How to Properly Care for Your New Tattoo or Piercing

Tattoo Aftercare: What You Should Know

Taking proper care of your new tattoo is essential for ensuring a smooth healing process and preserving the quality of your artwork. Whether you’re using Recovery Derm or not, always wash your hands before touching your tattoo. If you’re using Recovery Derm, keep the original bandage on for 24 hours, then gently remove it using warm water and soap. Re-bandage with a fresh piece of Recovery Derm and leave it on for four days. If you’re not using Recovery Derm, keep the bandage on for 1.5 to 2 hours before removing it and cleaning the tattoo. In both cases, avoid swimming, hot tubs, and bathtubs until your tattoo is fully healed.

When removing the Recovery Derm bandage after four days, use the same gentle technique described earlier. Clean your tattoo with antibacterial or unscented soap, rinse with warm water, and pat dry. Apply Recovery Lotion as needed for comfort. For those not using Recovery Derm, apply a fragrance-free lotion like Recovery Lotion or Recovery Tattoo Salve sparingly five times daily until the tattoo is healed. Avoid using ointments such as Vaseline, A&D, triple antibiotic, or Aquaphor.

To prevent itching, gently slap or pat your healing tattoo for relief. In both cases, do not scratch, rub, or pick at scabs, and don’t apply sunblock to your new tattoo until it’s fully healed. Remember, showering is fine, but take care to protect your new tattoo from prolonged exposure to water and moisture during the healing process.

For more detailed instructions on how to care for your tattoo, check out our downloadable guide here.

Piercing Aftercare: What You Should Know

Caring for your body and oral piercings properly is crucial for a smooth healing process. To maintain a healthy environment for your body piercings, ensure you get enough sleep, eat well, and keep your bedding clean. Showers are preferable over baths, and avoid soaking your piercing in water bodies like lakes, pools, or hot tubs.

Refrain from using alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Betadine, Hibiclens, or ointments on your piercing, and avoid contact with cosmetics, lotions, and sprays.

Wait at least three weeks or more (three months for navel piercings) before attempting to change the jewelry. When cleaning, use liquid antibacterial soap to gently wash the jewelry and piercing, and apply NeilMed sterilized sea salt solution up to three times daily without wiping it off. You can also check out our downloadable guide for our salt solution recipe in place of NeilMed sterilized sea salt solution.

For oral piercings, follow general guidelines like consuming a nutritious diet, getting enough sleep, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss daily. Avoid playing with the jewelry, excessive talking, undue trauma, and oral sexual contact during the healing process. Steer clear of mouthwash containing alcohol, chewing gum, tobacco, and sharing plates, cups, or utensils. Refrain from smoking, stress, and recreational drug use. Rinse your mouth with Listerine Alcohol-Free mouthwash 4-5 times daily after meals and at bedtime during the entire healing period.

During the healing process, it is normal to experience some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or bruising for body piercings, and discoloration, itching, or secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that forms crust on the jewelry. Remember that a piercing may seem healed before it’s fully healed, as it heals from the outside in. Be patient and maintain the cleaning routine throughout the entire healing process.

For oral piercings, it is normal to experience significant swelling, light bleeding, bruising, and/or tenderness for the first three to five days. Beyond three to five days, you may still notice some swelling, light secretion, or a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus). As with body piercings, oral piercings may also seem healed before they’re completely healed. Continue cleaning throughout the entire healing process to ensure the best outcome.

For more detailed instructions on how to care for your piercing, check out our downloadable guide here.

Are you Ready?

Contact Us!


Frontier Tattoo Company is San Tan Valley's oldest and most experienced tattoo and piercing shop.
Follow us on Instagram!