Tattoo prep & aftercare

TatToo preparation

For the best tattoo results, please follow these steps 1-2 weeks before your tattoo appointment:

skin preparation

  • 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, and avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours, before getting tattooed.
  • Avoid aspirin or blood thinning medication at least 24 hours before your tattoo; ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and other NSAID pain relievers are OK.
  • Please do not shave the area, we will happily do it for you at the start of your appointment.
  • Antibiotic treatments must be finished at least 1 week before getting tattooed.

Design Changes

If you need to make changes to your design, we require a 48-hour notice in order to keep your retainer for this appointment. See our policies for more information.

the day of your tattoo


  • Bring your I.D. to your appointment. We cannot tattoo you without it.
  • Eat a meal at least 1 hour before coming into your appointment, especially if you have a long session. We recommend bringing in a sugary beverage and/or a snack, such as a granola bar, 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 or lotions.
  • Wear clean, comfortable & loose-fitting clothes; something you wouldn’t mind getting stained.
  • No children under 18 allowed; guests cannot stay in the room with you while you are being tattooed.
  • Feel free to bring headphones or a book to entertain yourself, especially during long sessions.
  • Please reschedule if you are not feeling well.
  • Arriving 15 minutes after your appointment time will result in forfeiture of your retainer and must be rescheduled. Please see our policies for more information.

tattoo aftercare

When you get home

  • Remove your bandage within 1 hour after getting tattooed.
  • Gently wash your tattoo with clean hands & an antibacterial liquid soap. Repeat as needed to remove plasma.
  • Do not rub your tattoo; pat dry with a clean paper towel. Allow your skin to dry completely by leaving it exposed; approx. 5 minutes.
  • Apply a small amount of non-scented lotion to the area to keep it hydrated.

Days 2–4

  • Wash the area with antibacterial soap & pat dry 1–2 times per day.
  • Apply thin layers of non-scented lotion 3 times a day as needed.

After Day 4

  • Your tattoo will peel: this is normal. Do not pick at, scratch, or otherwise irritate your tattoo.
  • Keep your tattoo away from animals.
  • Avoid swimming, hot-tubbing or submerging your tattoo in water for 2–3 weeks.
  • Apply non-scented lotion as needed for the first 2 weeks. Suffocating your tattoo will prolong healing time, so avoid over-saturation of lotion or ointment on top of your tattoo.
  • Avoid sun exposure or tanning for at least 4 weeks.
  • If your skin hurts while exercising, refrain from working out until it has healed. Please be aware of unclean gym equipment to protect yourself from getting an infection.
  • Wear clean, soft clothing and avoid tight garments around your new tattoo. If you have a foot tattoo & you can’t go barefoot, wrap your cleaned 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 be avoided as well.

Thank you for taking the time to read our information and for your continued support. We are looking forward to seeing you soon! Stay healthy and safe; from us all at Ink Era Tattoo.