For the sake of giving everyone a visual step by step of what to expect when healing your tattoo I have photo documented the healing of my inner elbow tattoo as done by the talented Luke Wrigley


Congrats on your new tattoo!

After I finish tattooing you I will apply a small amount of antiseptic lotion and wrap your tattoo, to ensure you do not damage your fresh tattoo please leave your bandage on overnight. 

For best healing results the consumption of alcohol is not recommended tonight. 

If your tattoo is excessively painful and or swolen tonight I recommend elevating the area and applying an ice pack over the bandaged area.


Gently unwrap your tattoo and rinse the area under clean running water and gentle antibacterial soap. Remember that your tattoo is an open wound and it needs to be kept clean. 

It is common for your tattoo to weep for approximately 12 to 30 hours after getting tattooed, you must clean your tattoo 3 to 5 times a day with antibacterial soap to prevent scabs forming. 

Today you are not to wear any clothing that may come into contact with your fresh tattoo and adhere to the surface 



Your tattoo may still be tender and swollen on these days but will be starting to feel much better. 

Day 3+ is where I typically recommend starting to apply a small amount of aftercare lotion. I use and recommend Ohana Organics

After cleaning your fresh tattoo if it feels dry enough that it is at risk of cracking you may now apply a small amount of lotion to prevent it from cracking and damaging your fresh tattoo. 

Do not over-over lotion your tattoo, use only enough lotion to prevent it from cracking.  Over use of lotion builds scabs and water-logging which may damage your tattoo, and is not covered by my touch up policy. 


Here is where things start to get gross, between day 4 and 6 your tattoo will begin to peel and go from a pretty piece of body art, to a full blown flakey mess. 
Don't worry, this is perfectly normal!

Apply a small amount of lotion to prevent any flakes coming off early, and do not wear clothing that will catch on any flakey bits and remove them early. 

The most important thing during this stage is not to scratch or pick at your tattoo!

Let things fall off in their own time, and if the itchiness is unbearable simply slap the area, DO NOT SCRATCH IT!


You are almost done!

Your tattoo will finish up peeling at around this time, and any areas that scabbed (typically high detail areas or areas that got slightly damaged during healing, like getting stuck to clothing) will finish healing up in their own time. 

The temptation to pick those scabs for some of you might be pretty fierce here, do NOT PICK!


All done!

Your tattoo will continue to brighten up for another few weeks as your skin finishes healing completely.

Your tattoo may be itchy for several weeks, but at this stage you are good to resume swimming and normal activities. 


For the best results and lifespan of your tattoo I do not ever recommend tanning your tattoo or exposing it to excessive sunlight. UV rays are damaging to ink and your skin and will prematurely age both yourself and your tattoo. 

Look after your ink!