Categories: Lifestyle

Secrets for good tattoo aftercare

Congratulations on getting inked!

Hope all you tattoo enthusiasts have been following my previous articles to educate yourself about tattooing and have been able to get inked or planning to get inked in the most hygienic and best way possible.

Once the tattoo is done, our job as tattoo artist is almost done and now it is up to you to take great care of your tattoo.

Your artist must have advised you about the aftercare and kindly follow them very very strictly for proper healing and to avoid infection. Different aftercare works best for different artists, so strictly adhere to your artist’s instructions.

The following aftercare works best for me and I prescribe the following set of instructions to my clients.

Once the tattoo is completed, it has to be treated like a fresh wound. It is either wrapped up with a cling wrap or special tattoo adhesive bandage. I am penning down the aftercare for both.


If the tattoo is wrapped with cling wrap, then you must-

1. Have the cling wrap overnight or for the next 7/8 hours(if you have got inked in the morning) to avoid dust or contact against your clothes to avoid infection. You will observe a thick layer of excess ink (that body will push out) and body fluid secretion. Don’t panic that the tattoo has been smudged. Your tattoo is safe under your skin!

2. The following day, after shower, remove the wrap and dispose. With clean hands and a clean tissue, press and clean wipe tattoo. Make sure all the extra ink and body fluids are completely cleaned.

3. Keep applying the aftercare ointment or coconut oil 3-4 times a day. Vaseline should strictly NOT be applied.

4. Tattoo must be always clean, it must be  kept moisturized with the ointment or coconut oil only.

5. Make sure tattoo doesn’t come in contact with your sleeves or watch or rope or soap or any other kind of chemicals like body lotions or creams depending on the area tattooed.

6. After 4-5 days of tattooing, top layer of skin will start peeling . This is called SCABBING. The Tattoo WILL go COMPLETELY DULL. Don’t panic, Keep applying oil or ointment. For bigger tattoos, ask your artist to recommend a good aftercare cream/ointment.

7. Complete healing time is one month. Waxing or sunscreen or body lotions should be applied only after a month on the tattooed area.

Aftercare for a tattoo with tattoo adhesive bandages-

  1. Tattoo adhesive bandages are a thin, transparent, breathable bandages which can  be applied and left over the tattoo for the next 4-5 days without replacement. With these bandages, little aftercare is required when compared to the cling wrap which has to be removed after 7/8 hours.
  2. Once 4 days are completed, the bandage must be peeled off  and coconut oil or ointment must be applied continuously until a month from the date of tattooing.

Few clients may get heat boils or pimples on their tattooed area due to their body’s heat in a few days from getting inked. This is normal. Don’t pick them or touch them for any reason. Drink loads of water, tender coconut water and keep applying the aftercare ointment.

Don’t sleep on the tattooed area for a few days. Let your skin breathe and allow the body to take care of the healing with a little external help from your side.

Hope I have given out all the information. Inspite of the above guidelines, if your are still in doubt, contact your artist. Don’t panic and don’t prescribe your own remedies if unsure. 

Preethi Prabhuram
Femina featured tattoo artist
Owner, Fihankra tattoos, Chennai

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