You were tattooed in a modern studio with sterilized instruments and pigment. The long term appearance of your tattoo is dependent on the care it receives in the next few days. Following these instructions will ensure that it heals quickly and remains attractive.

  • After approximately 2 to 4 hours, remove the bandage that the artist applied. If you notice that the bandage has dried to the tattoo simply wet the bandage with luke warm water and remove it slowly.
  • Wash the tattoo with a mild hand soap and warm water, rubbing the tattoo with your fingers until all of the dried blood has been removed. DO NOT scrub or wash your tattoo with any type of abrasive cloth.
  • Once the tattoo is clean, blot it dry (being careful not to use anything abrasive). Allow the tattoo to air dry completely.
  • Then once the tattoo is dry to the touch, apply a very small amount of a mild dye-free, scent-free moisturizer (available for purchase at the front desk) to the tattoo and surrounding tissue. Massage the lotion into the tattoo with your fingertip. It is VERY important that you use a very tiny amount of lotion, just enough to make it moist. If you see a greasy sheen, you have applied too much. If this occurs, gently blot the excess off.
  • Clean the tattoo and apply the lotion every two hours for the first 2-3 days. After the third day, apply lotion 3-5 times a day until the tattoo is completely healed.
  • For the first three weeks, do NOT go into the swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, tanning bed, or lay out in the sun. The only exposure to water should be your regular showers. Be careful not to let the shower water beat directly on the tattoo for an extended period of time.
  • Do NOT re-bandage the tattoo. Use only lotion. Keep clean, loose clothing over the new tattoo.
  • Do NOT scratch, pick at, or peel the new tattoo.
  • Do NOT expose your new tattoo to direct sunlight.
  • Once the tattoo is healed we recommend using 15-30 SPF sunscreen when the tattoo is exposed to the sun.

Generally most tattoos heal in 2-3 weeks depending on its location, the care given while it’s healing and the general health of the client. You may notice some slight swelling and soreness for a day or two afterwards. Most people peel/flake like a bad sunburn. Generally, the peeling starts in 3 or 4 days after you are tattooed and tends to be very itchy. Don’t pick at a flaky tattoo!

Sometimes people get scabs. This usually happens if the client was a heavy bleeder, clothing created a friction burn or the tattoo got water-logged. If this happens, do not pick the scab! Let the scab fall off naturally.

Healing a tattoo is not like caring for any other wound. Never use peroxide, rubbing alcohol, aloe, cocoa butter or other products we don’t recommend. Don’t take advice from your friends, the internet or other tattoo studios. Part of the price you paid to get your tattoo is for our expertise in the art of tattooing.

Call the studio or stop by if you have questions. You can find our contact info HERE.

To get a tattoo in Stafford, VA @ Dark Horse Tattoos

Please telephone our receptionist to set up an in person consultation.

(540) 288-8370