when you have a fresh tattoo...

  • Please avoid any activities/environments that could harm your tattoo for the ten-day healing period, including (but not limited to) swimming, immersing your tattoo in water, camping, gardening, sunning, tanning, working out (especially at a public gym!), or performing any other strenuous activities. Avoid letting your tattoo come into contact with pets, people, unclean surfaces, dirt, standing water, chemicals, abrasive clothing, and your own unwashed hands.
  • Do not expose your tattoo to direct sunlight for two weeks after your session. We strongly advise a high SPF sunblock after your tattoo is fully healed to protect premature fading.

When to call your artist...

  • Red streaks, increased soreness, puss, bumps, blisters, or foul odor can indicate an infection and are not a normal part of tattoo aftercare. If you notice any of these symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately.

If you have any concerns call us right away: 562-999-1454! You can also stop by the shop to let Mikey or your artist take a look.