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Tattoo After Care

The instructions should be followed as stated. Failure to do so may lead to infection, damage, and/or discoloring of the tattoo.


The tattoo will take approximately two to three weeks to heal. It may be tender for the first few days, and then it may develop light scabs and appear crusty. These will flake off. DO NOT pick at or peal them off! During this period, the tattoo may look ugly, and it may seem that its color is falling out with the scabs. DON’T WORRY; this is a normal part of the process! During the next stage, the tattoo looks basically healed, but is still waxy or shiny on the surface. The directions below should be followed until the last stage has passed and the tattoo is fully healed.


If your artist used a waterproof medical grade breathable clear bandage:

  1. Leave the bandage on for 2 full days. During the 48 hour period the tattoo will expel fluid and ink. The bandage will begin to fill and the tattoo will become more difficult to see under the bandage. This is normal and commonly referred to as an ink sack.
  2. After 48 hours, gently remove the bandage. Do not rip it off like a band-aide. Slowly and carefully remove the bandage. Now the cleaning and after care routine begins.
  3. Twice a day, for 1 week to 10 days clean your new tattoo. The cleaning and aftercare routine should be followed accordingly:

    Once in the morning and once at night the tattoo should be cleaned. When showering, please schedule your cleaning for the end of your shower. This will remove an excess soap, chemicals, dyes and/or fragrances that may have come in contact with the tattoo. Avoid using any of your normal shower products directly on your tattoo. This will help keep your tattoo from becoming irritated and/or from having an adverse reaction to the soaps, shampoos etc used. Using antibacterial soap (preferably Dial Gold), wash your hands, rinse them clean and create a 2nd soapy lather, not just soap. Gently wash your tattoo using your fingertips and palm. Do not use any sponges, washcloths, paper towels, bath towels or luffas. Only use your hands. Gently rinse your tattoo clean and let it air dry. Do not towel dry.

  4. Apply aftercare twice a day. Once your tattoo has air dried after washing it, gently apply a very small amount of aftercare. Expressive Ink suggests using After Inked. If you notice a glare or knowingly applied too much, gently spread and rub it onto the surrounding areas to get the excess aftercare off your tattoo. Too much aftercare can result in longer heal times, irritation and the tattoo fading. Less is more.
  5. During the healing process (2-3 weeks) avoid the following:
  • Direct sun and/or tanning Soaking in water i.e. Pools, Jacuzzis, Hot Tubs, Oceans, Baths, Ponds, Lakes, etc.
  • Extreme heat i.e. Saunas, Hot Yoga, etc.
  • DO NOT touch, scratch or pick at your tattoo
  • Trauma to the area (Banging it on things, grappling, etc.)

For as printed version of our After Care please CLICK HERE.