the art of adam.

ink   oil   lead   junk

tattoo aftercare

it is a very important part of acheiving the finished product that you desire and deserve. at this point, i have been doing this long enough to know how not to destroy your skin, so if the tattoo heals rough, chances are, its your fault. so that there is no confusion (and no excuses), i am going to use this space to tell you the major do's and dont's of maintaining your tattoo once it leaves my supervision:


use lotion. it puts the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the needle again! i fully recommend PLAIN Lubriderm or Aquaphor. either can be found in the skin care section of any major retailer. use your lotion 3-4 times daily until the tattoo has finished healing. no more, no less. over-lotioning can be just as detrimental as under-lotioning

rinse your new tattoo in hot water as soon as you're able to after getting it. the heat relaxes the pores and allows the ink to finish sinking in. once out of the water, the pores will close, thus sealing the pigment in your skin and ceasing that unsightly leakage that happens when the tattoo is fresh. your linens will thank you

keep the tattoo out of compromising situations while healing. infection will only complicate things. such situations include (but aren't limited to): creek diving, sweaty mosh pits, mud-filled 5Ks, nuclear waste dumps, park bathrooms, seedy brothels, heroin houses, malaria farms, rat sanctuaries, roach motels, condemned slaughterhouses, and mud wrestling

(Lubriderm wrestling might actually be okay)

sing to your tattoo as it heals. why not? it works for plants

do not:

leave your tattoo bandaged overnight. this can breed infection, as it traps fluids that want to exit the body on top of your open wounds. if that sounds gross, it is. don't do it. the only exception should be if you just have to partake in any of the aforementioned compromising situations, but only bandage it as long as you must. tattoos heal easier when they can breathe

pick at your tattoo while its healing. or scratch it when it starts itching (it will). if you remove loose dead skin before its ready, it can sometimes still be attached to the pigment healing beneath and rip it out as well. don't do it

let your tattoo soak in water as it heals. not even a bath. oversaturating a tattoo slows the healing process, and in excessive cases, can have some funky effects on the finished product. bad funky. not Morris Day. don't do it

tan your tattoo. its already going to heal like a sunburn. you wouldn't tan a sunburn, would you? don't do it

there is no try:

touch-ups are no fun for anyone. but they do happen. so, follow these guidelines, and there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to keep touch-ups to a minimum, if not phase them out completely. bear in mind, your tattoo will never be as bright as those first few days when the ink is still sitting atop your skin. sad, but true. i recommend taking a picture for posterity on the day after you get it. all of the splendor of fresh ink, none of the irritation of abused flesh