top of page

Tattoo Aftercare Instructions

  • 1.  Remove the bandage after one to two hours. All wounds need to breathe if they are to heal properly.

  • 2.  Wash the tattoo using a mild antibacterial soap (such as Dial or Provon) and warm water. Take care to remove all traces of blood and plasma as this will cause scabbing. Do not scrub the tattoo with a washcloth during the two week healing period. Pat it dry with a clean, soft cloth or paper towel and leave it alone for about 20 minutes, basically until it starts to feel like the skin is a little tight and dry. This allows for excess moisture from the swelling under the skin as well as moisture introduced by washing the tattoo to evaporate out. It's very important to let your tattoo "breathe" like this any time you get it wet before it gets into the peeling stage.

  • 3.  Once dry, apply a very thin coat of ointment to the tattoo. We recommend using Vitamin A&D or Aquaphor as ointment, or other such tattoo aftercare products. Only use enough to make it shine, a little goes a long way. Too much ointment traps germs into your new tattoo which can potentially lead to infection. Just a dab will do. Work it in well. Dab off all the excess with a paper towel. There should be just enough to keep the tattoo moist and to keep it from scabbing. Do not re-bandage the tattoo.

  • 4. Repeat the cycle of washing, drying, and applying ointment to the tattoo about 3-4 times per day for the first 3 days (while the tattoo feels tender).

  • 5.  Ointment can be applied whenever the tattoo is feeling stiff or dry but beware of over-moisturizing. Your body will absorb what it needs where it needs it. Apply ointment twice a day for two to three days then switch to a regular *Unscented* moisturizer like Tattoo Goo Lotions, Out to Sea Lotions, or something over the counter such as Eucerin, Lubriderm, Curel, or Jergens. Apply moisturizer twice a day for the remainder of two weeks. Do not use lotions that contain color or fragrance at all until the healing is complete. (Usually anywhere from ten days to two weeks; Possibly longer for slower healers.)

  • 6.  You must keep your tattoo moisturized! When the tattoo is kept moist it doesn't have a chance to form a scab but does form a thin membrane to protect the tattoo while it heals. This layer peels off very similar to a sunburn (do not peel your tattoo, you will pull the ink out!) and it is perfectly normal to see small flakes of colored skin falling off during this stage of healing.

  • 7.  You must keep your tattoo clean! However, long showers or baths must be avoided for 2 weeks. Prolonged soaking can and will loosen scabs if any have formed, or will soak through the soft tissue turning it into a soggy mess and cause your ink to flow down the drain. This includes swimming in the Ocean or a Pool, Hot Tubs, and Saunas. Short showers are best, under ten minutes if possible.

  • 8.  Please refrain from scratching or picking at the tattoo. Scrubbing with a washcloth can be very harsh on a tattoo and will cause your colors to fade. Disrupting the tattoo while it's healing can also cause scar tissue. It is normal for the tattoo to become very itchy during the healing time. Just remember not to pick or scratch no matter what!

  • 9.  Remember, the sun is BAD for your tattoo! Whether the tattoo is new or old, if you want it to look nice and heal properly, keep it out of the sun. A sunburn on a new tattoo can cause a lot of problems. It will dry out your tattoo and could cause it to form a horrendous scab resulting in fading before it is even healed. It will also take much longer to heal completely and promotes scarring in a new tattoo. Wait until it is fully healed to go back in the sun or a tanning bed and make sure you put on a high quality sunblock. Never put sunblock on a tattoo that is still healing. Wait until it is fully healed before going into the sun.

  • 10.  Following all of these simple steps will ensure that you end up with the best result with minimal complications and your tattoo will stay looking bright and beautiful for many years to come. 


Please remember new piercings are open wounds. It is extremely important to keep them clean and take care of them properly to avoid potential infection or improper healing.

Do not touch your new piercing unless you are performing aftercare or changing your jewelry. Hands come in contact with many surfaces which may transmit bacteria on a daily basis, i.e. money, door knobs, etc. Touching your piercing with dirty hands is the #1 way to cause an infection. You should wash your hands prior with unscented liquid anti-bacterial soap (Dial Gold). Do not let anyone else touch your piercing with dirty hands. Do not pick or scratch your new piercing. It may be uncomfortable and itchy, but this is normal in early healing. Leave it alone!

Avoid any contact with chlorinated water. Avoid ponds, lakes, pools, or hot tubs. These pools of water house bacteria which will almost certainly lead to infection. Avoid the following while your piercing is in the healing stage: sleeping on the location of the piercing, rough housing or other activities which will potentially bump, rub, or otherwise irritate the piercing site. This could cause keloiding or scarring. Avoid putting anything with make-up, scents or dyes on your piercing. The chemicals in those products may irritate the wound.

You should shower normally, avoiding scented body wash or scrubbing your piercing. Be aware of using anything abrasive to wash your piercing, such as a washcloth which may catch on the piercing. Gently hand-wash the area with care using unscented liquid anti-bacterial soap. Rinse piercing thoroughly, soap is only effective if it’s rinsed away after cleaning. Wash your piercing and the jewelry (without removing jewelry) 2-3 times a day with anti bacterial soap. You can speed up the healing process by using H2Ocean sea salt spray, but make sure to wash with antibacterial soap after you use the spray and rinse THOROUGHLY. Oral piercings such as tongue piercings, labret piercings, and other lip piercings should rinse with 50/50 antiseptic non- alcoholic mouthwash & water OR H2Ocean mouthwash for no more than 30 seconds, especially after eating or smoking or drinking (4-5 times per day). If it isn’t bottled water, rinse your mouth out. It’s also recommended that you get a new toothbrush to cut back on the chance of bacteria in your mouth.

Clean your piercing after any physical workout. Avoid activities which may cause your piercing to get exposed to dirt, oil, grease, chemicals, or any other irritants.

As a normal part of the healing process, a white to yellow discharge will be released from the piercing hole. This can form a crust on the piercing so be sure to wash this away daily. Avoid Neosporin and other triple antibiotic ointments. Avoid such common mistakes as the use of: isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Betadine, or other similar home remedies. Do not clean your piercing with BACTINE. Bactine is not meant for puncture wounds and states so on the bottle.

It is also important to consider the affects of the clothing worn during the healing process and to dress accordingly. It is a good idea to wear loose fitting clothes made of non-irritating material such as cotton. Tight fitting or rough clothing such as wool should be avoided to aid in healing and reduce local irritation. A common problem in this area arises when high cut jeans are worn with a new navel piercing causing a constant source of pressure and irritation to the piercing. Low cut or hip hugger style jeans are a much better choice.

Body piercings, because of their very nature, take an incredibly long time to heal and are extremely prone to bacterial infections, allergic reactions, or rejection of the jewelry. Healing times for body piercings can vary considerably depending on many factors ranging from the location of the piercing to variations in individual physiological factors; they can also be

lengthened by other irritations. The healing periods listed below are generalized, and do not include the extended healing times to be able to take your jewelry out and leave it out for long periods without closing.

Some of the average healing times for body piercings include:

  • eyebrow piercings: 8 weeks

  • ear lobe piercings: 8 weeks

  • ear cartilage piercings: up to 1 year

  • tongue piercings: 4 weeks

  • navel piercings: 6-8 months

  • nipple piercings: 6 months or longer

  • female genital piercings: 6-8 months

  • male genital piercings: 6-8 months

  • nostril piercings: 2-4 weeks

  • septum piercings: 1 month

  • lip piercings: 2-4 weeks

  • surface piercings: up to 6 months 

bottom of page