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Tattoo Aftercare

Easy Steps for Healing Your New Tattoo

How do you take care of a new tattoo?

New tattoos are exciting, whether it’s your first or one of many that you already have. For first timers, taking care of what happens after you get your new ink can seem intimidating or unusual, but luckily there are plenty of ways to know exactly what to do, so that you aren’t overwhelmed or lost. The first step to take before the healing process even begins is finding a tattoo artist that you are comfortable working with and working on realizing your dream artwork. When you come into the shop, you should feel welcome and appreciated as a customer. If you have questions or concerns, you should feel able to voice them, especially with a business that has been running for years. This is the single most important aspect of the whole process, and pretty much ensures that you’re in good hands the whole way through. Whether you’re looking at Yelp or Facebook reviews, nothing beats actually walking into a tattoo shop and decide for yourself if it’s worth the investment. Never second guess your gut, and always go with what’s comfortable.

How long does it take a tattoo to fully heal?

It will take a while to completely heal any tattoos, but typically you can expect things to start looking normal in around two weeks. Obviously, if you got a larger and more complex piece, it may take longer, and each person has their own way of healing. As long as you take care of your tattoo, you won’t need to worry about weeks to months of healing. Look out for any signs of potential infection, such as red streaks that emanate from the tattoo location, as well as any intense pain or swelling. These can be indicative of an infection even if the area looks fine. Obviously, pain and redness will be your best bet in recognizing if anything is wrong, but definitely trust your gut if something just doesn’t feel right. Don’t be afraid to talk to your personal doctor about any issues you may have, as well as keeping in contact with your tattoo artist. There may be some information regarding any potential allergies or recalls that you may not be aware of if something goes wrong. Regardless, you should never feel like getting a tattoo is unsafe, as long as you are in a clean and comfortable environment with an experienced artist who understands that you may have some questions about how they do things. Sleeve Tattoo Aftercare

When should I moisturize my new tattoo?

You should take care to ensure that the area where you got your tattoo is aerated and free of any harsh chemicals or lotions. If you feel the need to moisturize the area, experiment with a dab of whatever product you normally use, and then check the results. If you feel warmth or irritation, you probably used too much, and may be at risk of infection. It’s important to keep the area in which you got your tattoo dry and able to heal on its own. Instead of picking at it and obsessing over it, your best bet is to just watch over it here and there to make sure you aren’t in danger of getting a bad infection if something goes wrong. Typically, you are almost always in the clear, but it’s better to know the warning signs and be safe than sorry.

Our Favourite Tattoo Aftercare Products

After Inked

After Inked Tattoo Moisturizer delivers effective skin moisturization and helps to preserve the colours of your tattoos. There's no petroleum so it won't stick to or stain your clothes. This moisturizing skin lotion, enriched with Grape Seed Oil, can also be used on any permanent makeup procedure on lips, brows, eye liner, and areola, as well as an after-laser tattoo removal moisturizing lotion. After Inked is Dermatologist tested, non-allergenic and non-irritating.

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PurSan Aftercare is a specially formulated Vegan skin cleanser used to clean and moisturize as part of an aftercare regimen for fresh tattoos and piercings. It revitalizes, refreshes and purifies skin without drying it out. Gentle yet effective, PurSan contains no parabens, fragrances, colourants or alcohol. Chloroxylenol (PCMX) is a proven antimicrobial ingredient shown to be effective against bacteria and viruses without burning or irritating the skin. Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (Hypromellose) is an ultra-high grade lubricant ideal for sensitive skin.

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What should you not do after a tattoo?

Never let your artist use saran or plastic wrap to cover your tattoo, as it won’t allow the wound to heal properly or absorb blood. There are specialty adhesives that you can buy or get from your artist if you need them. As well as this, don’t pick at any dead skin that forms, even though your skin may feel itchy for the first few days. These scabs are an important part of the healing process, and they prevent you from getting any unsightly scars over the long term. If you have serious itching, you may have an infection, but a small amount of irritation is entirely normal. Getting a tattoo is essentially the same as having an open wound on your body, as disgusting as that may seem. You have a part of you that is exposed to chemicals and bacteria that may or may not cause an infection, so it’s your job to make sure that that doesn’t happen. Regardless of the stage of healing your tattoo is in, be sure to keep an eye on how its progress is going. New Tattoo Healing

Should I Wrap my tattoo at night?

Oftentimes, your tattoo artist will wrap your tattoo with a clean adhesive that allows the tattoo to heal and aerate. They’ll also give you aftercare tips to ensure that you’re aware of what you need to do post-procedure. Tattooed skin can be very sensitive and tender, as a thin layer of skin your artwork lies upon is very close to the surface. Take care in keeping it covered or cushioned so that you don’t accidentally hurt yourself bumping into something or someone. Typically, if your freshly tattooed and the artwork area is very large, you’ll need to wrap it in the shower or if you’re going to use any lotions on your body, since the fresh wound will need time to heal away from anything that can potentially cause an infection.

How long should you wait to take a shower after a tattoo?

You can shower right after getting your tattoo, but it’s not always recommended and may be uncomfortable for you. If you’re washing the tattoo, be sure to use mild soap and warm water to keep from irritating the area too much. Once you’re out, it can be a good idea to gently wash the tattoo with antibacterial soap and dab it with a paper towel. Follow your aftercare instructions and don’t be afraid to ask questions to your doctor and artist about your options.

Ready to Explore Tattoo Aftercare?

At Chronic Ink Tattoo, our talented artists are ready to help you with any Tattoo Aftercare questions that you may have. If you’re in the Toronto, Markham, Mississauga, Kitsilano Vancouver area drop by our shop and check us out for yourself.

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Tattoo Studio Locations

Downtown Toronto

378 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1S6 Directions

Midtown Toronto

252 Eglinton Ave East, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M4P 1K2 Directions


7381 Kennedy Road, Unit #105, Markham, Ontario L3R 5B5 Directions


100 City Centre Dr., Unit #2-311, Mississauga, Ontario L5N 2C9 Directions


1804 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia V6J 1M3 Directions

Looking for your next Tattoo Idea?

Browse our selection of one of a kinda tattoo designs created by our Chronic Ink artists. Each piece is individual and will only ever be tattooed once.

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