Irresponsible Care After Tattoo leads to Bad Healed Tattoos


This post is about tattoo aftercare. It is about the factors which may lead to bad healing of tattoos because of tattoo infection and how to avoid it. This post will guide you through the best practices of tattoo aftercare which are extremely necessary for a good healthy healed tattoo. I recommend you to read it all, however, you can also jump through sections as follows.

Whenever people see badly healed tattoos, the first thing they do is judge the tattoo artist as being bad or worse. There is no consideration of other factors that might be the cause of the bad tattoo. Very few understand the importance of aftercare and that it contributes more than 80% to the quality of the tattoo healed.

Doesn’t matter how good was your fresh tattoo. The day when you got it, it might be looking amazing, fantastic, however, with irresponsible (or being unaware of its) aftercare that same tattoo can turn into a disaster within weeks if we won’t aftercare properly.





What is Tattoo Aftercare and what do we recommend?


As it reads, Tattoo aftercare is the process of care you need to take as soon as you get your tattoo. As far as my experience goes, after-care varies from country to country, city to city, it also depends on what kind of climate you live in, what's the weather like, humidity, hot/cold, etc. Your tattoo artist knows the best so it is important you listen to him/her carefully while he/she is explaining the tattoo aftercare process, probe him/her if you don’t understand it, but make sure you get it all right.


Following are the 2 different aftercare processes that I recommend, which are quite generic and works in all climatic conditions most of the time.


  • (RECOMMENDED) Tattoo After Care - First one consist of the use of Dermalize, This is the best and most effective way of tattoo aftercare and works in all climatic conditions (excluding extreme ones).
    1. As soon as you get your tattoo done, wash it with cold water and put a thin layer of A&D Ointment over it and let it be open for a few minutes (at least 20 mins to 1 hour).
    2. Remove it carefully. If you find it hard to remove the wrap then please consult your tattoo artist and get it removed by him/her.(If you use Dermalize)
    3. Wash it with normal water and let it be open without applying anything for a few hours.
    4. Apply The Tattoo Castle Ointment or any good moisturizer cream once or twice a day (more than twice a day if your skin is dry) for 15 days.
    5. If your tattoo feels mild itchiness, do not scratch, gently pat on the itchy area till the itching subsides.
    6. Keep away from swimming pool, sunlight and beach water for the first 4 weeks ( also read Life Time After Care)
    7. No over-exercise or gym activity for the first 2 weeks, avoid sweating as much as you can.
    8. Eat good food, add more protein to your meal. Avoid food that may cause stomach/digestion issues. Green veggies are the best for the good healing of tattoos.
    9.  Keep yourself hydrated, it keeps your skin moist and healthy.
    10. Avoid alcohol and stay away from recreational drugs for at least 3 days, the first 3 days are very crucial for better healing.
    11. If you feel that your tattoo is infected, consult your tattoo artist and a doctor. (See how you can identify the infection on your tattoo)


  • Dermalize - It is a thin self-adhesive film that provides a moist healing environment during the initial, and most critical, healing stage of a tattoo wound. It is the new solution that replaces the alimentary cling film which has been improperly used in the tattoo aftercare so far. It protects the new tattoo from friction and provides a WATERPROOF, ANTIBACTERIAL-BARRIER that prevents pathogens and external contaminants from entering the wound. The film is BREATHABLE, letting oxygen in and allowing excess moisture vapour to be released from the wound. It’s light to wear, FLEXIBLE and stretchable which allows it to be placed anywhere on the body and stay on, up to several days. Reduced scabbing, reduced risk of infection, no rubbing clothes or other external factors that will damage the tattoo. 


  • The Tattoo Castle Cream - It is homemade ointment-based tattoo aftercare cream by The Tattoo Castle, one of the best tattoo aftercare solutions you will ever find. It is a chemical-free, fragrance-free, antibacterial cream specially made to keep your skin moist and healthy allowing your tattoo to heal faster. With our more than 8 years of experience in tattooing, we have tried and tested tons of aftercare products before coming up with The Tattoo Castle Cream. You can only get it from our The Tattoo Castle Tatto Studio as it is an exclusive product. Contact us to buy it now



  • (BASIC AFTERCARE) - This one is a widely used tattoo aftercare and the oldest one.
    1. Right after you get a tattoo, cover it in a thin layer of A n’ D Ointment and put a loose bandage over it. Let the bandage on while you are heading back home.
    2. Remove the bandage within 4 hours. Gently wash the tattoo with water and pat dry.
    3. Apply a layer of A&D ointment or The Tattoo Castle Cream twice or thrice a day for 2 weeks, don’t put on another bandage (none after the first one)
    4. Don’t let it dry, keep it moist but not too much. Your skin needs air to heal faster, excessive use of ointment may block it and may slow down the healing process which will increase chances of infection. (Thin layer of Ointment)
    5. Do not peel or scratch the tattoo scabs, let them come off on their own. Removing them forcefully will cause colour loss in that area.
    6. Always clean your tattoo with cold water, do not use hot water as it may damage the new fresh soft skin and cause improper healing of the tattoo. (for first 4 weeks)
    7. Keep away from swimming pool, sunlight and beach water for the first 4 weeks (Read Life Time After Care)
    8. If you feel that your tattoo is infected, consult your tattoo artist and a doctor. (See how you can identify the infection on your tattoo and important head points to avoid it)


Is there a Life Time Care needed to maintain the good quality of your tattoo?

Yes, It is as important as your initial aftercare. If you want to maintain a good contrast, sharpness and vibrance of a tattoo you got to take good care of your tattoo for life. You have to nurture your tattoo to keep it healthy and nice. Following are the most important Life Time Tattoo Care points to remember

  • Keep it away from the sun as much as you can, direct sunlight on your tattoo will fade it away, it will make it look muddy and low on contrast.
  • Use good Sunscreen to protect it from the sun. (SPF 50 or higher is best)
  • Avoid Seawater or Chlorine water (swimming pool) as much as you can. If you are into swimming and travelling then you got to use Waterproof Sunscreen or DermaSwim Pro or any similar product.
  • Use good moisturiser (scent and chemical-free) on your tattoo at least a few days a week. We recommend The Tattoo Castle Cream.
  • Too much increase or decrease in size of your tattooed area (either through muscle building or losing weight) could distort the tattoo and may also shift its original position. So avoid getting tattooed if you are planning to bring extreme body size changes.
  • Always stay hydrated, drink enough water to keep your skin moist. As doctors say, the more water you drink, the better your skin gets. Healthy skin keeps your tattoo healthy.




How to diagnose tattoo infection at the early stage?


Early symptoms of tattoo infection are redness, pain and a lot of irritation over the tattoo. After the tattoo you will have a bandage on, however, you may feel a lot of irritation and development of redness due to bacterial activity, in this case, please remove the bandage, wash it with cold water and consult your tattoo artist or a doctor asap.


You may see the development of redness after 2 - 3 days, you may also see blisters or boils around the tattoo and feel progressively increasing irritation, in this case, please remove the bandage, wash it with cold water and consult your tattoo artist or a doctor asap.


Your skin needs air to heal, too much use of A&D / or any aftercare product can suffocate the skin and may lead to infection.


Tattooed skin is like an open wound (like a scratch wound), too much dust around, or too much water can let bacteria enter the wound and multiply fast. Follow proper instructions given by your tattoo artist. Consult him/her if you feel that you missed out on something.


If your tattoo is not Dermalized, it needs to be open all the time once the first bandage of off. Avoid your tattoo’s direct contact with bedsheets or pilows or your home/office upholstery, this is the very common reason for infection. For Eg: You may get your tattoo on the wrist area, and while sleeping your tattoo might be touching your bedsheets all night (you being unaware of it), then try to wear full sleeve cotton T-Shirt or something to avoid the infection. 



Important points to remember before and after getting a tattoo?


  • Avoid alcohol a day before a tattoo, stay hydrated as much as you can before getting a tattoo.
  • Eat simple food, make sure you eat healthily and your stomach is full. Avoid food that may cause unease later.
  • Keep drinking juices and water, have snacks at regular intervals while getting a tattoo (if your tattoo is big and will take more than 5 hours)
  • Do not consume recreational drugs before or after getting a tattoo.
  • You will experience much lesser pain if you stay hydrated and eat well (not hungry)
  • If you are suffering from any disease, please consult your doctor before getting a tattoo.
  • Getting a tattoo from a good tattoo artist is very important, check out this post - How to find the right tattoo artist for your tattoo
  • The tattoo takes approx 90 days to heal completely from the inside out, however, it looks freshly healed within the first 2 weeks, don’t confuse yourself with that outcome as your tattoo, will still undergo a lot of healing changes.
  • The tattoo may develop transparent white patches within 7 days of healing, don’t panic, think of it as baby skin, it’s very new and fresh and it's still healing.
  •  The tattoo can never look as dark as it looked on day one, you will see at last 20% faded colours once it is coldly healed. The reason for this is, when you get it done, the ink is filled in on all the layers of skin, however, while healing, only the third layer will hold the pigment and the rest will replace itself with new cells. Newly formed layers are not completely transparent, and that’s why you see the difference between fresh and healed tattoos.

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