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Tattoo Aftercare

Why Is Aftercare Important?

Tattoo aftercare is crucial for several reasons. It ensures proper healing of your tattoo, prevents infection and scarring, and maintains the longevity and vibrancy of the ink.

By following this guide and the specific tattoo aftercare instructions you will receive from your artist, you'll be well on your way to a beautifully-healed tattoo.

The Healing Process

Your tattoo's healing process can be divided into three stages:

  1. Inflammation & Oozing (1-3 days)
  2. Itching & Peeling (4-14 days)
  3. Healing Home Stretch (15-45 days)

Understanding each is essential for proper aftercare.

Stage 1: Inflammation & Oozing

Before you leave our shop, your artist will wrap your tattoo in a protective covering. It's important to:

  • Keep the covering on for 2-4 hours.
  • Then, gently remove the covering and carefully clean the tattoo with mild soap and water.
  • Next, pat dry with a clean, soft towel.
  • Finally, apply a thin layer of ointment, like Aquaphor, to keep the area moist and promote healing – avoid petroleum-based products, as they can clog pores!
Stage 2: Itching & Peeling

Halfway there! During this stage, it's essential to:

  • Gently clean your tattoo 2-3 times each day with mild soap and water.
  • Pat dry and apply ointment after each cleaning.

Remember, moisturizing matters! Once your tattoo starts to peel, switch from ointment to a fragrance-free lotion, applying two to three times a day. This will help keep your skin dry, with the added benefit of relieving itching.

Stage 3: Healing Home Stretch

One important word comes to mind during this stage: moisturize!

  • Continue to apply fragrance-free lotion to your tattoo.

Dos & Don’ts


  • Follow your tattoo artist's aftercare instructions.
  • Keep your tattoo clean and moisturized.
  • Wear loose, breathable clothing.
  • Stay hydrated and maintain a healthy diet.


  • Pick, scratch, or peel your tattoo.
  • Use swimming pools, hot tubs, or saunas.
  • Expose your new artwork to direct sunlight or tanning beds.
  • Apply alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to your tattoo.

Give Your Art Some TLC

Proper aftercare is essential for the health, longevity, and vibrancy of your new tattoo. Remember, caring for your tattoo is an investment in your body art, so give it the love and attention it deserves!

Tattoo Aftercare Guide

Aftercare FAQs

Your Vision, Our Passion

For body art at a higher standard, turn to Bay Ink Tattoo.