Tattoo Aftercare

Making your tattoo timeless. Keeping your tattoo neat and professional. To ensure that your tattoo looks as neat and professional as the day it was first done, it is essential that you take proper care of it. Please avoid listening to the (often silly and confusing) advice from friends, dubious sources and posts made on the internet.

Now Pay Attention

  • Once the tattoo is completed, your tattoo artist will clean the skin off all the remaining soap, cream, blood and plasma left on the skin.
  • Your tattoo artist will cover your new tattoo with a medical-grade protective tattoo film (Dermalize Pro) that serves as a breathable, protective covering for your new tattoo. This dressing stops the tattoo from being open to the air and irritants, as well as forming a barrier under which the skin can heal whilst limiting the scabbing process (this is known as “wet healing”).
  • A build-up of blood, ink and plasma will form under the plaster. This is completely normal and nothing to be concerned about. The artist usually applies the dressing with a margin of about 2 cm around the tattoo, however, should the plaster begin to come loose (with the risk of exposing the tattoo underneath and allowing water to collect in under the dressing), it is best to remove it and perform the usual cleaning and creaming process described below.
  • The Dermalize dressing must stay on for at least four (4) days, after which it can be removed.
  • To remove the plaster, find a corner of the plaster and slowly peel it back (make use of the soap provided, wash your hands, create foam with the soap and gradually pull the plaster off under warm running water, using the foam to lubricate the plaster as you move along bit by bit).
  • Using soap and lukewarm running water, lightly wash the tattoo, making sure to get rid of all excess ointment, blood, and any other residue. If some of the glue stays behind from the dressing, it is best to leave it - it will gradually come off during the daily process of washing and creaming.
  • Make use of a mild (pH balanced), fragrance-free, anti-bacterial liquid soap for washing your hands and your tattoo (this soap can usually be purchased from the shop, alternative examples that can also be purchased locally include Protex Liquid Hand Soap or Dettol Liquid Hand Soap, making use of the gentle or sensitive skin versions).
  • To reduce your risk of infection, ALWAYS wash your hands with an anti-bacterial liquid soap under lukewarm running water BEFORE touching your new tattoo. If a friend is assisting you, please make sure that they too have washed their hands.
  • After washing your tattoo, lightly pat it dry with a CLEAN dry towel or paper towel (NEVER rub the tattoo dry) and apply a small amount of aftercare cream – this aftercare ointment is available from True Blue. Please DO NOT cake it on - the tattoo should have a slight sheen after rubbing in the ointment. Alternative options for creams include E45 Cream or Camphor Cream (the original white cream, none of the other versions)
  • After a few days, your tattoo will begin to scab or peel - NEVER pick or scratch the skin. If it itches, wash your tattoo and re-apply ointment.
  • The majority of healing should be over in about 2 to 4 weeks. Full healing and rejuvenation of the skin will take about 2 months.

Important Things To Remember

  • AVOID products containing lanolin, petroleum or petroleum-based oils (eg: Vaseline and Zambuk) – these are unsuitable for tattoos, they prohibit the absorption of oxygen and the expulsion of toxins, which can lead to an infection. They can also clog pores and cause ink to leach from the skin.
  • Try to AVOID sleeping on your tattoo – this can result in the tattoo becoming stuck onto your clothes – if this happens, DO NOT rip them off, soak the area in water and then remove your clothing (TIP: sleep with dark linen and clothing to avoid leaving a lovely imprint of your tattoo on your sheets and PJs).
  • AVOID wearing tight clothing that will rub or irritate the tattoo – this can lead to excess scabbing and a loss of ink, try to wear loose-fitting cotton clothing over the tattooed area.
  • If you’re the active type – AVOID over-working the freshly tattooed area and ALWAYS give your skin a good wash after exercise to get rid of any sweat and bacteria.
  • During healing, AVOID soaking your tattoo in water (this includes swimming in the pool/ocean/river/dam and soaking in a bath or jacuzzi). Showers are okay (and encouraged!).
  • AVOID the sun – wear loose cotton clothing over your fresh tattoo to protect it and, once the tattoo has healed, ALWAYS apply a sunblock with a high SPF to preserve the colour of your tattoo.
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