Painfully Pretty Studios
After Your Tattoo
Congratulations on your new tattoo! Below you will find all of the need to know info for what to expect after your appointment, and our recommended practices for after care. If you have any additional questions please don't hesitate to reach out to you chosen artist!
Following the appointment:
You can expect you fresh tattoo to be tender, red and swollen. Bruising is also not uncommon, and is absolutely no cause for concern! The initial tenderness will typically last 2-5 days, depending on the tattoo and placement (a single word on a wrist vs a large full color rib piece for example) Make sure you keep hydrated and well rested. Feel free to take tylenol and use a cold compress for relief if needed.
Second skin: Your artist will have recommended keeping the bandage on for 2-7 days, depending on the piece. While the bandage is worn feel free to shower as normal, but avoid submerging the tattoo (ie swimming, baths). Avoid any activity that will cause excess sweating until the bandage is removed. For easiest removal, peel the bandage from the top down, letting warm water from a shower or faucet run behind the bandage to help weaken the adhesive.
Soak pack/ Seran wrap: These options are typically for our clients with sensitivities to adhesive. With seran wrap or soaker pads, you will keep the tattoo covered for any where from 4 hours until the morning following the appointment.
After bandage removal
Immediately following bandage removal, wash the tattoo thoroughly with hot water and, if available, unscented soap. Gently wash the tattoo with clean hands, and make sure there is no excess blood, plasma or ink left. Gently pat the tattoo dry with a clean towel and allow it to air dry completely before putting any clothing over it. DO NOT RE-BANDAGE AFTER THIS POINT UNLESS YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN EXTRA SECOND SKIN AND SPECIAL INSTRUCTION FROM YOUR ARTIST.
After cleaning the tattoo, wait for it to feel tight, dry and itchy. This is you queue to lotion/ apply tattoo ointment. Please only use white unscented lotions (ie: lubriderm), or approved tattoo ointments (discuss with your artist) PLEASE DO NOT USE VASALINE DURING THE HEALING PROCESS. IT ACTS AS A MOISTURE BARRIER AND CAN TRAP BACTERIA, POTENTIALLY LEADING TO INFECTION.
The lotions and ointments are more so for your comfort during healing, and over use can lead to thickening of any scabbing and ink loss. Keep application to a few times a day, a very small amount each time, and only if the tattoo is bothering you.
Flaking during the healing process is absolutely to be expected, The more ink in an area the heavier the flaking will be as the skin is more traumatized in these areas. Areas of heavy black or full color may get to be more of a "scab" than flakes. Around these areas may seem a little more inflamed and irritated, but don't be alarmed! If this occurs, stop using lotion on that area until healed. It is very important to leave all flaking and scabbing intact until it falls off naturally. Removing early can lead to ink loss, and will reopen the wound, leading to excess scarring and a chance for infection
PLASMA VS PUS
Scabs on tattoos tend to either be the color of the ink OR a yellowish color. Assuming proper aftercare is being followed, the yellow-ness is plasma and NOT pus. Plasma is full of white blood cells and created by your body to promote healing, so this clear/ yellowish fluid is a normal part of the healing process. Pus will be thicker, with a far more opaque appearance. If you have concerns and are unsure, send a picture of the tattoo as it heals and they will be able to help!
Clean once a day
hot water, unscented soap, let it dry completely before putting clothing on top.
Keep sun exposure to a minimum after your tattoo appointment for the first 2 weeks. Apply sunscreen once healed to keep it looking its best!
For 2 weeks after your appointment. (ie: no baths, swimming, hot tubs, etc)
One touch up within a year of the appointment is free with your artist! contact them directly to arrange a touch-up (must be at least 1 month healed)