Proper tattoo aftercare

Kristine - posted on 06/23/2009 ( 36 moms have responded )

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My artists tells me to just wash them with antibacterial soap and put unscented lotion on them periodically. But the lotion stings too much, even with out scent in it. A friend told me she uses a and d ointment on hers and it kept them bright. I've heard in the past that a and d is not a good idea. Although my artist used it while he tattoos. i usually do what my artist says, but tried the a and d today. little bits of the outline started to come leak ink and the ink looks weird. it looks like gel(?). i'm obviously going to stop using the a and d now, but i wanted to know what you all do for proper tattoo care. I can't seem to find the RIGHT way to do this!

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Nichelle - posted on 04/09/2010

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corona ointment!!! its found at a feeder store or tractor supply store... its meant for cattle and horses... i use it and my tattoos are healed in 2 days... no peeling... no scabs... my chest piece i get compliments because it looks new... after 2 years and going in the water 2 days after i got the tattoo... its still bright and not faded in any way... you wash your tat after you get home w antibacterial soap apply the corona ointment (it stays on all day and wont clog the tattoo so its not going bubble up or scab up either) then wash it again at night and apply more ointment... its awesome.. i recommend it to everyone i know and they love it... my tattoo artist now carries it at his shop in round rock so he can tell people about it too

Leila - posted on 06/25/2010

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I have had tats done in SA and the UK, and use what the tattooist suggests and what they use on their own tats (also sell in the shop).

In SA I used Zambuk (a locally made herbal remedy), on my side, thigh, back and arm tats, and they all still look beautiful (first one was done almost 10years ago!).

My sleeve was started a year and a half ago here in England, and they only use and suggest bepanthen for healing tats, because of Health & Safety laws in the UK, they are not allowed to suggest or sell anything to customers unless approved by the NHS.

My sleeve has healed with no problems whatsoever and looks fantastic! I would suggest as a parent that always has bepanthen in the house anyway, that you buy a small tube for yourself & mark it clearly, as you wouldn't want germs transferring from baby bum to tat & vice versa! HA HA.



Also, my tattooist tells me after every session to wash my tat within 5 hours to stop it from going crusty, then twice a day...

Jackie - posted on 05/11/2010

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Thats what the last guy that tatted me said. He told me to use Lubriderm and if it burnt then I was allergic so I should switch to Curel. Well that burnt too. When I went to my regular guy whos been tatting for 35 years he said that you should never use lotion on a tat. If you look on most lotion bottles it will tell you not to use on broken skin anyway. My guy showed me letters that he has gotten from Johnson & Johnson (the makers of Lubriderm and Johnsons baby lotion), Unilever ( makers of Vaseline). and AVON that all say never to use their products on new tattoos for healing purposes. It is not an allergy at all. If you were allergic to the lotion you would get the affects when applied to non-broken skin. They all say that their products are not to be used on broken skin.
Now my regular guy says to use a tiny tiny amount of A & D ointment on your new tats. A big dab will pull the ink out but just enough to make it shine will not. A & D is made for broken skin and if its good quality ink then a small amount will not pull the ink out.

Aimee - posted on 01/11/2010

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My tattos always peel like that. I was told to use antibac soap three times a day and aquaphor or A&D. I used Aquaphor and it worked great.

Lauren - posted on 01/10/2010

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I used curel on my last one and I broke out in a horrible rash! With all of them I used the antibacterial that they gave me at the shop for about a week and then used lotion the rest of the time, but if you are having problems I would not try curel unscented there is something weird about that stuff that gave me such a crazy rash!

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Bookofshadowsinc - posted on 04/17/2014

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I just got a tat from a new guy. He said A&D ointment will only encourage scabbing and that will take pigment out of the tattoo. He said use hot water/hot showers (not hot tubs at they are chlorinated) as much as possible. This opens up your pores and lets the skin breathe. Once the tattoo starts to peel, use a pea sized amount of Lubraderm (or unscented lotion) on your tat, but not any sooner.

Brenda - posted on 07/22/2010

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I have seven tattoos, all done by same artist over a period of years and my oldest child (23yrs) has a full sleeve done by the same artist. We have never used anything but A&D Ointment on any of ours. Lotions are not good because of the chemical makeup of them, neosporin will actually dull the color. The gel like substance that you see with the a and d isn't exactly the ink leaking, it's just the ink that is at the very surface mixing with the a and d. Some of my tatts are 8+ yrs old and are bright and beautiful and a and d is all I have or will ever use. Be careful when you wash, if the tatt is recently done you don't want to rub. Just pat it lightly to dry. If it's recent the best thing to do is lightly apply a and d and once it is scabbing, for lack of a better word and that falls off your good to go. There are now special sunblocks for tattoos to keep the sun from fading them or your tan from covering them. A great one is the one designed by Miami Ink, however, I have found that a little dab of spf 50 that I put on my kids and on my face does just as well and cost much less. HOpe this helps, this is one of the few areas that I am experienced in.

Alie - posted on 05/24/2010

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All I have to say is "Pears" Soap and Lubriderm Lotion are the ONLY ways to go!!!!! :-D

Sara - posted on 05/16/2010

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When I got my first 1 done, the guy told me to use A&D. It turned out ok, a little faded. But with the 2nd 1, the A&D sucked almost all the color out. A&D is meant for diaper rashes, so it sucks moisture out, i.e. the ink. I've tried the lotion thing and that didn't work for me either. I have 1 I still need to touch up b/c it has spots where the ink is gone. It looks horrible. Thankfully, it'll be fixed soon. In my opinion, everyone is different because everyone's skin is different and really the important part is to just keep it clean. But I let the soapy warm water wash over it. I don't rub it b/c than if you do have scabs they'll come off and you'll loose ink. Than I pat it dry and I actually use the car max lip balm stuff. The kind that comes in the tube. I put a thin layer of that on and it works great for me. The last 1 I got barely needed touching up and that's what I used on it from day 1.
Hope this helps

Tia - posted on 01/19/2010

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I do use A&D my tat artist is the owner of Defiant in South Minneapolis and he had tatted alot of people let alone most of the football players and some other celebs. White Dial soap is good but use an ointment not a lotion.

Carrie - posted on 01/09/2010

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Try using vasoline, that's what the artists use and what I used after getting my three tattoos.

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My artist recommends "Ocean" and I love the foam made by that company. It's soothing, I don't scab up bad, and the colors look great. I also really like that it comes in a small can that fits nicely in my purse.

Jody - posted on 12/29/2009

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A and D ointment is fine. a very light coating. Make sure the tat is clean and dry first. To much ointment will make the tat look clumpy. leaking and peeling are normal. Let it alone. do not peel it. Do not use lotion or neosporin or anything like that. How old is the tat? if it is less than 3 days wash with warm water pat dry and a light coating of A and D. that is it. after 3 days do not do anything to it.

Melanie - posted on 12/22/2009

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not sure where you are but preparation H (hemmorroid cream) was what my artist suggested on mine. Then i usually use vaseline to make it look a little brighter x

Bianca - posted on 11/21/2009

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dont use neosporin it fades ink like a mother...i used a & d ointment for all 4 of my tattoos and the color is still bright...and if it does look like some ink is coming out ur artist should be able to touch it up for free...or look into tattoo goo online

Joanna - posted on 11/17/2009

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my tattooist says not to use A&D or neosporin, any ointment, really. Previously I used Tattoo goo which I liked. But now I just wash with anibacterial dial, and use lubriderm lotion.

Samantha - posted on 11/17/2009

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my husband does tattoos and he uses h2ocean,they are an after care product for tattoos and peircings,you can find it at......www.h2ocean.com

User - posted on 11/17/2009

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A little late but if you get another - go with bacetracin ointment for the first 5 days - yes wash with antibacterial soap and then Aveeno makes an unscented lotion that you could use after the five days!!

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I had had a couple tattoos and found that A&D ointment worked wonders on the healing of my tattoos. It keeps the color bright and not at all faded! Plus I found that there was little to no scabbing with it. So just put the ointment and don't cover up your tattoo. Put on the ointment everytime you wash the tattoo or the ointment smears off somehow. Don't put on too much, just enought to keep it moist

Jessica - posted on 11/06/2009

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I always do what my first artist told me to do, which is keep the bandage on for a few hours depending on how large the tat is, then wash it once or twice a day with antibacterial soap and apply Neosporin generously (meaning don't be skimpy but enough that you have to rub it in), letting it soak in a bit before you put clothes over it. That method worked awesome for me! I healed quickly, I got the +pain relief so it wasn't ever sore or sensitive, and everything still looks crisp and bright after 6 years, like it was done months ago :o)

Kathryn - posted on 10/02/2009

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A&D has worked for all my tats and they are beautiful. Antibacterial soap then pat dry and A&D in a thin film coating. I bought expensive stuff once and it did not help it heal as good as A&D

[deleted account]

Quoting Kristine:

Proper tattoo aftercare

My artists tells me to just wash them with antibacterial soap and put unscented lotion on them periodically. But the lotion stings too much, even with out scent in it. A friend told me she uses a and d ointment on hers and it kept them bright. I've heard in the past that a and d is not a good idea. Although my artist used it while he tattoos. i usually do what my artist says, but tried the a and d today. little bits of the outline started to come leak ink and the ink looks weird. it looks like gel(?). i'm obviously going to stop using the a and d now, but i wanted to know what you all do for proper tattoo care. I can't seem to find the RIGHT way to do this!



your friend is right. using antibacterial and a very thin layer of A+D works wonders. I'm a tattoo artist and that's what i recommend. but if the smell of A+D is too much for you, Aquaphor is a great ointment that does the same thing as A+D without the smell

Tonette - posted on 09/12/2009

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My tattoo artist also recommends using A & D ointment for the first two to three days. Do NOT glob it on. Put in on in an extra thin layer. Just enough to keep it moist. There will be leakage, that is pretty normal. He also recommends using DIAL antibacterial unscented soap to clean it with. Alternate these with hot compresses and you will be good to go for the first 2 or 3 days. After that, you can use lotion if you want, but I have found with the four tats that I have that using the A and D ointment for the full two to three week healing period works the best. Good luck!

Dawn - posted on 08/18/2009

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The gentlemen that did my husbands & my Tattoo told us to use curel lotion never had any stinging or anything. I would go back to the person who did your tattoo & tell them the problems you are having..

Holli - posted on 08/07/2009

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I have used Aquaphor on all 16 of my tattoos and they are all in full color but one...they sell it at Rite-aid or Walmart...it's by the same maker of Eucerin lotion. It does make the tattoo look like gel a little but my tattoos healed perfectly using this stuff...just get the small tube because a little goes a long way....unless your tattoos are REALLY large...

Lee Ann - posted on 08/06/2009

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Glad your tat is looking good and doing much better......I'm 110% for using aquaphor on my tattoos.

Jenna - posted on 07/30/2009

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I'm glad your tattoo is looking and feeling better. I would suggest putting lotion (like aveeno or something for sensitive skin) on it after it heals, for about a month or 2 to keep the skin looking good. While its healing I would use bag balm (Usually in a green tin or small green jar) or Udder Cream (its in a jar that has cow print on it). They are both for sensitive and very dry skin. Make sure you fully rub it in though, you want the skin to be able to breath after the first 48 hours.

Good Luck!

Michelle - posted on 07/26/2009

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Bepantham nappy cream! My tattooist recommended it and my tattoo was healed up in about four days. Just bathed it with water and chucked the cream on a couple of times a day. Apparently it's great for eczema too. Don't know how it works cos it's got nothing antiseptic or antibac in it? Must be magic....

Kristine - posted on 06/27/2009

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Thank You guys so much. The ink stopped leaking and they are looking fine. The shop did change their ink to Jerry Collin's brand which is interesting. It peels like a sun burn kind of. But my tatts still look good so I'm happy. I'm just using sunscreen on them right now.

Jeanne - posted on 06/25/2009

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I was told by all of the different artists who tattooed me that I should use a mild soap - not antibacterial and to use an antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin and the other one that was recommended was in a white and green box (top half lengthwise is white, bottom half lengthwise is green and the lettering is black). I was also told to pat the tattoo dry and that if it was to run to go back to the shop to look at the tattoo. You may be having a reaction to the ink (if the shop changed types or you may just have developped an allergic reaction to it). If you think it might be infected go to to a doctor right away. If it isn't and after it is healed up return to the shop and have any areas you do not like touched up - the shops that I have dealt with did the touch ups for free if it wasn't something that was caused by gross negligence on the customers behalf. Good luck.

Bridget - posted on 06/25/2009

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I'm not sure where you are, but bepanthen ointment (its a fragrance free rash cream mostly used for nappy rash) is really good. Or Papaw ointment is very gentle and soothing.

You need to cleanse the area very gently, twice a day. Pat dry and apply a gentle ointment straight away - preferably one designed to heal broken or irritated skin. Do not use lotion out of the bathroom cabinet, buy something specific for the wound. Remember that it IS a cut/wound/open sore and needs to be treated as such. Covered for the 1st day, then kept clean and don't let it dry out, you don't want the scab to crack or it will make the ink patchy.

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