Tattoo placement is an art: Mikey Vigilante carefully applies an arm tatto in Long Beach.
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.

Please note that every artist has their own approach to aftercare.

To ensure your tattoo heals properly, please follow your artist's personal recommendation. These are our general guidelines, which can serve as a handy reference if you need a reminder—but we suggest contacting your artist directly if you need help.

When you leave the studio with your new tattoo…

Please leave the bandage on overnight to protect your tattoo and help sweat out excess plasma.

Day One: How to remove the bandage and clean your tattoo…

  • Remove the bandage GENTLY and immediately take a warm (not hot!) shower.
  • If the bandage feels stuck, let the water run over it, which will make it fall off on its own.
  • Use an antibacterial liquid hand soap to wash the tattoo with your fingertips (DO NOT use a rag).
    • Dial is a go-to brand for our artists, but any brand will do provided it is perfume-free.
  • 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.
  • DO NOT apply salve unless your tattoo feels extremely dry or tight.
    • Everyone's skin is different when it comes to moisturization.
    • Even atmospheric moisture can make a difference in how your skin feels.
    • If you choose to apply salve, use a small amount.
      • The goal is to keep your skin soft, NOT moist—similar to the moisturization you get from a layer of chapstick.
  • DO NOT bandage your tattoo.
  • Wear comfortable, nonrestrictive clothing that is clean and preferably made of cotton.

First Ten Days: How to care for your tattoo…

  • Wash your tattoo two to three times a day and apply Ora’s Tattoo Salve, Palmer's Cocoa Butter, or Aveeno ONLY after each wash for five to seven 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!)
    • performing any other strenuous activities.
  • Avoid letting your tattoo come into contact with pets, people, non-sanitary 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.
  • If you notice any of these symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately.
  • If you have any concerns call us right away: 562-999-1454!