9 Problems with Healing Tattoos

In the season of tattoo gift certificates, here’s a bit of info for you!  If you lost your aftercare instructions or are confused about them, we have the Board of Health’s aftercare instructions posted HERE (scroll to the bottom of the page)Should any problem or concern arise regarding your specific healing process, contact the shop and artist immediately, for their professional opinion – DO NOT rely on your friends, as they are not certified by the board of health (and hopefully, your artist is!).  Should you have questions regarding our aftercare products specifically, feel free to contact us directly.   (We cannot and will not advise you about specific issues you are having with healing your tattoo, unless you purchased our products.)

In case you have little or no tattoos, you may want to check out this link for information on the styles of tattoos and very basic information (which may save your artist a bit of a headache, in answering these kinds of questions).

Now for some common healing problems with some of the aftercare products sold at local stores, and solutions on fixing them (again, contact your artist or us, depending on whether you used our products or not). Aftercare products may also be marketed as a tattoo cream, tattoo aftercare ointment, tattoo healing lotion, or aftercare lotion.  These phrases are interchangeable with our tattoo salve, tattoo lotion and Clean Jell-E ointment.   Happy inking!

  1. Problem: Discharge (weeping tattoo). Too much healing product was used, or was used before the skin was allowed to dry completely after washing.
    1. Solution: gently blot the skin to remove excess product, or wash tattoo gently and allow it to dry completely, before applying aftercare.
  2. Problem: Dull tattoo. This may be part of the healing process, as skin takes a full 30 days to completely regenerate and heal.  Tattoos may also seem dull as they scab and peel, due to the skin healing from the inside out.
    1. Solution: apply a thin layer of aftercare, to see if the skin brightens a bit – your skin may just be thirsty!
  3. Problem: Flaking skin/peeling. Tattoo is dry (which may pull small amount of colour from the tattoo).
    1. Solution: apply a small amount of aftercare to the skin.
  4. Problem: Pimples or itchy white bumps. The pores of the skin are clogged.
    1. Solution: wipe away excess aftercare, or use a product that allows the skin to breathe properly.
  5. Problem: Puss in tattoo. Using a scented lotion or other beauty care product.
    1. Solution: use only aftercare products that are specifically designed for healing tattoos.
  6. Problem: Rashes.
    1. Solution: use a product with hypo-allergenic ingredients. Many people have reactions to products that contain mineral oil or petroleum.
  7. Problem: Scabbing. The tattoo was not washed properly, or was left dry for too long.
    1. Solution: gently clean the tattoo with warm, soapy water and apply a thin coat of aftercare.
  8. Problem: Swelling (extreme – some swelling is part of the normal healing process). Improper care/allergic reaction/depressed immune system (we can’t possibly cover the multiple factors that can cause this, due to ever body healing differently).
    1. Solution: depending on the location of the tattoo, reduce the use of the body part. Wear loose clothing and/or shoes that keep the tattoo free from excess dirt, but allow the skin to breathe completely.  DO NOT LEAVE TATTOOS COVERED, as the skin must breathe to heal!  Clean the tattoo according to the aftercare instructions provided. 
  9. Problem: Redness or irritation: Over-washing, not washing enough, or not enough aftercare being used.
    1. Solution: determine which applies to you, and clean the tattoo according to the aftercare instructions provided.