Tattoo Aftercare

Remove the bandage within an hour or so after the bandage has been applied.

Wash the tattoo with warm water and mild soap; it is always a good idea to wash your hands before removing the bandage and washing the tattoo to remove any possible contaminants from your hands. Pat dry the tattoo with a clean towel, or preferably a clean paper towel.

Do not re-bandage the tattoo or apply moisturizer yet. Keep the tattoo dry and free from restrictive clothing or things that may chafe or scrape at the tattoo. Also keep it from touching or being exposed to contaminants ex-don’t rest your new forearm tattoo on a dirty bar room table. You can shower with the tattoo, just keep it as dry as possible and dry it as soon as you get out of the shower.

Once you see your tattoo has a scab, or is dry to the touch, you may apply moisturizer (Lubriderm unscented or polysporin healfast cream) only as needed, moisturize the tattoo the same as you would your skin, if there is excess moisturizer on the tattoo, dab it off with a clean paper towel. If the moisturizer you choose stings, you will need to switch. Tattoos heal best when dry, moisturizer is only used to keep the scab supple so it will not crack or split. Do not pick at the scabs.

Repeat this until your scabs have all fallen off.


Swimming of any kind, or any immersion in water is bad for a healing tattoo. Do not pick at scabs, do not expose a healing tattoo to direct sun for any period of time and no tanning while it’s healing. After your tattoo has healed you will want to keep sunscreen on it to ensure it will not fade in the sun.

Once your scabs have fallen off, you can resume normal activity, it’s not unusual for the tattoo at this point to look murky, it’s just thick dry skin over the tattoo, this will go away in a few days.