Your new tattoo isn’t complete until it has fully healed.  This healing process will require active participation on your part.

You have just invested a considerable amount of time and money in your new tattoo; please read and follow these simple

procedures below to insure that your art will be something you will be proud to display for many years to come. 



  • After 2 hours (3 hours maximum), carefully remove your bandage.  Your new tattoo needs to breathe to heal properly.

  • Gently wash the tattoo with warm water and a mild antibacterial soap (fragrance free) using your hand or fingertips.  Taking care to remove all traces of blood, as this could cause extra scabbing.  Rinse with cool water.  Do not scrub the tattoo with a washcloth during the first 2 weeks of initial healing.

      Gently pat dry with a clean soft towel or just let it air dry.

  • When completely dry, carefully apply a thin coat of ointment to the surface of the tattoo.  Acceptable products are “Aquaphor Healing Ointment,” and “A&D Original Ointment.”  Apply just enough to make it “shine” (a little goes a long way) and work it in well.  Dab (blot) off all the excess with a clean paper towel or toilet paper until you can barely tell that it’s there.  You want just enough to keep the tattoo moist.  Too much ointment will suffocate the tattoo and possibly liquefy any scabs that may have formed causing the ink to fall out or look blotchy.  There is no need to re-bandage the tattoo.



  • After your initial cleaning, wash your tattoo 3 times a day for the first 4 days as described above.  Continue to apply the ointment after each washing, but be aware not to over moisturize (remember your tattoo needs to breathe).

  • On the 5th day, switch from the ointment to a regular moisturizer.  Acceptable products are “Aveeno,” “Eucerin,” “Keri,” Lubriderm,” and “Curel.”  Do not use lotions that contain color or fragrance.

  • Continue to wash and moisturize (with lotion) your tattoo, as described above, 2 times a day for the next ten 10 days.



  • Most tattoos usually heal within 10 to 14 days, but can take longer for slow healers.  You must keep your tattoo clean; however, long showers or baths must be avoided for 2 weeks, this includes swimming in the ocean and pools, hot tubs and saunas.  Prolonged soaking can and will loosen any scabs that have formed, or will soak through the soft tissue, causing your ink to wash out of the skin.  Short showers are best, under 10 minutes if possible.

  • Refrain from scratching or picking at your tattoo.  Scrubbing with a washcloth can be very harsh on a fresh tattoo and will cause your colors to fade.  Disrupting the healing process can also lead to scar tissue.  It is normal for the tattoo to become itchy during the healing time.  To relieve this, spray the tattoo with rubbing alcohol or slap it with your hand (this will sting it and take away the itch).

  • Hands and feet reproduce new skin cells faster than other parts of the body.  Tattoos in these areas sometimes require an additional 2 weeks of healing time.  During this time refrain from washing dishes, wearing gloves, socks, and shoes (sandals must not rub on the tattoo area).

  • Keep in mind that everyone heals differently, so please be patient.  Some redness, swelling, and soreness can be normal.  But if you experience any of theses symptoms in excess along with extreme discomfort or if you develop a fever, it could possibly be signs of an infection and it is advisable to seek professional medical advice.



  • Sun exposure is detrimental even on old tattoos, but sunburn on a new tattoo can possibly cause problems.  The sun will make the tattoo heal more slowly, which can increase the chance of infection.  It also dries it out causing the formation of heavy scabs which makes the ink fade before it is even healed.  It will also promote scaring.

  • Some colors (white, yellow, pink, and orange) may not show up as brightly after exposure to ultraviolet rays.  Over time, excessive exposure to sunlight will cause your tattoo to fade no mater what colors are used.

  • Be sure your tattoo is completely healed before exposing it to the sun or tanning beds and make sure to protect it with a high quality sun block (do not apply sun block or sunscreen to a healing tattoo).

How you take care of your tattoo during the healing process will directly determine how your tattoo will look when it’s healed.

A tattoo is for life, so take the time to help heal it properly.

© Copyright 2015 Sideshow Alley Tattoo Odditorium LLC.

    All rights reserved.

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