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· Leave the dressing on for at least 4 hours but no longer than 12.

· After removing, gently but thoroughly wash the tattoo with warm water and the recommended tattoo wash or gentle, non-perfumed soap.

· Ensure that all cream, plasma and any blood has been washed off, but do not scrub the tattoo. You should continue to very gently wash the tattoo 1-2 times a day during the healing process.

· Pat the area dry with kitchen roll or a very clean towel and apply a thin layer of bepanthen or your recommended tattoo cream.

· Reapply the cream 3-4 times per day and ensure the tattoo doesn't fully dry out - this can damage the tattoo.

· Over the next 1-2 weeks the tattoo may look a little dull - this is part of the healing process as new skin forms over the top of the ink and will clear up over time.

· During the healing process you must care for the tattoo; stay out of the sun and sun beds, and avoid swimming and soaking in the bath. Try to wear loose, soft clothing that won't rub whilst it's healing.

It may take up to 2 months for the tattoo to fully heal - if it isn't looked after well in this time it will become permanently faded or damaged. Alcohol or drugs can also affect healing - a healthy body makes for a healthy tattoo.

Everybody's tattoo will heal slightly differently and it may be necessary for you to return to the studio for a touch up session to add a little more ink to the healed tattoo to fully complete it. It is only obvious that a touch up is needed after the tattoo has healed. If you'd like to book a touch up, wait for at least three weeks after getting the tattoo and contact the shop for a date and time.

If you follow all the advice listed in this sheet you should have no problem with your new tattoo, but if there's anything you're unsure about or you'd like some advice please contact Gumtoad through email - - or come back to the studio for a chat.

Some brands of aftercare products that have good reputations outside of the usual Bepanthen that we sell in the studio are 'Hustle Butter' and 'Tattoo Goo'. If your skin is very sensitive or you're experiencing a lot of itching with Bepanthen you may need to switch to something more natural - Hustle Butter is good for this. It might also be a good idea to purchase some tattoo wash if you're having trouble finding fragrance-free, extra gentle soap to wash it with. We've used the 'Child's Farm' fragrance free baby body wash with success - you can find it in Boots.

Every body heals differently - some bodies take longer with the healing process but as long as you keep the tattoo clean and moisturise it enough to stop it from totally drying up, you should have no trouble.

Don't smother the tattoo with moisturiser; it needs to breath. You just need a small amount to stop it from drying up and cracking, which can result in a loss of ink and more exposure to bacteria.


If you've had an aftercare skin applied to it - something like a clear, flexible plaster - you don't need to do anything with it until you take it off 3 days after. It's sometimes easier to remove it under luke-warm running water. After this, care for it as normal in this guide.


Clean your bed sheets every week or as often as possible whilst your tattoo is healing, and always wear clean clothes if they come into contact with your fresh ink. If you get stuck to your sheets or clothes, be extremely careful peeling them off. It's best to go in the shower and let the lukewarm water loosen the fabric from the fragile skin.

And remember - no scratching!

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