Attending the 2024 Australian Tattoo Expo - Perth (August 23-25)
Attending the 2024 Australian Tattoo Expo - Perth (August 23-25)


When you leave the studio, your new tattoo will have aftercare cream applied and be wrapped in cling film to protect it for your journey home and catch any weeping of lymphatic fluid it may do in the first hour.

  • Remove the wrap after an hour to allow the tattoo to breathe. If it has weeped, it’s best to clean it and reapply the aftercare – with clean hands, gently wash the tattoo with warm soapy water. Carefully pat dry or allow to air dry, then reapply a thin layer of aftercare.

Make sure you are not using any thick or heavy creams or anything with a petroleum jelly base. These creams do not get absorbed but rather just sit on top of the tattoo and tend to suffocate it – the opposite of what we want. Anything light, absorbent and natural is usually best.

  • After the initial cream application, I recommend leaving the tattoo to dry and breathe for at least 24 hours, and only reapplying cream as needed (if it feels tight, itchy or flaky). A little goes a long way and over-moisturising can actually prolong the healing process and can also affect the heal.
  • Be sure to wear clean, loose fitting clothing that will not rub, irritate or stick to your tattoo. Continue to wash your tattoo at least twice a day, applying aftercare only when necessary and only to avoid it drying out too much or cracking.
  • Depending on the style of your piece, it will likely start to flake and peel after a few days similar to a sunburn. This is a normal part of the healing process, however do not pick or scratch at it while it’s doing so – if you do, you risk picking out deeper layers of ink and the piece may heal patchy.
  • Do not submerge the new tattoo in water for two weeks while it heals – this includes swimming, baths, spas, saunas etc. Doing so increases the likelihood of infection and excessive water exposure can irritate the wound. Showering like normal is fine, however do not rub your tattoo with a towel but gently pat dry instead.
  • Keep your healing tattoo out of direct sunlight (covered with clothing), however do not apply sunscreen until it has fully healed, as sunscreen will irritate an open wound. Once healed, sunscreen is important for the longevity of your piece when exposed to UV rays.
  • It’s important to treat your new tattoo the same as you would any other superficial graze – keep it clean, dry and try not to fuss over it too much. With a little time and patience your tattoo will heal in 10 – 14 days.