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Caring for your new tattoo

Always beware of Signs of Infection! 

If detected, visit your doctor:

  • Discharge

  • Pain

  • Redness

  • Heat

Plastic Sterile Bandages

If you have received a sterile plastic bandage from your artist, you may have been instructed by your artist to either remove the bandage after 24 hours or to leave it on for a period up to 5 days.

Should you experience any of the following, remove your bandage immediately:

  • Pain, swelling, discharge or excess heat - not only are they signs of infection, they can also be indicative of a reaction to the bandage’s adhesive

  • Redness, soreness or irritation around the edges of the bandage

  • Any holes, tears or leaks from your bandage

  • After a vigorous workout, your bandage may pool with sweat.  While this may not affect your healing tattoo, it drastically increases the likelihood of incurring a bandage leak and should be removed when you have an opportunity to safely remove it.

To remove your sterile plastic bandage, in the shower, hold the bandage under hot water for a few minutes to loosen the adhesive then peel free.  Thoroughly wash your tattoo with antibacterial soap and hot water.  After your shower, either allow your tattoo to airdry or pat dry with a paper towel.

If you have removed your bandage any time before the 5th day after your tattoo, please follow the care instructions outlined in the section 30 Days of Healing below.

If the bandage is removed after the 5th day, you may find your tattoo is nearly healed and needs some gently applied lotion to alleviate any scaliness from healing skin.

Applying Moisturizer to Your Tattoo

Follow these instructions EVERY TIME

  1. After washing your hands thoroughly with warm water & antibacterial soap, wash your tattoo with warm water & antibacterial soap

  2. Either let the tattoo air-dry or gently pat dry with a disposable paper towel

  3. Lotions like Eucerin or ointments like Aquaphor or A&D should be applied in extremely small amounts & should be worked into the skin until none remains on the surface

  4. Always get your lotion or ointment from a tube, never a tub

  5. Healing tattoos on older/fragile skin may benefit from light application of antibiotic ointment containing cortisol during the first few days after your appointment

  6. Excess lotion on a healing tattoo can cause complications!  When in doubt, use far less lotion than you want to & still pat off excess with a disposable paper towel when finished applying

  7. Cover your healing tattoo with loose, breathable clothing at all times

  8. Do not expose your healing tattoos to germs, dirt, bacteria, pet hair & dander, shared gym equpiment, etc.


30 Days of Healing:

Day 1: Once you are in a location where you can safely clean your tattoo, please remove the bandage your artist applied and follow the instructions above about applying moisturizer.  The first night after your tattoo, you may want to wear old pajamas and/or put a towel down as sometimes tattoos will continue to leach ink and plasma while you sleep.


For the next 30 days do not expose your new tattoo to direct sunlight or get in any baths, pools, hot springs, etc.  You may shower as usual.


Day 1-7:  You may apply moisturizer to your tattoo using the instructions above up to three times a day.  Continue to keep your tattoo shielded with loose breathable clothing at all times.


Day 7-14:  You may notice your tattoo becomes scaly and very itchy at this point.  Do not scratch or pick at your tattoo - you may slap or scratch around your tattoo to relieve the itch.  You may choose to apply moisturizer using the instructions above once a day, if at all.


Day 14-21:  Your tattoo should enter its final stages of healing at this point and may not require any moisturizer at all.


Day 30:  You may now put sunscreen (30SPF or higher) on your tattoo and may now swim and take baths.  If you need a touch up, you should contact your artist at this time to schedule.

Contact your artist directly if you have any questions about any of the information provided here.  Do not hesitate to contact us at should you need any additional information.

Outside of the normal limits of healing, any concerns that your body art has resulted in complications, infection or disease should be reported to:
Denver Department of Envitonmental Health Public Inspection - Body Art 200 W. 14th Ave. Dept 200 Denver CO 80204 720-913-1311.

You may also report to your artists any concerns about complications, infections or disease. 

The rules and regulations governing body art establishments and body artists require that the body artist report those conditions to the Department within 24 hours of discovery.

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