Tattoo Prep & Aftercare
Skin preparation for your tattoo
- For the best tattoo results, please follow these steps 1-2 weeks before your tattoo appointment:
- While showering, gently exfoliate the area that will be tattooed.
- Apply lotion to the area to hydrate and soften your skin; your tattoo will look cleaner and heal faster than if your skin is rough & dry.
- Drink a lot of water during the week; avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours before getting tattooed.
- Please do not shave the area; I will do it for you at your appointment.
- Avoid aspirin or blood thinning medication at least 24 hours before your tattoo; ibuprofen, acetaminophen, & other NSAID pain relievers are OK.
- Antibiotic treatments must be finished at least 1 week beforehand.
- If you need to make any significant changes to your design, I require a 48-hour notice in order to keep your retainer for this appointment. See policies for more information.
The Day of Your Tattoo
Your appointment day
- Bring your I.D. to your appointment. I cannot tattoo you without it.
- Eat a meal at least 1 hour before coming into your appointment. I recommend bringing in a sugary beverage and/or a snack to keep your blood sugar regulated and to munch on during breaks.
- Shower, exfoliate & hydrate your skin that morning. Please do not come in after a workout or sweating without showering. Avoid wearing strong perfumes.
- Wear clean & loose-fitting clothes; something you wouldn’t mind getting stained with ink.
- Feel free to bring headphones or a book to entertain yourself, especially during long sessions.
- Please reschedule if you are not feeling well.
See policies for more information.
After your appointment
- Remove your bandage 1–2 hours after getting tattooed, preferably at your home, in a clean environment.
- Please wash your hands with an antibacterial liquid soap before touching your tattoo. Gently wash your tattoo and pat dry with a clean paper towel.
- Apply a small amount of non-scented lotion to the area to keep it hydrated. Suffocating your tattoo will prolong healing time, so avoid over-saturation of lotion or ointment (i.e. Aquaphor®). Do not rub your tattoo.
- You may see ink or blood when washing your tattoo for the first couple days; this is normal and nothing to be alarmed about.
- I recommend you wear darker color clothes around your tattoo for the first week. Clean, dark bed sheets are always a great idea with a new tattoo as well.
- If there is swelling, apply ice and/or use NSAID pain relievers such as ibuprofen.
- Keep your tattoo away from animals.
- Avoid swimming, hot-tubbing or submerging your tattoo in water for 2–3 weeks.
- Avoid sun exposure or tanning for at least 4 weeks.
- Wear clean, soft clothing and avoid tight garments around your new tattoo.
- If your skin hurts while exercising, refrain from working out until it has healed. Please be aware of unclean gym equipment and protect yourself from infection.
- If you have a foot tattoo & feel it’s necessary for the first few days, wrap your cleaned & lotioned tattoo in Saran Wrap™, then cover it with a clean cotton sock before putting on a shoe. Sandals or flip-flops that rub on your tattoo should also be avoided for the first couple weeks. Note: tattoos on the lower extremities take longer to heal because they’re farther away from your heart.
Days 2 – 7
- Wash the area with antibacterial soap, pat dry, then rub in a thin layer of non-scented lotion 2–3 times a day as needed.
- Your tattoo will peel or start scabbing: this is normal. Do not pick at, scratch, or irritate the tattoo. Apply non-scented lotion as needed for the first 2–4 weeks.
Thank you for taking the time to read this information and for your continued support. I am looking forward to seeing you soon!
After your appointment
- Remove your bandage within 1 hour of getting tattooed.
- Wash your hands with an antibacterial soap, then gently wash the tattoo with the antibacterial soap.
- Pat your tattoo dry with a clean paper towel.
- Rub in a small amount of non-scented lotion to the area to keep it hydrated.
Day 2 — Apply Saniderm adhesive dressing
- 24 hours after getting tattooed, wash hands & tattoo with an antibacterial soap, and leave the area exposed to dry completely (5+ minutes).
- Do not apply lotion before applying Saniderm.
- Saniderm has 2 sides: a paper and a plastic side.
- Cut Saniderm to a size that is larger than your tattoo & then remove the paper side.
- Apply Saniderm over the tattoo so it covers it completely. Leaving at least an inch of space around the tattoo is recommended.
- Rub out any air bubbles you may see & then remove the hard outer plasic side.
- Rub Saniderm down so it seals around your tattoo.
- You may see some pooling of fluids & ink while the Saniderm is on; this is normal.
- After 24 hours of using the first piece of Saniderm, take a shower with warm water and use soap to remove the Saniderm from your tattoo.
- Wash your hands, gently wash your tattoo & leave it exposed so it dries completely.
- Apply 2nd sheet of Saniderm.
- Leave 2nd sheet of Saniderm on for 3–5 days.
- It may start to get itchy around day 3–4. This is normal & expected.
Days 3 – 5
- After 3–5 days of wearing the 2nd piece of Saniderm, take a shower with warm water and use soap to remove the Saniderm from the area.
- Wash the area with antibacterial soap & pat dry, then apply a layer of non-scented lotion 2–3 times a day as needed.
- Repeat for the next 2–4 weeks.
Visit saniderm.com/how-to-use for more information and how-to videos.