For Tattoos and Piercings

Tattoo Aftercare

A fresh tattoo should be treated like an open wound. After all the skin has been broken and ink has been deposited. It is normal for the tattooed skin to feel raw, sore and sensitive.

Every body heals differently and every tattooer offers their own advice through their own experiences and expertise. Some lotions, ointments, or soaps that may work for one individual may not work for another.

Typically when a tattoo is finished the tattooer will wrap the tattoo with either a long-wear bandage or plastic wrap. These are both effective to allow the tattoo to have a barrier to help the skin cure. Both bandages are non-absorbent so expect some leaking. Under the bandage you will find excess pigment, blood, plasma, and ointment. The reason we use plastic rather than gauze is due to the fact that fresh tattoos will stick. The amount of hours of leaving on said bandages varies; if it is a long-wear bandage it can be worn up to 48 hours. If it is plastic wrap we generally recommend 2-3 hours.

The best way to remove the long-wear bandage is to peel up a corner and pull slowly out, not up. Once some of the bandage is loose try to remove the rest of the bandage in the shower as to make the removal easier.

Once you remove the bandage use an antibacterial, fragrance-free soap to gently clean off any ointment and bodily fluids. Make sure to wash your hands first and then wash the area. Pat tattoo with clean paper towels or let air-dry.

Apply your moisturizer of choice. The general rule is to use a fragrance-free lotion. Avoid scented lotions and petroleum-based products. Apply lotion 2-3 times a day, ONLY AFTER WASHING THE TATTOO. The key is to keep the area clean. Your tattoo should never be sticky or greasy, always rub in moisturizers completely! Do not over do it!

Prepare to wear soft loose clothing and use bed sheets you do not mind staining. You do not want your fresh tattoo sticking to your sheets or clothing. If this happens wet the affected area and slowly remove the material. To prevent this avoid sleeping directly on your tattoo.

When you shower, make it quick and do not soak the tattoo until it is FULLY healed (generally 2 weeks). Avoid picking or scratching the tattoo. Your skin is healing and will be itchy, so apply the fragrance free lotion to ease it. Soaking and/or scratching the tattoo can possibly lead to infection, scarring, and/or pigment loss.

If your tattoo is inflamed or oozing, contact your tattooer immediately and if necessary seek a medical professional.


• Do not use: things containing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic creams or ointments (i.e. neopsorin).
• Do not expose your tattoo to direct sunlight, especially while healing. Once fully healed always us an SPF 30+ to protect your tattoo from fading.
• Do not submerge the tattoo in any sort of water, this includes but is not exclusive to; hot tubs, swimming pools, and any large body of water.
• Do not re-bandage your tattoo.

Piercing Aftercare

What to Expect:

  • May be tender, itchy or bruised for a few weeks.
  • May bleed a little for the first few days.
  • May be slightly red. Redness may persist on and off for the entire healing period.
  • May secrete a whitish-yellow fluid, which may crust on the jewelry. This is lymph discharge and will stop when the piercing is healed.
  • May be swollen. An ice pack wrapped in a clean disposable paper towel and applied to the swollen area will help alleviate the swelling. An over the counter anti-inflammatory such as Advil, Aleve or Motrin may also help reduce swelling.
  • May need to be checked periodically to insure threaded jewelry is still tight. Threaded jewelry is like anything else, “righty tighty, lefty loosey”. Make sure you wash your hands before touching your jewelry.

Sea Salt Soaks:

  • Mix 4 teaspoons of non-iodized sea salt into one gallon of distilled water (the ratio is important, so measure carefully!).
  • Pour some of this solution into a clean, disposable cup, warm it up in the microwave (not too hot!! Warm bath-water temperature is perfect), and completely submerge your piercing into the water for 7 – 10 minutes.
  • When you’re finished with your soak, rinse your piercing thoroughly and gently pat it dry with a clean disposable paper towel.
  • Hot compresses made from disposable paper towels may be used for difficult soaking sites (like bridges or napes) but are not as effective, so submerging the piercing is always advisable if possible.
  • Sea salt soaks should be done 1-2 times daily if it is the only aftercare method you are using.

Sterile Sea Salt Spray:

  • Mist the entire piercing area and allow the solution to dry and soak into the skin, then rinse the area with clean water.
  • Do this every 3-4 hours.
  • When using a sea salt spray, it is advisable to sea salt soak your piercing every couple of days, but multiple daily soaks are unnecessary and may lead to irritation.
  • Shop for Sterile Sprays

In The Shower:

  • Avoid getting shampoo, conditioner, body wash or other products near the piercing as much as possible.
  • At the end of your shower, wash the skin around the piercing with a mild liquid soap. Avoid turning, twisting or rotating the jewelry as you do this, the soap should not get INTO the piercing.
  • Rinse the area thoroughly, as soap residue can irritate your piercing.
  • Soaps containing high amounts of perfumes, dyes or the active ingredient Triclosan (found in most anti-bacterial products) tend to irritate healing piercings, and should be avoided.

Additional Care

  • Rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash after eating, drinking, smoking or putting anything in your mouth. Alcohol based mouthwashes are too harsh and will irritate your piercing.
  • 3 – 5 times a day, rinse with a warm sea salt water solution (using your pre-made gallon). Sea salt water rinses will speed and ease the healing process.
  • Brush your teeth 3 times a day using a new toothbrush.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol for the first few weeks of your healing period. Alcoholic beverages will increase your swelling and may make your piercing bleed.
  • Cut down or stop smoking. Smokers may experience considerably longer healing times.
  • EAT!!! It’s important to keep your body healthy while you’re healing your piercing. Soft and bite sized foods will be easiest for the first week or two. Try and avoid hot, spicy or crunchy foods until your piercing is healed.
  • Most oral piercings will need to be downsized 2 – 4 weeks into your healing period. Wearing the initial “starter” jewelry once your swelling has subsided may lead to dental damage. Come back and see your piercer when you’re ready for a downsize to insure you get properly sized jewelry. To help you avoid complications, we’re more than happy to put your new jewelry in for you as well. Except for downsizing, jewelry should not be changed until your piercing is completely healed.