How to Take Care of Your New Tattoo

At Loose Screw Tattoo, we love helping you bring your tattoo dreams to life. Each of our resident artists have a different style and flare. No matter who’s chair you sit in, it’s important to us that your tattoo looks its best for a long time.  Here are a few hot tips to take care of your tattoo long after you leave the shop!

Start with a great artist.

The first step to getting a tattoo to heal efficiently is to pick the right artist.  Owner Jesse Smith says, “Throughout my 20+ years as an artist, I noticed that the better I got at applying tattoos, the better they healed up.” 

Many times, if a tattoo does not heal up well, it’s because the artist either overworked your skin, the aftercare was not done properly, or your immune system is compromised (ie. diabetics sometimes have issues healing).

Cover it up with Tegaderm.

After receiving a tattoo from an experienced artist, it is best to cover it with some sort of bandage so the tattoo can begin the healing process. Tegaderm is used to treat burn victims and decreases the amount of scabbing during the first stages of healing. The less scabbing that occurs, the better the tattoo will look once it’s healed completely. When tattoos heal poorly, you’ll notice that some of the ink falls out and/or scar tissue forms (ie. the skin is raised up). A brand of Tegaderm that is more catered to healing tattoos is called Saniderm. You can learn more here.

Leave it be.

Once you apply the Saniderm, avoid removing it or fussing with the tattoo area for a couple of days.  This will prevent any irritation or exposure to bacteria. Leave it on for as long as possible (3-5 days) or until it starts to fall off on its own. Saniderm can be uncomfortable to remove because of the adhesive properties. Leaving the bandage on longer allows the adhesive properties to dissipate and can make the removal process much eaiser! 

Bunny Turtle by Jason Stephan

Get it clean.

After removing the Saniderm, wash the tattoo area thoroughly using your fingertips, warm water, and some fragrance-free, antibacterial soap. Once it’s clean, pat it dry lightly.  Once dry, apply a fragrance-free, paraben-free, and petroleum-free moisturizing cream or lotion. Many brands are specifically made to heal tattoos. Smith recommends Sanibalm, which is created by Saniderm.

Keep moisturizing.

Regularly apply a very thin layer of moisturizer over the next few weeks until the tattoo has settled nicely into your skin. You don’t want it to dry up during the healing process.  If your tattoo was applied correctly and your immune system is not compromised, then your tattoo should be fully healed in about two weeks.

Being healthy is only half of what it takes to get a tattoo to heal up properly,” says Smith.  “The other half is how the tattoo was applied.” 

Getting a tattoo is an important decision and extensive process. Loose Screw is here to help our clients every step of the way.  Call us to learn more about getting not just a great tattoo, but a professional and friendly experience: (804) 342-1981.

Click here to learn more about our resident artists.