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Tattoo After Care


Tattoo After Care

Now that you have decided to get your tattoo, keeping up with your tattoo after care is the most important thing you can do to keep a beautiful tattoo now, and in the future. Your tattoo is in the most danger of infection right after you get it as the skin has still not healed and is susceptible to infection.

Even after your tattoo has healed, you can keep it looking good on your skin by taking care of it right. Taking care of your tattoo will result in a wonderful piece of body art that you will be proud to wear for a lifetime.


Tattoo After Care - Tattoo Care Instuctions

After you have taken the step to your new tattoo, wait 2-3 hours after your tattoo is completed and bandaged by the tattoo artist. Then follow the procedures outlined here.

- First, wash your hands with unscented soap and water before touching your new tattoo. Wash them for at least a minute. Make sure you do a good job of it and wash between your fingers and clean under your you wash your hands. Your hands must be really, really clean.

- Next, remove your bandage with soap and water, using only your hands and fingers. Be gentle as you do this. Once you have removed the bandage, wash your tattoo gently with soap and water. Do not use a sponge or a rag to wash your tattoo, use your hands and wash it gently and softly.

- Pat your tattoo dry with a paper towel. Do not use any old towel that is laying around, make sure to use a paper towel to keep infection out of your tattoo. Even a clean towel or cloth will leave lint on your tattoo, so use clean paper to dry your tattoo, even if you have to use clean toilet paper!

- Let your tattoo "air dry" for 15 minutes. Don't touch it. Just let it get some air.

- Apply a thin layer of emu oil to your tattoo. Emu oil will relieve discomfort and reduce inflammation and redness. Emu oil helps set colors and reduce plasma oozing. Using emu oil on the clean tattoo will help keep artwork moist and reduces or eliminates the flaking and/or scabbing that often occurs.

- Repeat this process 2-3 times daily until your tattoo has healed. For a better looking tattoo, continue to use emu oil on it daily. The colors in your tattoo will remain vibrant and your tattoo will stay luminous if you do.

Do Not:

- Once the bandage is off, do not re-bandage the tattoo.

- NO direct sunlight on the tattoo for the first 2-3 weeks.

- DO NOT pick or scratch at your new tattoo while it is healing.

- NO shaving or waxing tattoo area until the tattoo is completely healed.

- DO NOT apply alcohol, Vaseline petroleum jelly or sunblock to your fresh tattoo.

- DO NOT listen to friends or so-called tattoo experts. You may get misleading and conflicting information. When in doubt, go back to your tattoo artist for the last word.

Some extra stuff:

- Once you have left the tattoo parlor, the tattoo is your responsibility.

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- Small amounts of color may appear on your clothing or sheets for the first few days.

- If your tattoo peels, color will appear in pieces of dry skin.

- If the tattoo is in an area where it can be exposed to the open air, allow it to breathe. Allowing it to breathe will help the healing. Your body and oxygen are going to heal the tattoo.

- If possible, wear loose fitting clothing over the tattoo and be careful not to suffocate tattoo with socks or pantyhose.

If your tattoo starts to peel after 3-6 days and you see color in the dried skin that comes off, don't worry, this is just the top layer of dead skin coming off. The ink is still in your skin and your tattoo is NOT disappearing. Using Emu Oil will reduce the amount of peeling that occurs naturally as your tattoo heals.


Tattoo After Care - Tattoo Problems

Do you have a new tattoo and think there is something wrong? The first thing you should do is go back to the tattoo artist who gave you your tattoo for their opinion of how your tattoo is healing and if there is something wrong with the way it is healing, they will be able to tell you how to treat it.

If you have used Emu Oil from the start as directed here and have kept everything clean then the likelihood of an infection occurring is very small. The signs of infection are extreme seeping, heavy scabbing, excessive inflammation and sometimes a rash (little bumps) or pimples.

If you work or live in a dirty environment, you run the risk of infection. Emergency rooms, nursing homes, hospitals, being around animals and their waste, toxic chemicals, and filth of all kinds can result in serious infections. If you have a dirty job, wear loose protective clothing and do not touch your tattoo unless you have washed your hands. Dirty bedding can be problem, so make sure that you put fresh sheets on your bed when you get your new tattoo. Always make sure to wear clean clothing and use clean wash cloths and towels.

Allergic reactions to tattoo ink are very, very rare. Most professional tattoo pigments are made out of natural ingredients that shouldn't cause a problem. Most people are not aware that they are allergic to certain colors of ink until they are applied. However, people who are allergic to metals and have reactions to cheap jewelry often do react. If you are allergic to a pigment, it will be evident by that one color bubbling up and raising off your skin. It looks like a blister or a raised red mole. It will itch and not look healed, no matter how long it has been. You have two choices, one is to use hydrocortisone cream to control the itching and promote healing which can take up to 5 years, or you can have the offending color removed and replaced with a color that does not cause a reaction. Removal is not any more painful than the original tattoo process.

Allergic reactions to latex will more than likely be apparent before you get your tattoo. Let the tattoo artist know that you are allergic to latex, if you already know. The signs of an allergic reaction to latex are extreme rash and/or redness. If the tattoo artist knows that you are allergic to latex, they can use non-latex gloves and tape on you during the tattoo procedure.

Sun exposure is the worst thing for your new tattoo. If you expose your healing tattoo to the sun, it can fade the ink in the tattoo before it is even healed. Tattoos that are exposed to the sun too soon look faded, blurry and washed out and much older than they should. Under no circumstances should you expose your tattoo to prolonged direct sunlight or tanning. Even a healed tattoo will fade with time when exposed to the sun or tanning beds. If you must expose your healed tattoo to the sunlight, use a high SPF sunblock (at least 45).

Long term cigarette smoking, eating poorly, and over exposure to the sun will damage skin. A tattoo on damaged skin will rarely look as good as a tattoo on healthy skin. Sometimes the lines aren't clear and the colors of the tattoo are not as bright.

The routine application of Emu Oil to your tattoo area will result in the promotion of healthy skin. Since Emu Oil heals, brings blood and oxygen to the surface of your skin through natural hyper-oxygenation and moisturizes by penetrating 7 layers deep into your skin, you will see results quickly and you will be amazed at how good your tattoo will look, no matter how damaged your skin is to start with. Even healthy skin will benefit from the regular application of Emu oil.

If you are older, and your skin is naturally older, thin, weak or sun damaged, your tattoo may be harder to heal. Never fear, Emu Oil promotes the thickening of thin skin, and as stated earlier, promotes healthy, pliable skin. It would be beneficial in these cases to start using Emu Oil on the tattoo site prior to the tattoo, to promote healthy skin for the application of your new tattoo.

Think of your skin as the canvas. When your skin is damaged, it is very easy for the tattoo artist to accidentally overwork the skin. If this happens it is not the end of the world, the tattoo may have heavier scabbing while healing if this happens, but with the regular application of Emu oil this will be kept in check. Once your skin has healed, your tattoo artist will want to touch up your overworked tattoo.

If you don't practice good personal hygiene, pick at your tattoo, wear tight clothing or let clothing stick to it, scrub the tattoo, or are not careful in the shower, your tattoo will not look nice when it has finished healing. The tattoo can end up with ink missing and sometimes it may have heavy scar tissue over it.

The worst thing you can do is take advice from other people like family or friends about your new tattoo and the healing procedure. These people mean well, but there is a lot of misinformation out there on tattoos and everyone will have a different opinion or ideas about what to do for a new tattoo. It can be dangerous to listen to this well meant, but sometimes misguided information from others.

If you suspect that your tattoo is not healing right, that you have an infection or there is some other trouble such as an allergic reaction to the tattoo pigment, don't panic. Tattoo healing problems are not an emergency. The best thing is to go back to your tattoo artist.

A word about doctors. Often times doctors know very little about tattoos and prescribe drugs and treatment that may make the tattoo worse. This is not to say this is true of all doctors, but you never know when you will run into one that knows about how to care for a tattoo versus one who may be prejudiced against tattoos. This is why your first stop should be your tattoo artist if you suspect a healing problem. They will know if you need to contact a doctor for medical treatment or not, and may even be able to recommend a doctor to you that knows tattoos if that step is necessary. This is important so that your tattoo heals looking it's best.


Tattoo After Care - Why Emu Oil?

Pure emu oil penetrates and moisturizes through all 7 layers of the skin. It contains essential fatty acids and naturally hyper-oxygenates which increases the circulation to the applied area. This means that it brings blood and oxygen to the surface of the skin. This is why it works so well to heal.

Emu oil is also a natural anti-biotic that is non-irritating, anti-inflammatory, does not clog pores, and is safe to use on mucous membrane tissues (nostril, eyebrow and oral piercing).

Make sure you are using pure emu oil.

DO NOT apply alcohol, Vaseline petroleum jelly or sunblock to your fresh tattoo.

Many places recommend A&D ointment. They recommend A&D rather than Neosporin or Bacitracin because many people are allergic to the ingredients in those products. A&D ointment is messy and gets on your clothes. It also has a smell.

WARNING - If you are a vegetarian, Emu Oil is not for you since it is an animal product.


Tattoo After Care - What's An Emu?

An emu is a bird from the ratite family of birds, the second largest bird in the world after the ostrich. The emu bird originally comes from Australia. Emu Oil has been used throughout the centuries by the Australian Aborigines to heal wounds and for other medicinal purposes.

The father emu bird sits on the eggs for the mother emu bird, and thus the emu bird has a large layer of fat on it's chest to incubate the eggs. This layer of fat is where the emu oil comes from. Poor daddy bird, what a reward for being such a good father bird, eh? The females also have the layer of fat, so it is equality for both sexes in this case.

From the 1930s to the 1950s a glut of emu birds was shipped to the United States from Australia, and many emu ranches were started up. Today, emu ranches are all over the U.S. When you buy Emu Oil, most likely it is coming from American emu birds bred in the United States.

The emu industry is very good about they way they treat their livestock. They also do not waste any of the bird. They turn the meat (which is incredibly good for you because it is very low in cholesterol), the skin, feathers, and legging skin into emu products.

Emu Oil and Emu Oil products are the main product of the emu bird, however.

Emu Oil has 3 main characteristics, it is healing, anti-aging and moisturizing, and it is an anti-inflammatory. Many studies have been conducted, and are still in progress regarding the benefits of Emu Oil. There is no doubt that it has many beneficial properties, and more are being discovered all the time.

Tattoo After Care - Why Care For Your Tattoo?

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Fox Music on July 22, 2015:

Thanks For Sharing This Great Information About "Tattoo After Care"

Navin Prabakarn from India on July 19, 2013:

great work!!!!

Ashley on May 14, 2013:

This is a great post to read after getting a tattoo. Everyone just needs to remember that each of our bodies react to trauma in a different way. We will not all heal the same. If you experience any problems at all call your tattoo artist. I just had a cover up done about 7 days ago now. My artist was wonderful. He took his time and did an amazing job. I couldn't be happier especially since I was covering up my ex's name on my leg. You aren't able to see any of the old tattoo at all, and although it's not all the way healed yet it's getting there. Anyway, just remember. . . Take very good care of your new tattoo. You only get one chance to do this, so do it right. :)

Alicia on August 25, 2012:

Hi, I got my first tattoo done four days ago and used bepanthen as it was recommended by my artist. As I said 4 days ago... it has already completely peeled and causes no pain whatsoever $6. Is this good or bad

Cameron on August 19, 2012:

Hi everyone I've had a star tattoo done 13 days ago (I've got 2 tats 1 a music note and this one) anyway I'd like to know do I really need to put anything on it now it's looking 100% all good lol.

laila on May 16, 2012:

is blue-emu oil good for a tattoo

Katrina on April 17, 2012:

Is it okay to leave the bandage on for more than 3 hours after getting it ?

Kaitlin on April 05, 2012:

Hey there. Got my tattoo in memory of my mom yesterday. It's says "Be Brave" and it's outlined completely in grey shading. Is there any way to add white shading to the grey shading so it's not just solid grey shading all the way around? Please email me if you have a response:

Maria on March 20, 2012:

Hi i have had my tattoo for 20 daysnow it healed beautiful but my issue is for a week now im gettin little bumps on my tattoo area only they are itchy and more and more seem to appear id like advise since my tattoo artist is not wanting to call back !!! Thank you

Sammy on March 03, 2012:

Hiya i'm Sammy and i have just turned 18 i got my first tattoo done 8 days ago now on my foot and i work at birds eye were i do 12 hour shifts my first day at work which was 5 days after having it done my tattoo was bleeding really bad and part of the scab came of with my sock leaving a hole in my tattoo, so the next day i wrapped cling film and cotton wool around my foot and when i got home it was black were the ink has rubbed off and stuff also was very saw, and my tattoo seems really faded now. i wrapped it in cling film and cotton wool again today and again its really painful and red my tattoo seems very dull now and doesn't really look rite do you think everything is okay? because i'm really paranoid were this is my first tattoo and i don't really know what to expect please help me Sammy :)x

Amber on February 21, 2012:

I got my tatto done 3 days ago and it still won't heal it I went into college and boy hit it as a joke and the skin has ripped I put some cream on it and let the air get to it what else can I do help me please!!!!!!

Jules on February 01, 2012:

Hi, i got a third tattoo from my friend who is an apprentice the other day. The day after i got it, i came down with a really nasty cold. Now my tattoo is oozing green goop in places. This is the largest piece i have,(about the size of a dollar bill, and as wide; all filled in) this is #8 of mine, and i've never had a problem before. I went to the doctor yesterday for a possible ear infection so i asked about it. She suggested neosporin or other anitbiotic ointment. I'm wondering if this issue with my tattoo is more cold related since my immune system is crap right now? Like i said, never had this problem with any of the other 7, and i've been tatted by my friend before. And he's by the books. Everything is very clean. But i was more curious than anything about the cold. Since i didn't know i was sick when i got it, if that would affect a tattoo's healing process. Thanks!

brandon on January 26, 2012:

i recenly got a tattoo on my shoulder and is it normal for it not to have plasma or ink coming out of it the first day?? (first tattoo little bit paranoid about it)

brittney on December 23, 2011:

okay so i just got a tattoo a day ago, when i came home, i accidentally fell asleep with the wrap on my tattoo and now my tattoo looks awful... the best way to describe it is that it looks pruney, like ive been soaking it in water for hours. i don't know what to do, it looks awful! will it go back to normal? help!

Mike on November 15, 2011:

One of my tats I got like 6 months ago just recently started to bubble (mini blister like) all where the ink is.. This article says its an allergic reaction to the pigment.. this tat is only black and I have other black tats n this never happened... Theres nothing to make this go away? I just have to wait 5 years?

renada on September 04, 2011:

i got my tattoo 4 weeks ago i was wondering can i wash it with a washcloth

Lindsay on August 15, 2011:

@HueyGirl - This is normal for some people. Mine did the same thing. Its just the skin on top.

@andrew - It means you just got a tattoo. Its called plasma. This is normal.

@bryce - You shouldn't tattoo yourself if you don't know what you're doing. If you decide to do it though, wait until a week of two after the tattoo is done healing to do anything.

@Nicole - The ink will come off and sometimes transfer to your clothes. You can use color safe bleach if you can't get it out.

Aaron on August 15, 2011:

Nicole. Thats normal so don't worry about it.

Nicole on August 12, 2011:

Hi I had gotten a tattoo on Wednesday and yesterday was ink on my clothes what do I do????

BethJSim on August 07, 2011:

Hey :)

Just had a question.

i am getting a tattoo on tuesday (less than a day and a half - sooooo excited) on my back/shoulder. i am working nights that week so will be doing 9 hr shifts overnight, so will not be able to leave it uncovered. also because of the location i will not be able to just moisturise it in my tea breaks :( should i worry bout this? should i cover it with bandages during working hours, or just leave it :)

thanks :)

Bryce on August 04, 2011:

Hi I've got a tattoo gun and desided to tattoo myself how long should I wait until I touch up the tattoo?

carrie on July 26, 2011:

I got my first tatto almost 3 years ago, it has yet to heal. I was allergic to the red ink in the floor. It looks horrible. I've been to 3 dermatologist, who have given me injections and even scrap the top off with a razor. Nothing is healing this tatto. Please help!

churtgen35 on July 19, 2011:

so, my artist said after i take the bandage off and clean it, to do nothing to it for 2 days, no lotion or anything. then after that lotion like 5 times a day, but reading this, people say to lotion right away?... so confused

timonweller on July 12, 2011:

Nice after tips for a Tattoo. Very helpful.

andrew on June 01, 2011:

what does it mean if clear fluid is running out of your arm after getting a tattoo?

Zach on May 29, 2011:

I just got a tattoo 4 days ago. It is a purple and yellow yin and yang sign. I wash it every four hours and moisturize when it gets dry. Even though I keep it clean the yellow still looks dirty. Is that just dry and pealing skin? Or is something seriously wrong? My tattoo is also still raised and I don't know if that is normal after 4 days. please help...

kn on May 23, 2011:

QUESTION???? i have a two month old tattoo that has white shading in it where the white shading is started to turn really yellow is raised and browny yellow!! WHAT IS WRONG????

brittanyjo58 on May 13, 2011:

Just got my third tattoo on my foot. It's been 2 years since my last. I already took the bandage off 3 hours later, cleaned, a&d ointment, but I forget if I should wrap it back up before bed? No yes idk. Its only been 3 hours so I don't want it to get infected. Thanks

Lexx231 on May 08, 2011:

Hi, I just got my tattoo on Saturday and on Monday I have band practice I asked my tattoo artist what would be best for me to do and she said to cut a sock cover it like that. I was just wondering if that was okay and if it's not then what is?

AAALOVE on May 05, 2011:


HueyGirl on April 09, 2011:

Hi there...I just got a tattoo on my foot three weeks ago. It has healed nicely, but now it looks "milky". I've read different things on the web (No, I don't believe everything I read on here!) and it seems that this shouldn

t be happening at this point. I've used cream with aloe, and not picked. It scabbed the first week, but that's it. It's now flush with the skin, but the milkiness is bugging me. Any thoughts?

DonAndra on March 30, 2011:

This one I know.... Ok take a deep breath... Your tattoo is fine... The smudging look is actually part of the healing.. it will even start looking grey and faded... Again very normal with the black inks... All of my tattoos are Gaelic knots so I freaked when my tattoo started looking blurred and faded after about 5 days will kinda start to straighten out after a few will itch and peel at this point... Slap don't scratch... And don't pull at the peeling skin can pull out your ink!.... Good Luck!.... Thanks for a great question

Max on March 30, 2011:

Hi guys, i got my tattoo on saturday, its now thursday. for the first two days i kept it wrapped in cling film and changed the wrap every 4 hours. every time i changed the wrap i washed with warm water and soap. after the 2 days i stopped the wraps and started rubbing bepanthen cream in twice a day. i noticed that some of the ink (it's a black tribal piece) has gone out of the lines (looks like its leaked or smudged) i was wondering should i still be washing my tattoo, and will the smudged ink go away? this is my first tat so maybe im overreacting. any advice would help. thanks

DonAndra on March 26, 2011:

Hey guys great hints!

Need some advice... I received my first tattoo a little over 15 years ago... I was a little dumb to the art so I got a pretty big back piece... Little did I know it was but the artist's apprentice... I have given birth to three kids and I gotta tell ya... That was some pain!!! Ok so it heals ok... But I was left with a tale tale overworked raised tattoo... And over the years that has eventually went away... So to my problem... I recently decided to get some new ink after the birth of our youngest I did my research decided on a nice fairly small piece to go on my right wrist... Yes...a tender area I know... More to the point I didn't want to make the mistakes I did in my earlier days so I took a great deal of time finding a reputable artist... I made my appointment and went... I get to the shop and the artist takes a look at my idea ... And passes me off to a fellow artist... So I say what the heck... and I explain my prior experience and concerns... And I was assured that she was a great artist ... And indeed she was... However...she was just out of her apprenticeship... Sigh... Anyway I have a great tattoo but once again... After healing (3 months) it's left there anything I can do for this??? Also I need some retouching... Do I need to wait... I've heard you should wait a year for an overworked piece... Is that so??? Will it ever go down???lol

Sandra k on March 14, 2011:

I got my tattoo done on my back near my suppost blade about a week ago and I have been doing everything I was advised to do. There are a few small red pillows around the tattoo and one directly on it with a white head. Is this normal?

simon on March 07, 2011:

to david ,, once your tattoo has healed completely go back to the same tattoo shop , they should finish it again without charging you any money , why should you have to pay someone else ! good luck mate

breezy on March 06, 2011:

Brandy: DON'T TAN NOW!Especially in a tanning bed. Trust me I hate not being able to tan for a couple weeks, but it is worht it if you don't want your body art to fade. You live with that tat forever, tanning is not worth ruining the artwork on your body. With all of mine the black has seemed to come out during the healing process more than any of the colors, so that is normal. DON'T pick the scabbing. Keep applying your aftercare solution- I have always used Aquaphor by Eucerin and it has been awesome with healing and keeping the scabbing/peeling to a minimum. But again, I am a regular user of tanning beds but stay away from them in your first 2 weeks at least.

brandy on March 03, 2011:

i got my tatt like four days ago and im want 2 go tan in tha tannin bed i don't want it 2 fade. but i think it already has started 2 i have 10 and i haven't seen color come outta it so fast a lot of it in tha black parts so i got 2 questions pls hepl wht am i doin wrong i took better care of this 1 than i did tha others

David on February 26, 2011:

Hey guys, so I got a tattoo 4 days ago a lot of it was supposed to be solid black but I noticed the day after that I can see lines in the black even a little white from my skin tone COMIN through I guess. Just imagine someone coloring a paper with black marker and being able to see their lines and see it's not solid black. Is the color going to blend together when it's fully healed? Or should I find another artist to touch this up?

juicy on February 01, 2011:

hey i just got a tattoo on my foot and i got some stars shaded in red and its not healing. the starts look like sores now and it looks like the red is gone now cuz its sores in my stars. what should i do????

LuLu on January 06, 2011:

i recently got my 2nd tat on my lower back - however 3 days later it is sentive & painful & the colour is on my clothing - is that normal? what can i use to alleviate the pain?

Justine on December 28, 2010:

Bepanthen is ace :)

I got mine about 7 days ago on my food (a little wolf, hehe) I absolutely love him, but the last day or so i have been noticng a bit of peeling, though i think this is normal. I kept the plastic on it for the first hour, then waited till the next day to apply the Bepanthen, and i have been about 4 times a day ever since. it has seen a little bit of direct sunlight, but i am avoiding it, as it feels weird when i do.

i was wondering, as he is on my foot, when should i start wearing shoes? and in terms of swimming, my tattoo artist said after 2 weeks should be okay at the beach, in fact all he really said was to be hygenic and use common sense, and "just doint go play in dirt". lol.

this page has been very useful, thanks!

brad on December 24, 2010:

um cn we swim in the pool or sea after getting the tattoo

Roxanne on November 25, 2010:

I've had my tattoo for 6 months and all I used on it was bepanthen cream :) healed in less then 2 weeks and didn't scab at all :) it's big and takes up most of the space between my shoulder blades but I just glad wrapped it before bed each night and it was good in no time :)

Ashley on October 25, 2010:

i got a tattoo on october 15th.. and now im looking at it and one of the letters on my foot looks smudged.. im panicking.. is it the scab falling off? or is my tattoo messed up??? help?? i work and go to school so ive had to wear shoes with socks.. i keep it moisturised but im worried my tattoo is messed.. is this normal??

Lola on October 11, 2010:

I just got a tattoo 3 days ag and I HATE it. Can I put Silvadene cream for burns on it to help my skin try to heal??

ninfan on September 27, 2010:

all this stuff is normal...the heavier the hand the more raised and scabbed it's going to get... you have to consider what your getting.. a tattoo.. it's going to hurt and swell and peel and itch and oozz.... FUN ya !!!

nadia-geo on September 17, 2010:

hi , just had my new tatoo done and is burning me - is that normal ? tattoo is three hours old :)

karla on September 08, 2010:

here i got a tattoo on my hoilday bou week and a half ago its peeling now and i put tan on it.. and now sum parts are dark and sum are light is tat normal????

Ally on September 04, 2010:

So i got a wrist tattoo yesterday that is just text, i'm a bit worried about it as all the letters are really raised, they almost look like icing on a cake! i have washed it gently and applied bepanthen (as per artists instructions) but i'm just worried the artist has messed up or i am doing something wrong?? i don't remember my first tattoo feeling this way - although i couldn't see it as it was on my back..

it would break my heart if this tattoo doesn't heal as beautifully as i imagined it :( the letters just look so raised and as though i can peel them right off! is this normal and if not, what can i do??

help would be really appreciated!

Alyce on August 28, 2010:

About a week ago I got my first tattoo; a rose on my foot. I noticed this morning a lot has peeled off and the green on the stem has faded a lot and so has the shading! I'm worried that it will just keep peeling until the colour is all gone. I do plan to go back to get a touch up, but won't the same thing just happen again?

michael on August 28, 2010:

got my first tattoo in april healed well there is now a few bubble looking things coming through my ink any ideas bit worried thanks

Julie on August 14, 2010:

@Lea: TAKE THAT PLASTIC OFF! The tattoo has to breathe to heal! What kind of tattoo 'professional' would give you that kind of advise? That's crazy!

lea on August 06, 2010:

My tattoo artist told me to wrap my tattoo in plastic wrap for like a week after but this page says to leave it uncovered... what should I do? If it matters the tattoo is on the top of my foot

Jon Carlson on July 27, 2010:

For those of you having peeling problems, I have been using a product called Ink Slinger Aftercare for my last two tattoos. It is an emu oil product and it works really well. In the past, I have needed to have touch ups after peeling on my tats (I have really dry skin, so scarring is a problem for me). This Ink Slinger Aftercare stuff, though, really seems to do the trick. It keeps the tat moist and prevents scarring. You can find it at

Jonathan on July 27, 2010:

yes i has a tattoo on my upper left should blake is has one little white head on it what does that mean anybody has a answer for that

Nina on July 19, 2010:

I have a real big question for a tattooist. I had an aqua blue basic ring put on my wedding finger. Not for any specific reason, not married. Anyway, that was three days ago. Today, a big portion of the top side of my ring has peeled off and there is NO INK visible now. It is cracking and peeling off on the inner parts of the side of the finger too. It totally looks awful. I have had Tats done in the past (large) on other parts of the body and they are fantastic and never did this, or any kind of peeling. Healed perfectly with no color loss either. I am very disturbed at how this turned out. (new tattooist btw) anyway. I wonder since we use our hands a lot, if she didn't go deep enough? She kept asking me if it was hurting and of course I said no, not at all. Nor did it ever hurt.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

enzo on July 17, 2010:

Hey I too got a tribal on my arm like 3 weeks ago.. it seems like it healed but I'm starting to get little pimples on and around it.. I'm thinking its normal but I'm wondering what causes this and how do they go away..

Mary on July 06, 2010:

I got my tattoo on my ankle 2 years ago. It was fine until a couple of weeks ago. My tattoo started having bubbles on it. I got the hibiscus flower on my ankle, and i say about 2 lined bubbles go across each pedal. Please help!

Jasmine on July 05, 2010:

I got my tattoo on 06.30.10 and its peeling and it don't look the same its peeling and turning grey. what should i do i keep putting the treatment on it what they gave me.....

heather on June 30, 2010:

i got my tattoo in march and recently i found bumps only on about 2 inches of the overall tattoo in a straight line along the edge..this isn't my first tattoo and i do not know what the bumps are or what it means. they don't itch they are just there. any ideas?

Scarlett Black from New York on June 22, 2010:

What an incredible HUB thank you. I have written 2 hubs on the topic of tattoos but not on healing. I got my 4th last week and loved reading this!

Vonny on June 21, 2010:

i got a tatt on my foot a month ago and its still nt healed is that normal ? and how long before i can go swimming ?

-SHORTY- on June 02, 2010:


I wouldn't be cleaning you tattoo too much! Shower as you normally would each day but as soon as you have dried yourself apply the cream to your tattoo STRAIGHT away.

I had one done on my foot 2 years ago an when i was putting cream on it some of the black was coming off an like you I freaked out but DON'T there is no need to this is normal. The colour that is coming off is part of the healin process just keep allpyin the crem as often as you can and you will be fine! Remember keep it out of the sun fo4 the first 2 weeks an NO swimming!!!! HOpe this helps

amber z on May 17, 2010:

hey, i just wanted some feedback.. i got a tattoo on friday.. it is not monday... ive been cleaning with antibacterial soap and using bag balm everyday... at least 3 times a day because i have to wear a shit to work so it rubs off a lot. when i put bag balm on little flakes of skin with ink in it are peeling off! is this normal? im getting really worried and it seems like its pulling the color out? i dunno.. im just really stressed about this.. i don't want it to look like a mess... im like panicking lol :( i hope this is normal.. i dunno if im washing it too much, or putting to much bag balm on.. i think im going to switch to A&D Ointment because it seems like htats what everyone uses..

squishy-squish on May 12, 2010:

hey thanks you for the info im learning how to tattoo and i did my 3rd tat on my forearm and everyone was saying Vaseline to clean off the extra ink and it will help it heal but since that is bad what can i use to wipe off the extra ink off without turning my tat into crap

Kc on April 10, 2010:

Omg I'm about to get my first tattoo. In 1 hour. This page helped with info so much awesome guys thanks

crystal on April 06, 2010:

i just got my tattoo april 1st 2010 on my foot now its still a little swollen is that normal

Reese on March 25, 2010:

I just got a tattoo today and I'm going boarding tommorow.What should I worry about wearing my large baggy jacket over it on my forearm all day?

matt on March 16, 2010:

u still wash it when u shower every time just pat it dry with a clean towel and let it air then put cream on it again. just don't wash it hard like u would the rest of ur body

kayla on March 15, 2010:

so i just got my tattoo yesterday and im wondering if i need to wash it more then once, its starting to seep a little bit and also when i slept it got lint on it, im just worried that if i wash it, it will damage my tattoo?

Rob on March 09, 2010:

Hi, i was just wondering once your tattoo is competely healed should you put anything on it to perserve it and keep it lookin fresh. I got my tattoo 4 weeks ago

matt on March 03, 2010:

hey im 20 ive got like 15 tats and a sleeve, wat ur all having is pretty common, i have only ever used paw paw ointment and bepthan cream and i find they both work very good, i have the sides of my neck done and paw paw ointment really helped with the itch and swelling and it was healed in like 3 days and didn't scab bad at all. my sleeve thou scabbed really bad and i got a few pimples in it but i just kept looking after it for 2 weeks and then let it dry out and now its fine there is no problem. just started gettin my leg done and around my ankle is pretty swollen and the best cream i have used is paw paw ointment in the little red tub or tube..goodluck with your tattoos guys

Syre on February 27, 2010:

If you are against using Emu Oil, i use Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment. My boyfriend is a tattoo artist and this is what he recomends to all of his clients.

Liquide on February 08, 2010:

My tattoo finished peeling a week after it was done, so now it's my 12th day of having it, i'm still keeping it moist (but not as frenetic as i did during the first days), but i wonder for how long am i supposed to moisturize it? my tattoo artist is currently out of town, so i can't ask for his advice, and i need to know should i keep doing this... :S

laujra on January 29, 2010:


poor emus

i'll not be using that thanks!

barb on January 11, 2010:

I'm form the Philly Pa area does anyone know where i can get emu oil

Patty on August 21, 2009:

got eyebrows tattoed i got a pimple which i picked and skin came off, so did part of the tattoo looks like when you shave a slash in eyebrow. what to do????? Heart broken I thought ink is permanentely through all layers any answers???

KeErica J on August 11, 2009:

I jus got my tattoo yesterday and after I applied da onitment it looks watery. Do it supposed to look dat way?

vivian on August 05, 2009:

I just got my tatttoo on my hip lat night around 7 and didn't take off the bandage til 12. Idk why i wait for the max time but i did and since it was late i kinda forgot to wash it with soapy water. Then 30 minutes ago when i took a look at my heart in the mirror, the right side looks a bit thicker and uneven than last night; not neat and fresh. Then i went into the bathroom and noticed that the inked started to harden a bit and by instinct i washed it with soapy water [the aftercare said to]. I wanted to be extra careful and gentle so i used a cotton swab and dabbed soapy water on my cross and heart. Is it normal to see ink on the cotton swab? Then i got scared and the stinging started. Idk what to do. My heart looks a bit messed up. Should i call my tattoo parlor and let them know what's goig on?

abby on July 28, 2009:

My tattoo is 6 days old, and it's located on my foot. I can pretty much only wear slippers, and it is in the process of healing, at that itchy, peeling stage. I have walked outside with my tat exposed to the sun only for a couple minutes, and I could feel the sensation from the sun. When I look closely at my tattoo, the ink looks kind of melted? and that normal? this has never happened to my other tattoos

Adi. on July 15, 2009:

Hey i got a tattoo 3 months back , it healed, and after a month it developed some small little pimples , i don't know if i can call them pimples , but they look like white heads .

Are too small and have been there for over a month now. Really worried. Any help ?

Kelly on July 10, 2009:

I got my second tattoo last week on my leg. After day three the entire top layer lifted off like a rub on would do. I have a lighter colored tattoo and am wondering what caused this and if it's normal?

Jesse on June 30, 2009:

I asked my tattoo artist about what kind of moistureizer to use.. i heard that for colors, do not use white cuz it'll fade. he told me that its probably not true, all his tattoos he used white mosturizer. i just got my tattoo finished yesterday and thinking maybe i should try and find this emu oil.

does white vs clear really make a difference in how the color will appear?

Nesha on June 24, 2009:

Its been almost two weeks and my tattoo is healing, but in the middle (where the most shading was done), looks pale and white. Is there something wrong and if so what should I do, or is this normal?

heyhey on June 24, 2009:

hi victoria, it is normal for foot tattos, your feet will swell to a huge size, you probably wont be able to wear a lot of your shoes but it should go down in a week or so...

victoriab on June 16, 2009:

I got my tattoos last friday.. it looks awful ... itches and looks like one big water blister.. got them on the tops of both feet... i have other tattoos.. never a problem.. they are not red or hot like infection just itchy .. VERY itchy and swelled fluid filled bumps. Is that normal? for tats on top of feet?

JC on May 26, 2009:


chris on May 10, 2009:

hey i just got a tattoo yesterday and i need it touched in some spots mostly the color is it to soon... to do this...

jason smith on April 01, 2009:

ur page is very help full any idear is i can have a shower if so will it be best on warm or cold common sense tells me not hot lol can ya help

Marissa on February 15, 2009:

Hey I just go my tattoo on my fore arm wednesday Febuary 11th and im starting to notice little pimple like bumps in the tattoo area, is this normal? Also when can I start tanning?

Jenni on November 27, 2008:

When can I start tanning again after a tattoo??

rebecca on November 22, 2008:

i am thinking of getting my dream tattoo within the next week. i live in New Zealand so it is now summer and over the Xmas and New Years period it will be summer when i will probably be living in a bikini!! i just wanted to know a few things like.... how long until i am able to let sunlight on it? how long until i am able to apply sunblock to it? and also how long does a tattoo take to fully heal?

Ashley on August 27, 2008:

Hey i just got a tattoo yesterday... my tattoo looks smudged and it kinda burns a little when i put the oil on it but it stops after a while

its not red or anything though, i told my tattoo artist about it, he told me to put the oil on it and rebandage it once in a while and if it doesn't get better in 2 weeks go back to him so he can fix it

is that right?

sasha on August 19, 2008:

don't worry jessica, its normal iv got 3 tattoos now, and as soon as the healing process started on my tattoo i noticed some spots began to appear all over the tattoo and the surrounding area, but don't worry just keep it clean and apply moisturizer and over the next week or two they will slowly dissapear. Remember, don't scratch!

Jessica on August 13, 2008:

Over the last 3 weeks I have been working on my half sleeve. It is now finished and now I have red pimple like bumps on my tat and down my arm even where the tat isn't. Please help!!!!

JulieChrisler (author) from Cazadero, CA on June 30, 2008:

Hi Beth,

You are entirely correct, you never should use sunblock on a fresh tattoo.

The sun is bad for your tattoo, even if you've had it for a long time. Wait until it is fully healed before you go back in the sun make sure you put on a high quality sunblock. Do not apply sunblock while the tattoo is healing though. The tattoo is under your skin, and your tan will form above it. If you get too dark, some colors may not show as brightly as they used to. Over time, excessive exposure to the sun will cause your tattoo to fade.


Beth on June 28, 2008:

According to every tattoo artist I've ever spoken to, sunblock on a fresh tattoo is as big a no-no as exposure to to prolonged sunlight.

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