Looking After Your New Tattoo
Once your tattoo is complete, your artist will wrap your tattoo with cling film and you’ll be on your way. We realise there is a lot of adrenaline buzzing after finishing your tattoo so anything that you may have missed during the explanation of how to look after it, is available here on our website.
The average healing process takes 2-4 weeks and can vary from person to person and tattoo to tattoo. There is some important information that you need to know so your tattoo heals the best it possibly can.
A fresh tattoo is an open wound, so you need to bear this in mind when looking after it and it is your responsibility to reduce the chance of infection. The first week of the healing process, is where you are at most at risk. Look after yourself and the tattoo as it’s your immune system doing the work from here! Most importantly you’ll need to ensure that you are keeping your tattoo as clean as possible. If you have antibacterial, non-fragrant soap available to use (such as Dettol or Simple), this is great for cleaning the tattoo however if you don’t have that, warm water is just fine.
During the first 1-3 days (depending on the size of your tattoo*) you’ll need to keep your tattoo wrapped in cling film. Changing the cling film, cleaning the tattoo and replacing it with fresh cling film at least 3 times throughout the day. You can use any standard cling film found at your local supermarket. You will find that your body is trying to reject the ink from your skin and a build up of plasma and ink (thick excess liquid) will be coming from the tattoo, particularly in the very early stages. This is normal and a sign your tattoo has started healing. Please ensure you’ve cleaned this all away before replacing the cling film. For some tattoo areas, you may prefer to use micropore tape to keep the cling film in place, you can find this at the Pharmacy. The cling film helps to aide the healing process as it reduces the chance of scabbing in the area.**
Once you are ready to remove the cling film completely (as recommended by your artist and once it has dried out) you will need to start applying cream to the area. It’s important not to smother your tattoo with cream (pea-sized is generally good), just a light layer to cover the surface area. There are a few options of cream which we recommend here at the studio so it really will depend on what option works best for you. Please refer to the PDF document for which cream we suggest.
Please ensure to touch your tattoo as little as possible and if any scabbing/skin flaking appears do not pick or scratch it off, allow it to fall off naturally.
During the healing process, it’s also important that you do not submerge your tattoo in water for any length of time as this can increase the chance of infection due to bacteria in the water and ink dropping out from the piece. This means no baths, no pools and no oceans over this time. Showering is absolutely fine. When you shower, this is great opportunity to give the tattoo a good clean and remove any excess plasma or dry skin that is coming from the area. Please do your best to avoid any shampoo/other products from coming in contact with your tattoo.
Avoid direct sunlight and sunbeds whilst your tattoo is healing as this will cause damage to your skin and increase the likelihood of the tattoo to fade. Once healed, apply high factor sunscreen to your tattoo ensure it stays as vibrant as possible.****
Please see attached a PDF of the step by step aftercare that you will be provided at the studio on the day of your tattoo. Any further questions regarding your tattoo aftercare, feel free to contact the shop.
*Your tattoo artist will give you an indiction on the best duration to keep your tattoo wrapped for. For small line-work pieces you’re looking at 1-2 days and for larger scale pieces (palm-sized and above) 2-3 days is best.
**In hot weather conditions, feel free to change the cling film more frequently to allow your skin to breathe (whilst ensuring that it is being kept clean). If you see a small rash appear surrounding the tattoo, it’s likely from the cling film. However if this occurs, feel free to contact the studio to ensure all is okay.
***If you wish to use Tegaderm or tattoo specific healing products let us know and we can pass on our recommendations.
****Going on holiday somewhere tropical? Your tattoo will need to be fully healed before you go. Please let us know when you are intending to go away and we can confirm whether this will give you enough time for your tattoo to heal.
Monday - Saturday
11:00 am - 7:00 pm
11:00 am - 5:00pm
34 Cheshire Street
London, E2 6EH
020 7175 0133