Basic Tattoo Aftercare Process

By Tim Lees Tattoo
  1. Carefully remove bandage and tape. Do not tear off!

  2. Lather a pure, fragrance free, liquid antibacterial soap in your hands with lukewarm water, NOT hot.

  3. Gently clean tattoo, using only clean hands in a circular motion until all ointment, blood, plasma and lymphatic fluid is removed. (It is fully clean when your fingers start to stick to the tattooed area.)

  4. Rinse the tattoo in COLD water and wash once again gently until the skin tightens back up. Repeat this process 2-3 times a day.

  5. Pat it dry with a soft, clean towel in a dabbing motion. Do not rub or wipe.

  6. Apply a thin coat of Aquaphor ointment. Rub it all the way in and DO NOT leave it thick, heavy or glistening.

  7. ICE the tattooed area for 30-40 minutes 2 times a day.

  8. Repeat the above instructions 2-3 times a day for the first few days.

  9. Your tattoo will start to react like a sunburn.

  10. Keep clean as needed and after the first few days, switch from Aquaphor ointment to Lubriderm skin lotion and apply a few times a day as needed.

Tattoo Aftercare Explained

  1. Remove bandage in a CLEEN environment 3-4 hours after appointment NO SOONER. After removing the bandage, wash the tattoo immediately with lukewarm water and pure soap. I recommend Dial soap out of a pure bottle that has no moisture or additives and is fragrance free and anti-bacterial. The bandage can be left on overnight if it feels comfortable and secure but do not leave bandage on any longer than 12 hours. If the bandage is removed on the first night, the tattoo may stick to and/or stain your bed sheets. Be sure to maintain CLEEN bedding throughout the healing process.

    It is extremely important that you are careful about anything and everything your tattoo could come in contact with. KEEP OUT OF SUNLIGHT as much as possible. No chlorine water, salt water, hot tub, Jacuzzis, tanning beds, etc… Be extremely mindful of all the elements that come in contact with your new tattoo, i.e dust, lint, sand, granule, fabrics, clothing anything you may lean or sit on, etc… for the first 2 weeks.

    It will take anywhere from 1-2 weeks for your tattoo to be healed for the most part and 2-3 months for your skin to completely regenerate its’ natural oils around the tattooed area. When getting tattooed, your skin’s natural oils will be completely depleted. You are most susceptible to loss of color in the first 3 months due to sunlight and the lack of natural oils in your skin during this period.

  2. Always make sure to use CLEEN hands when washing your tattoo. NO washcloths, bath towels, sponges or any other abrasive exfoliation materials. HEAT IS YOUR ENEMY AND COLD IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. Heat expands while cold retracts. Too much heat will cause the pores of your skin to open wide up, allowing for more weeping (leakage) of your plasma and lymphatic fluid that is your body’s natural healer. If the pores of your skin stay overheated for long periods of time, it will keep building up plasma and lymphatic fluid and which will make the surface layer of your skin dry out. This will significantly increase the amount of time it takes for your tattoo to heal overall and increase your chances of the tattoo having to be touched up. Cold will retract all the pores in your skin and speed up your healing process by locking everything in. The cooler you can keep the tattooed area and surrounding skin, the better. After cleaning your hands thoroughly, use a good amount of soap and lather it up to where it is a bit foamy in your hands.

  3. It is best to initially CLEEN your tattoo under running water that is lukewarm so that it will slightly open up the pores of your skin allowing for a deeper cleaning of the tattooed area. Put the area under the water for a few minutes to allow the top layer to rinse off while the pores are opening up slightly. Pull away from the water and apply the lathered soap using your hands in a circular motion for at least one minute. Continue moving your hands in the circular motion while putting the area back under the running water until all of the ointment, blood, plasma and lymphatic fluid has been removed. It is fully CLEEN when the area no longer feels slimy and your fingers start to stick to the tattooed area. This will feel a bit sore to do but it is imperative that you really get the area clean.

  4. As soon as your tattoo is clean, switch to cold water and rinse the tattooed area for 2-3 minutes, allowing enough time for the pores to close back up and tighten the area. Lather your hands up with soap one more time and gently CLEEN it again while staying under the cold water. If you’re using a shower to CLEEN the area, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that once the area is clean, you get out. Do not sit in the shower and let the water continue to hit the area once it is CLEEN as you do not want to water-log the skin. Try to keep the entire cleaning process under 8 minutes.

  5. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you use a soft, CLEEN towel to pat your tattoo dry. Gently lay the towel over the top of the tattoo and pat your hand on the top of the towel so that it absorbs all the moisture. DO NOT under any circumstances wipe, rub or use anything abrasive during this period of healing. Remove the towel and let the area air dry for 5-10 minutes or put the area in front of a fan to speed up the drying process. If you choose to use a fan, make sure the fan is CLEEN and not blowing out any dust or dirt particles onto your fresh tattoo. The area needs to be dry enough that there is no residual moisture sitting on top of your fresh tattoo.

  6. Now that your tattoo is clean, the pores of your skin are all tightened back up and it is completely dry, apply a THIN layer of Aquaphor ointment. Spread it evenly across the entire tattooed area. I recommend dabbing little spots of the ointment in various spots of the tattooed area and slowly spreading it across the entire area evenly. Make sure to rub it all the way in and DO NOT leave it heavy, thick or glistening in any way. Trust me, I know it is sore but you must work it all the way into your skin so that it is applied evenly and is absorbed by your skin completely. If you happened to apply too much ointment, carefully dab the excess off with a CLEEN paper towel. Use Aquaphor for the first 2-3 days and then switch to a regular, FRAGRANCE FREE lotion. I recommend Lubriderm. Do not use anything aloe vera-based as it is a natural extractor and meant to pull things out of the skin.

  7. After your tattoo has been properly protected, it is in your best interest to ice the area for 30-40 minutes twice a day for the first 2-3 days or as needed. Again, heat is your enemy and cold is your best friend throughout the healing process. Applying ice will control any swelling you may have incurred while getting your tattoo because of where it may be located. Swelling is the buildup of fluids underneath your skin. If this does happen, you may need to ice the area more because this fluid retains heat. While your new tattoo is healing, be mindful of your overall body heat throughout the day and apply these cool down steps when necessary.

    Wear loose clothing, preferably cotton materials over your fresh tattoo. DO NOT re-bandage unless specified otherwise. Try not to wear any materials that can possibly irritate the area. A bra strap, tight waistband, sweaty gym clothes or clothing made from polyester could also potentially create healing problems as well as denim or any other heavy, course fabrics as it will rub against your new tattoo and could irritate it.

    If you are not mindful of your body heat and wear these types of materials, you could cause your tattoo to weep (leak) more throughout the day and exposed to the open air will cause it to get sticky and thick. In this state, your skin will build up a hard layer on top of the healing tattoo to protect itself which could cause your tattoo to not look as good and could possibly need touching up. This can easily be avoided by following these proper cleaning instructions. 

  8. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to repeat the above instructions 2-3 times a day for the first few days or longer if necessary. These first few days are the most critical time period during the healing process of a new tattoo so do your part to protect your investment now that you understand the aftercare process! The placement and size of your tattoo as well as how much you normally exhaust your body during your daily activities all play a part in how often you’ll need to repeat these aftercare instructions during the healing process. Remember, control your body heat and keep your tattoo as cool, CLEEN and dry (from moisture NOT ointment/lotion) as you possibly can.

    If you let too much moisture sit on top of the tattoo for extended periods of time, it will come in contact with the open air which will turn the open skin hard and could potentially cause thick scabbing. You definitely want to avoid this, which is why the aftercare process is so important. It is also very important to keep an eye on your tattoo several times throughout the day as everyone heals differently. 2-3 days of repeating the aftercare instructions is just a recommendation but it is extremely important to pay attention to when your body is telling you it’s time to CLEEN your tattoo as many times as that may be.

    Checking your tattoo multiple times a day also helps spot any additional build up that may occur. Even though you may be keeping your tattoo as free from moisture as you possibly can, build up from residual ointment, plasma and lymphatic fluid can still happen which is why it’s important to repeat the aftercare process as many times as needed. After the first few days, you will not need to repeat the process more than 2-3 times per day.

  9. Anywhere from 2-4 days your tattoo will start to react similar to a sunburn, which is when you’ll want to switch from using the Aquaphor ointment to using lotion.

    How well you’ve kept up with following the aftercare instructions will determine the amount of light skin peeling to scabbing you will experience. You should have little to no amount of peeling if you properly cared for your tattoo during the healing period. Your tattoo will start to go through a dry stage where the top layer of skin will shed as it is regenerating its natural oils in the newly tattooed area. Because of this, your tattoo may appear like it is fading but do not worry, this is normal. Your tattoo is coming to the end of its healing process and the skin is regenerating its vibrancy.

    This stage can be very irritating because not only is your skin regenerating its oils and vibrancy but the hair is also starting to grow back through the skin, which causes it to itch. DO NOT PICK OR SCRATCH AT YOUR TATTOO. To relieve the itching sensation, slap the tattooed area with your hand. The sting from the slap will alleviate the itch and so will continuing to keep the area cool and not overheated.

  10.  
  11. After getting through the most important part of the healing process, you’ll still need to CLEEN your tattoo regularly with fragrance free antibacterial soap and plenty of lotion to keep the area moisturized through this dry stage. Your tattoo will be healed for the most part after about 2-3 weeks but it takes about 2-3 months for the skin to completely regenerate its natural oils. Rubbing vitamin E oil is also great to use directly on your skin on a daily basis until you get to the end of the dry stage throughout the first month or so. Vitamin E will help speed up the process of your body’s regeneration of its natural oils.

“ Welcome to being among the tattooed “

I guarantee you will have little to no problems during the healing process if you follow these aftercare instructions whether you have a normal surface tattoo or a deep cover up tattoo. If you have any questions about your tattoo whether I did it or not, please feel free to call me before you consult your friends about healing issues. I have spent 20+ years gaining the required knowledge and experience to answer any and all questions correctly.

Thank You!

Tim Lees Tattoo

Basic Tattoo Aftercare Process

By Tim Lees Tattoo
  1. Carefully remove bandage and tape. Do not tear off!

  2. Lather a pure, fragrance free, liquid antibacterial soap in your hands with lukewarm water, NOT hot.

  3. Gently clean tattoo, using only clean hands in a circular motion until all ointment, blood, plasma and lymphatic fluid is removed. (It is fully clean when your fingers start to stick to the tattooed area.)

  4. Rinse the tattoo in COLD water and wash once again gently until the skin tightens back up. Repeat this process 2-3 times a day.

  5. Pat it dry with a soft, clean towel in a dabbing motion. Do not rub or wipe.

  6. Apply a thin coat of Aquaphor ointment. Rub it all the way in and DO NOT leave it thick, heavy or glistening.

  7. ICE the tattooed area for 30-40 minutes 2 times a day.

  8. Repeat the above instructions 2-3 times a day for the first few days.

  9. Your tattoo will start to react like a sunburn.

  10. Keep clean as needed and after the first few days, switch from Aquaphor ointment to Lubriderm skin lotion and apply a few times a day as needed.

Tattoo Aftercare Explained

  1. Remove bandage in a CLEEN environment 3-4 hours after appointment NO SOONER. After removing the bandage, wash the tattoo immediately with lukewarm water and pure soap. I recommend Dial soap out of a pure bottle that has no moisture or additives and is fragrance free and anti-bacterial. The bandage can be left on overnight if it feels comfortable and secure but do not leave bandage on any longer than 12 hours. If the bandage is removed on the first night, the tattoo may stick to and/or stain your bed sheets. Be sure to maintain CLEEN bedding throughout the healing process.

    It is extremely important that you are careful about anything and everything your tattoo could come in contact with. KEEP OUT OF SUNLIGHT as much as possible. No chlorine water, salt water, hot tub, Jacuzzis, tanning beds, etc… Be extremely mindful of all the elements that come in contact with your new tattoo, i.e dust, lint, sand, granule, fabrics, clothing anything you may lean or sit on, etc… for the first 2 weeks.

    It will take anywhere from 1-2 weeks for your tattoo to be healed for the most part and 2-3 months for your skin to completely regenerate its’ natural oils around the tattooed area. When getting tattooed, your skin’s natural oils will be completely depleted. You are most susceptible to loss of color in the first 3 months due to sunlight and the lack of natural oils in your skin during this period.

  2. Always make sure to use CLEEN hands when washing your tattoo. NO washcloths, bath towels, sponges or any other abrasive exfoliation materials. HEAT IS YOUR ENEMY AND COLD IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. Heat expands while cold retracts. Too much heat will cause the pores of your skin to open wide up, allowing for more weeping (leakage) of your plasma and lymphatic fluid that is your body’s natural healer. If the pores of your skin stay overheated for long periods of time, it will keep building up plasma and lymphatic fluid and which will make the surface layer of your skin dry out. This will significantly increase the amount of time it takes for your tattoo to heal overall and increase your chances of the tattoo having to be touched up. Cold will retract all the pores in your skin and speed up your healing process by locking everything in. The cooler you can keep the tattooed area and surrounding skin, the better. After cleaning your hands thoroughly, use a good amount of soap and lather it up to where it is a bit foamy in your hands.

  3. It is best to initially CLEEN your tattoo under running water that is lukewarm so that it will slightly open up the pores of your skin allowing for a deeper cleaning of the tattooed area. Put the area under the water for a few minutes to allow the top layer to rinse off while the pores are opening up slightly. Pull away from the water and apply the lathered soap using your hands in a circular motion for at least one minute. Continue moving your hands in the circular motion while putting the area back under the running water until all of the ointment, blood, plasma and lymphatic fluid has been removed. It is fully CLEEN when the area no longer feels slimy and your fingers start to stick to the tattooed area. This will feel a bit sore to do but it is imperative that you really get the area clean.

  4. As soon as your tattoo is clean, switch to cold water and rinse the tattooed area for 2-3 minutes, allowing enough time for the pores to close back up and tighten the area. Lather your hands up with soap one more time and gently CLEEN it again while staying under the cold water. If you’re using a shower to CLEEN the area, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that once the area is clean, you get out. Do not sit in the shower and let the water continue to hit the area once it is CLEEN as you do not want to water-log the skin. Try to keep the entire cleaning process under 8 minutes.

  5. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you use a soft, CLEEN towel to pat your tattoo dry. Gently lay the towel over the top of the tattoo and pat your hand on the top of the towel so that it absorbs all the moisture. DO NOT under any circumstances wipe, rub or use anything abrasive during this period of healing. Remove the towel and let the area air dry for 5-10 minutes or put the area in front of a fan to speed up the drying process. If you choose to use a fan, make sure the fan is CLEEN and not blowing out any dust or dirt particles onto your fresh tattoo. The area needs to be dry enough that there is no residual moisture sitting on top of your fresh tattoo.

  6. Now that your tattoo is clean, the pores of your skin are all tightened back up and it is completely dry, apply a THIN layer of Aquaphor ointment. Spread it evenly across the entire tattooed area. I recommend dabbing little spots of the ointment in various spots of the tattooed area and slowly spreading it across the entire area evenly. Make sure to rub it all the way in and DO NOT leave it heavy, thick or glistening in any way. Trust me, I know it is sore but you must work it all the way into your skin so that it is applied evenly and is absorbed by your skin completely. If you happened to apply too much ointment, carefully dab the excess off with a CLEEN paper towel. Use Aquaphor for the first 2-3 days and then switch to a regular, FRAGRANCE FREE lotion. I recommend Lubriderm. Do not use anything aloe vera-based as it is a natural extractor and meant to pull things out of the skin.

  7. After your tattoo has been properly protected, it is in your best interest to ice the area for 30-40 minutes twice a day for the first 2-3 days or as needed. Again, heat is your enemy and cold is your best friend throughout the healing process. Applying ice will control any swelling you may have incurred while getting your tattoo because of where it may be located. Swelling is the buildup of fluids underneath your skin. If this does happen, you may need to ice the area more because this fluid retains heat. While your new tattoo is healing, be mindful of your overall body heat throughout the day and apply these cool down steps when necessary.

    Wear loose clothing, preferably cotton materials over your fresh tattoo. DO NOT re-bandage unless specified otherwise. Try not to wear any materials that can possibly irritate the area. A bra strap, tight waistband, sweaty gym clothes or clothing made from polyester could also potentially create healing problems as well as denim or any other heavy, course fabrics as it will rub against your new tattoo and could irritate it.

    If you are not mindful of your body heat and wear these types of materials, you could cause your tattoo to weep (leak) more throughout the day and exposed to the open air will cause it to get sticky and thick. In this state, your skin will build up a hard layer on top of the healing tattoo to protect itself which could cause your tattoo to not look as good and could possibly need touching up. This can easily be avoided by following these proper cleaning instructions. 

  8. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to repeat the above instructions 2-3 times a day for the first few days or longer if necessary. These first few days are the most critical time period during the healing process of a new tattoo so do your part to protect your investment now that you understand the aftercare process! The placement and size of your tattoo as well as how much you normally exhaust your body during your daily activities all play a part in how often you’ll need to repeat these aftercare instructions during the healing process. Remember, control your body heat and keep your tattoo as cool, CLEEN and dry (from moisture NOT ointment/lotion) as you possibly can.

    If you let too much moisture sit on top of the tattoo for extended periods of time, it will come in contact with the open air which will turn the open skin hard and could potentially cause thick scabbing. You definitely want to avoid this, which is why the aftercare process is so important. It is also very important to keep an eye on your tattoo several times throughout the day as everyone heals differently. 2-3 days of repeating the aftercare instructions is just a recommendation but it is extremely important to pay attention to when your body is telling you it’s time to CLEEN your tattoo as many times as that may be.

    Checking your tattoo multiple times a day also helps spot any additional build up that may occur. Even though you may be keeping your tattoo as free from moisture as you possibly can, build up from residual ointment, plasma and lymphatic fluid can still happen which is why it’s important to repeat the aftercare process as many times as needed. After the first few days, you will not need to repeat the process more than 2-3 times per day.

  9. Anywhere from 2-4 days your tattoo will start to react similar to a sunburn, which is when you’ll want to switch from using the Aquaphor ointment to using lotion.

    How well you’ve kept up with following the aftercare instructions will determine the amount of light skin peeling to scabbing you will experience. You should have little to no amount of peeling if you properly cared for your tattoo during the healing period. Your tattoo will start to go through a dry stage where the top layer of skin will shed as it is regenerating its natural oils in the newly tattooed area. Because of this, your tattoo may appear like it is fading but do not worry, this is normal. Your tattoo is coming to the end of its healing process and the skin is regenerating its vibrancy.

    This stage can be very irritating because not only is your skin regenerating its oils and vibrancy but the hair is also starting to grow back through the skin, which causes it to itch. DO NOT PICK OR SCRATCH AT YOUR TATTOO. To relieve the itching sensation, slap the tattooed area with your hand. The sting from the slap will alleviate the itch and so will continuing to keep the area cool and not overheated.

  10.  
  11. After getting through the most important part of the healing process, you’ll still need to CLEEN your tattoo regularly with fragrance free antibacterial soap and plenty of lotion to keep the area moisturized through this dry stage. Your tattoo will be healed for the most part after about 2-3 weeks but it takes about 2-3 months for the skin to completely regenerate its natural oils. Rubbing vitamin E oil is also great to use directly on your skin on a daily basis until you get to the end of the dry stage throughout the first month or so. Vitamin E will help speed up the process of your body’s regeneration of its natural oils.

“ Welcome to being among the tattooed “

I guarantee you will have little to no problems during the healing process if you follow these aftercare instructions whether you have a normal surface tattoo or a deep cover up tattoo. If you have any questions about your tattoo whether I did it or not, please feel free to call me before you consult your friends about healing issues. I have spent 20+ years gaining the required knowledge and experience to answer any and all questions correctly.

Thank You!

Tim Lees Tattoo