When you get your first tattoo, keep the bandage on for at least one hour, to a maximum of two.  Clean the tattoo with a fragrance-less soap and warm water.

When washing, rinse off the slime that forms on top of the tattooed area of the skin. Pat the area dry with a paper towel. Put special tattoo ointment or unscented lotion such as tattoo goo on the area. Make sure you put a small amount necessary to only keep the skin moist and take off any excess amount.

When you scratch you get ink bits on your finger nails and also ruin your fresh new tattoo. No one wants to deal with the hassle of a touch up. This is why you need proper aftercare methods. ScaredyTatts can provide you with everything you need to know for a perfect heal first appointment!

Looking for a ArkLaTex tattoo shop?  Look no further, Scaredytatts!!!!

For Further Tattoo and Piercing Aftercare Instructions Below.

Tattoo Aftercare Instructions

​Now, you have your fresh new tattoo, and you want to take good care of it! From this point on, your artist is not responsible for any infection or problems you may have with your tattoo if you don't take proper care of it. It is very important that you follow these guidelines. 

A really beautiful tattoo can turn into a disaster if the proper aftercare is not taken. 

Leave That Bandage Alone!

Your artist took the care to cover up your new tattoo for a very good reason - to keep air-born bacteria from invading your wound. Yes, as pretty as your new tattoo is, it is still a wound. Open flesh is a breeding ground for bacteria and infection. Leave the bandage on for a minimum of one hour. The excitement of having a new tattoo will make you want to remove the bandage so you can show your friends, but your friends will just have to wait until will still be there.  

Wash and Treat

If your bandage is a type of paper or gauze then you will want to soak it in water when you remove it, to keep it from sticking to you. After you remove the bandage, you will want to wash your tattoo. Use lukewarm water and mild, liquid antibacterial or antimicrobial soap, the Gold Dial soap is just fine,  to gently wash away any ointment, blood and/or plasma and to completely clean the area. Do not use a washcloth or anything abrasive. Your hand is your best tool in this case. (If your tattoo feels slimy and slippery, you have probably been oozing plasma. Try to gently remove as much of this as possible - when the plasma dries on the skin surface, it creates scabs.) 

Then pat (do not rub) the area firmly with a CLEAN towel or paper towel to get it completely dry. You can either let it air dry for a day or so and start applying a light unscented lotion once it starts feeling dry and tight, or begin applying it immediately.  I would usually recommend to wait for a day, until it starts feeling dry. 

**Do not use Neosporin. This is a wonderful product for cuts and scrapes, but not for tattoos. Some can have an allergic reaction to the Neosporin, which causes little red bumps. When the bumps go away, so does the ink, and you end up with a polka-dotted tattoo.** 

Specialty Products and Lotions 

If you prefer, you can also use a specialty product such as Tattoo Balm/Lotion or H2Ocean. It's not necessary, as many over the counter products work just fine, but it's your choice. Use the products as directed as continue for 3-5 days. 

After that, continue to keep it clean, but you can use lotion when needed instead of ointment, to keep the skin soft. Whatever lotion you use, it should be dye and fragrance free.

Bathing, Showering, Hot Tubs, and Swimming

Yes, you can (and should!) shower with a new tattoo. It's OK to get your tattoo wet - just don't soak it. Submerging your tattoo in a bath or hot tub can cause serious damage, so you'll want to avoid those for 2-3 weeks, but showering is perfectly fine as long as you don't saturate your tattoo. If you get soap or shampoo on your tattoo, just remove it quickly with water. Swimming - whether it be a pool, fresh water or salt water - should be avoided for at least 2 weeks. 

Scabbing and Peeling

After a few days, you will notice some peeling and possibly a little scabbing. Excessive scabbing could indicate a poorly-done tattoo, but a little is generally normal, especially for complex color tattoos and there is no need to panic. Apply warm moist compresses to the scabs for about 5 minutes 2-3 times a day to soften them and they will eventually come off on their own. (Do not apply ointment or lotion to a softened scab - wait for it to dry) You will also start to itch, just like a sunburn when it begins to heal. The advice here is, don't pick, and don't scratch! If the skin itches, slap it. If it is peeling, put lotion on it. Your tattoo is almost healed, and now is not the time to ruin it! 

Protection from the sun

After your tattoo is healed, from now on, you will always want to protect it from the sun's ultraviolet rays. These can fade and damage a brilliant tattoo very fast. Before spending a lot of time in excessive heat, protect your tattoo with a minimum 30SPF sunblock. This will keep your tattoo vibrant for many years, and it will continue to be a source of great pride. 

Piercing Aftercare Instructions

Piercing T.L.C. - Aftercare Instructions T.L.C. stands for tender loving care, and that is exactly what your new piercing is going to need. Slacking off on your aftercare or using harmful products will only prolong your discomfort and the healing process.

Most piercers will give you aftercare instructions, and the general rule of thumb would be to follow their advice. But I have found that most customers allow this information to enter one ear and exit the other. Also, piercing clients tend to lose their paper aftercare instructions and blame it on their hungry dog. And then there are the customers that go to a mall kiosk and get pierced with a gun, and then come here to learn they shouldn't have done that. For those of you in any of those groups, or if your piercer really didn't tell you how to care for your new piercing, here are my recommendations.

*Disclaimer*  Not all aftercare methods are appropriate for all people, but I am recommending what I have found to be best after piercing for many years.

General Piercing Aftercare

What You May Need:

***Sea Salt\Epsom Salt

***Anti-Bacterial or Antimicrobial Liquid Soap/Wash

***Cotton Balls

***Cotton-tipped Swabs

***Small disposable cups (2-4 ounces)

Cleaning Your Piercing:

1. First, wash your hands thoroughly. Never touch your piercing or jewelry with dirty hands.

2. Saturate a cotton ball with warm water, and gently wipe away any "crusties" that have gathered around the piercing site. Throw the cotton ball away.

3. Apply a generous amount of liquid soap to your fingertip, and apply to the piercing site and jewelry. Make sure you get the soap everywhere, but rotating the jewelry is not necessary as long as you work the soap around the piercing and jewelry completely.

4. Rinse the piercing and jewelry several times with warm water, ensuring that all soap has been removed.

5. Dry your piercing with a clean paper towel and then dispose of it.

Cleaning Tips

Cloth towels, especially those that have been already used, can harbor germs and bacteria. This is why it is safest to use a disposable paper towel. Other single-use products such as gauze, napkins, etc. can also be used. If you must use a fabric cloth or towel, make sure it is clean from the laundry.

Acceptable Healing Aids and Products

Tea Tree Oil - This soothing liquid cools and refreshes an irritated piercing. Use only high quality tea tree oil that has been diluted with distilled water.

Emu Oil
 - A universal healing product that has been discovered to also produce exceptional results when healing a piercing.

H2Ocean - Although some would call it "glorified saline solution," most do report excellent healing results with this product.

Saline Solution - Less expensive and more readily available than most other products, saline solution is very effective in soothing and healing a new piercing. It's also an acceptable substitute for sea salt soaks.


Hydrogen Peroxide - Hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria, but it also kills the white blood cells attempting to heal your piercing. It can cause irritation and lengthen overall healing time.

Rubbing Alcohol - Alcohol will dry the skin and irritate the raw piercing, which could actually lead to infection.

Glyoxide - This is a product that contains hydrogen peroxide and hinders healing rather than aiding it.

Ear Care Solution
 - Solutions that are provided by jewelry boutiques and department store piercers usually contain alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and other harmful chemicals that only aggravate a new piercing.

Ointments - Antibacterial ointments or similar products only clog pores and/or kill good cells trying to heal the piercing.

Salt Soaks

1. Wash your hands thoroughly with liquid antibacterial or antimicrobial soap (Satin and Provon are best).

2. Place a pinch of sea salt in the bottom of a small disposable cup. About 1/8 teaspoon.

3. Add hot tap water - as hot as you can stand - to the salt. Use about 3 ounces of water - which is just over half-full in a 5 ounce cup.

4. If possible, invert the cup right over the piercing and allow it to stay there for 5 minutes. This usually works well for nipple and navel piercings. If you can't create a sufficient seal against the skin with the cup, then soak a cotton ball in the salt water solution and apply the cotton ball to the piercing. When it cools down, throw it away and place a newly saturated cotton ball on the piercing. Do this for 5 minutes.

5. Rinse the piercing with warm water and dry with a clean paper towel.

Soaking Tips

If you are not sure about the solution strength, put a dab on your finger and taste it with the tip of your tongue. It should be no saltier than a potato chip.
To aid in healing a new piercing, epsom salt soaks once a day should be sufficient. If your piercing is irritated, increase sea salt soaks to 2-3 times per day until the irritation subsides.

If your piercing becomes irritated as a result of sea salt soaks, you are probably using either the wrong kind of salt or have made your solution too strong.