Preparation, Aftercare, & Healing

Skin care. Closeup woman's body with cos

Before Your Appointment

The week prior to your appointment...

Do: 

  • Hydrate

  • Eat well

  • Get good rest

  • Moisturize your skin daily, but do not moisturize on the day of the tattoo

  • Mentally prepare

  • Make sure you are able to dedicate a few minutes a day to aftercare

  • Let me know if you have any questions

Don't: 

  • Drink (alcohol) heavily

  • Get dehydrated

  • Skip meals

  • Lose sleep

  • Take anticoagulants such as Ibuprofen, Advil, or other blood thinners (Tylenol is ok)

  • Get sunburnt, especially not where you plan to put your tattoo

  • Use numbing agents without discussing them with me prior

Tattoo Day

  • Eat a nutritious meal about an hour before your appointment. Do not eat anything too heavy and don't get stuffed, we can take snack breaks during your appointment if needed. 

  • Bathe, but do not moisturize, and shave the area that is to be tattooed if possible. 

  • Wear appropriate, clean, loose fitting clothing that you are ok with getting dirty. I will do my best to protect your clothing but tattoo ink does stain. 

  • My studio has a TV with most streaming services and a stereo. If you prefer a different form of entertainment while being tattooed, please bring it with you (i.e. books, headphones, laptop). 

  • If you are feeling ill, please reschedule as soon as possible. So long as you communicate with me your deposit will be honored. 

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Healing Process

1-7 days after

Always wash your hands before touching your tattoo while it is healing!

  1. The morning after your tattoo, wash your hands before removing the temporary bandage. 

  2. Using warm water, antibacterial soap, and your palm: gently wash your tattoo until it no longer feels slippery or slimy.

  3. Using a paper towel or clean cloth, gently pat your tattoo dry or allow it to air dry.

  4. Carefully apply the transparent wound dressing sent home with you. Steps below:

    • Remove the paper side to reveal the tacky surface of the bandage.

    • Gently press the bandage over your tattoo radiating from the center to avoid air bubbles. 

    • Locate the seam and carefully lift to remove the plastic side (with the blue grid pattern), ensuring all the edges are secure.

    • Leave this bandage on for 5 -7 days while your tattoo heals. Note: Do not attempt to clean or moisturize your tattoo while the bandage is on.

    • After removing the bandage, repeat the following step daily:

  5. If you are not using the adhesive wound dressing(or have just removed it), repeat step two 3-4 times a day and follow up by applying a very thin layer of non-petroleum based moisturizer. 

8-14 days after

  • Continue cleaning and lightly moisturizing your new tattoo. 

  • Wear clean, loose clothing over your tattoo. 

  • Refrain from exercising the area of your body that was tattooed. 

  • Refrain from swimming in natural bodies of water. 

  • Avoid direct sunlight (do not use sunscreen until the tattoo has healed!)

  • Avoid tanning products and heavily scented lotions/perfumes on the tattooed area. 

Bandage FAQ's

& Long Term Care

How long do I leave the adhesive bandage on?

 

Because it is breathable, you can wear the bandage for several days at a time while your tattoo heals. I recommend 3-5 days, not to exceed 7 days).  Within the wrap, plasma may appear black, red, or a mixture of the colors used in the tattoo (often results in a brown appearance - this does not affect the way the color heals). If you produce enough plasma that it loosens the bandage within the first 24-48 hours, please contact me to come in for a re-wrap.

What should I do if the adhesive bandage is irritating my skin?

If you are finding the wrap detrimental, uncomfortable, or you notice excessive swelling, rash, or any other complications due to the adhesive - remove the wrap and begin post-wrap aftercare procedures outlined below. 

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Can I shower/bathe with this bandage on?

 

Yes! This technology provides a one-way moisture seal around your tattoo, allowing you to shower even when the wrap is still on. If you exit the shower and suspect that fluid (not plasma) has entered your wrap, remove the wrap. If you are a bath-taker, do not submerge your wrapped tattoo below the water.

Showers: Yes

Baths/Swimming Pools/Natural Bodies of Water: No

How do I clean/moisturize my tattoo when the bandage is on?

 

You don’t. While sealed within the bandage your tattoo is in a sterile, self-healing system. You do not need to care for your tattoo while it is wrapped other than keeping an eye out for moisture build up. 

What happens if part of the bandage lifts?

 

If the part of the bandage that has lifted is along the edge and does not overlap the inked skin, you can either trim it or use medical tape to secure it. 

 

If the part that has lifted has broken the “seal” of your new tattoo and water would reach the wound if submerged, remove the wrap. You do not want foreign liquid or debris trapped against your tattoo. If this happens before five days, please contact me to see if a rewrap is needed. 

Is it ok for me to work out with the wrap on?

I recommend taking a minimum of 7 days off before resuming your exercise routine. Sweating can weaken the adhesive which may cause the bandage to come off prematurely. If the bandage peels enough to allow potential contaminants to enter, the risk of infection increases. Common contaminants include sweat, dirt, debris, bacteria, pet dander, and more.

 

Additionally, most forms of exercise consist of repetitive movements and high activity, which cause the bandage to stretch and pull on the skin. When pulled during exercise, the adhesive may loosen and expose your tattoo to contaminants. It can also cause irritation and inflammation. To avoid discomfort and achieve optimal healing, it’s best to hold off on exercising until your tattoo is fully healed. The time frame for tattoo healing varies from person to person but you can expect your tattoo to be healed anywhere from 2-6 weeks.

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Bandage  Removal

 

Once 3-7 days have passed, it is time to remove your bandage. It is recommended to do so in the shower so that the heat/steam works to loosen the adhesive of the bandage for an easier, gentler removal.

 

Find an edge of the bandage towards the top and pull it back over itself in the direction of your hair growth. Try not to pull upwards, and be sure to peel back holding the end of the film closely to your skin. Take your time throughout this process and be as gentle as possible! If you feel that the bandage is difficult to take off, use a small amount of moisturizer and apply it around the edges of the bandage to help weaken the adhesive.

 

Once the wrap is removed, immediately clean your tattoo site using a mild, preferably unscented antibacterial soap. I recommend the ‘Dial’ brand, which can be found at most grocery/corner stores.  Follow up with a light coat of non-petroleum based moisturizer. 

Notice

You are responsible for consulting a health practitioner at the first sign of infection or an allergic reaction, and for reporting any diagnosed infection, allergic reaction, or adverse reaction resulting from the tattoo to myself and the Texas Department of State Health Services, Drugs and Medical Devices Group, at 1-888-839-6676. 


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