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Oct - 17

Tattoo Aftercare Guide

All About Tattoo Aftercare!

You just got a new tattoo! But how do you care for it? In the excitement of getting your new ink, you were only half paying attention to the artist’s instructions on what to do. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! This tattoo aftercare guide will go over every part of the tattoo healing process and how to care for your new piece.

Stage One

Most people describe the pain of a fresh tattoo similar to the pain of a sunburn. It’s hot, sensitive to the touch, and red. All these symptoms are totally normal! This will last anywhere from 1-3 days. 

Before you leave the shop, your artist will cover your tattoo in a bandage. Usually you should keep it in on from 2-4 hours, but double check with your artist before leaving. When it’s time for you to remove it, wash your hands first. You’ll notice a weird mixture of things when you take the bandage off, but don’t freak! It’s a mix of blood, plasma, and ink.

Now that you removed the bandage, it’s time to wash! You should wash your tattoo 2-3 times a day to help prevent from too much scabbing. The plasma (clear goopy liquid) is what helps your skin scab up, so if you wash it away, it will help prevent that. Less scabs = less chance of your ink fading during the healing process.  


H2Ocean Tattoo Aftercare

Stage Two

The next stage of the tattoo healing process is one that most people dread – the itching! Oh lord, the itching!! Some people experience it worse than others, but it’s something that’s unavoidable. At this stage, your tattoo should have formed some scabs and it’s probably flaky. Stage two can last anywhere from one to two weeks, depending on the person, as each person heals differently. The itchiness comes from your skin flaking, which it does to heal itself. The best way to prevent that, is to keep your new tattoo moisturized! Follow these tattoo aftercare steps throughout this stage – 

A few things to keep in mind – 

Make sure the area is completely dry before applying any lotion. If you don’t, the lotion will trap in any moisture, and the skin will soak it up and make the scabs goopy again. Apply only a thin layer of lotion and rub it completely into the skin! Too much lotion can suffocate the skin, and it needs to breath in order to heal. Do not scratch or pick at your tattoo! If it’s itchy, apply more lotion or even slap it if you have to, but do not scratch!! Flaking of the skin is completely normal, and you may even have some color flakes from the ink! All of that is to be expected!

Stage Three

Stage three is the final step in your tattoo’s healing life cycle and the last step in our tattoo aftercare guide! Your tattoo may still be flaky, and possibly still sensitive to the touch. This is all normal, and you don’t have anything to worry about. So what are the steps for this stage? Just apply lotion with clean hands 3-4 times a day, and you’re good to go!! It’s that easy!


Your tattoo may look a little dull and foggy, but not to worry. That’s just a final layer of dead skin that will fall off naturally over the next couple of weeks. As long as you’ve followed this tattoo aftercare guide, your tattoo should be as bright and beautiful as the day you got it!

It may seem like the healing process takes a lot, but it’s only 2-3 weeks out of your entire life! Once it’s all said and done, you’ll have a gorgeous piece that you can show off for years and years to come.

Tattoo by Casey

9 comments on Tattoo Aftercare Guide

  1. awesome, do you mind if I share this?

  2. It’s good to know that you should clean it with clear antibacterial soap. My younger sister just recently turned 18 last week, and she was telling me about how she wants to get a tattoo sometime soon, and that she wants to know how to take care of it afterward. I’ll make sure to pass these tips along to her if she does end up getting a tattoo.

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  5. Like!! Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

  6. It’s good to know that it needs to be dry before you apply lotion in the area. My neighbor was telling me a couple of weeks ago about how she wants to look into getting a tattoo on her wrist in a couple of weeks, and she wants to make sure that she knows how to take care of it while it’s healing. I’ll make sure to pass this information along to her once she finds a shop to get a tattoo from.

  7. Anika says:

    Thanks for providing such great information.

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  9. I thought it was interesting when you mentioned that it is important to make sure that your skin is dry before applying lotion to a tattoo. One of my friends is going to be getting a tattoo on his arm as soon as he gets his work bonus. I will have to tell my friend that he is going to need to get some lotion to use when taking care of his tattoo when it is fresh.

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