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After Care for Tattoos

Many tattoos heal in four to six weeks. Others may take longer ~ be patient. Eat nutritious foods, practice good hygiene, and get proper sleep to help your new tattoo heal faster. Tattoo healing happens in stages, and can look a bit different depending on individual skin types and the area you've had tattooed. As always, please reach out to us at (856) 545-4131 if you have any questions or concerns while your tattoo is healing. 
First, remember that your new tattoo is an open wound. While healing, wash or sanitize your hands before touching your tattoo. Before you leave the shop, your new tattoo will be covered with clear plastic wrap. You should leave this on for at least two hours. After two hours, you can remove and discard the plastic wrap and wash your new tattoo for the first time. Many clients believe leaving the plastic wrap on longer, or overnight, is a good idea--but it's not. The wrap will help guard against infection, but it's more important to let the skin breathe. 
There are many safe and effective after care washes available (like Hustle Bubbles), but any plain or antibacterial soap (like Ivory or Dial) will do just fine. Liquid or bar, doesn't matter. Gently wash the tattoo using bare hands and warm water. Don't be alarmed if the surface of your tattoo feels slightly mushy at first -- that top layer of ointment mixed with ink, and maybe some blood, will wash away once you give the soap a chance to do its job. Rinse the soap thoroughly and use a clean towel to pat the area dry. 
Now that you've patted away most of the water, let the tattoo air dry for a minute or two so it's dried completely. Next, dab on a very light layer of A&D ointment. The purpose of the ointment is to keep your new tattoo (still an open wound) protected from infection and dryness. Repeat this process two to three times a day for the first four days of healing. A&D can be gently dabbed on throughout the day as needed. Do not oversaturate the area; it shouldn't be wet or gloopy, just lightly moisturized and protected from flaking. 
Once the initial four days have passed, you will probably notice your tattoo starting to feel itchy, or the skin may feel tight and you'll see scabs beginning to form. This is normal. Remember, you're healing an open wound from thousands of tiny needle pokes. Expect that your skin will form some sort of scab as a natural reaction. Similar to a regular scab from a cut or scrape, picking or peeling the tattoo's scab will affect the healing skin beneath it. You will be tempted, but DO NOT pick or scratch your new tattoo! Instead, gently pat and/or rub the itchy area to soothe it. You can continue using A&D ointment, or apply plain, non-fragranced lotion (like Lubriderm) as needed while the scab phase comes and goes. You may experience a second round of lighter scabbing or peeling/lifting of the very top layer of the tattooed area. The skin may also look shiny or waxy for a few days; this is a normal part of the healing process. It may even last into the third or fourth week of healing. This is also normal.
A note about touch-ups:
If any touch-ups are needed, your skin will need to have healed past this point to start another round. 
If your artist used clear Second Skin barrier film to cover your new tattoo, you will not need to do anything for the first four days of healing. On day five, gently and slowly peel off the Second Skin. Baby oil applied with a cotton swab can make peeling the adhesive easier. Once the film is removed, proceed as above with washing your tattoo for the first time. 
Beyond this first stage of healing, your after care regimen will be simply to keep your new tattoo clean and gently moisturized for the next three to four weeks. A little common sense goes a long way toward having a nice tattoo for life: keep it clean, let it heal, stay moisturized, and use sunscreen.
  • Leave the protective plastic wrap cover alone for a minimum of two hours

  • Wash gently using antibacterial or plain soap

  • Pat dry with a clean cloth or towel, and let air dry completely

  • Use A&D ointment three to five times a day for four days

  • Keep the area lightly moisturized for 10 days; use any unscented lotion

  • Avoid exposure to sun and swimming pools; direct sunlight and chlorine will fade and damage your new tattoo

  • Leave the protective plastic wrap cover on overnight (two hours is enough, then toss it)

  • Scratch, pick or peel your new tattoo

  • Use hot water when taking a shower

  • Use hot tubs & pools; chemicals can cause serious damage


Give us a call at (856) 545-4131

Lip Piercings

After Care for Piercings

Many piercings heal in six weeks. Others may take longer ~ be patient. Eat nutritious foods and practice good hygiene to help your new piercing heal faster.
If you have a fresh piercing and you lose your jewelry, call us as soon as possible if you'd like help replacing it. The sooner you can come back, the better. 
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason. 

  • Apply saline solution with a cotton swab to cleanse the pierced area.

  • Wash gently with antibacterial soap no more than twice a day. While showering, gather up a pearl-sized drop of the soap to clean the jewelry. Leave the cleanser on the piercing no longer than 30 seconds. 

  • Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of soap from the piercing. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry through the piercing.

  • Dry by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria and snag on jewelry, causing injury.​

  • Check the piercing jewelry daily to make sure any beads/balls are securely fastened

  • Call us or come in for assistance if your jewelry falls out

  • Play with your jewelry

  • Turn/slide crusties

  • Clean with alcohol or peroxide

  • Overclean the piercing

  • Swim, take baths or use hot tubs

  • Sunbathe or use tanning beds

  • Let other bodily fluids near your piercing

  • Clog your piercing with creams and oils

Have questions?

Give us a call at (856) 545-4131.

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