Emergency Contact Details
Potential Risks and Side Effects
Tattoos breach the skin, which means that skin infections and other complications are possible. The risks associated with getting a tattoo include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Allergic reactions. Tattoo dyes — especially red, green, yellow and blue dyes — can cause allergic skin reactions, such as an itchy rash at the tattoo site. This can occur even years after you get the tattoo.
- Skin infections. A skin infection is possible after tattooing.
- Other skin problems. Sometimes an area of inflammation called a granuloma can form around tattoo ink. Tattooing also can lead to keloids — raised areas caused by an overgrowth of scar tissue.
- Difficulty detecting melanoma. Tattooing over a mole makes it harder to detect skin damage, especially skin cancers like melanoma.
- MRI complications. Rarely, tattoos or permanent makeup might cause swelling or burning in the affected areas during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams. In some cases, tattoo pigments can interfere with the quality of the image.
Medication or other treatment might be needed if you experience an allergic reaction to the tattoo ink or you develop an infection or other skin problem near a tattoo. Please seek medical advice immediately if you are worried about any of your symptoms after obtaining a tattoo.
Caring for your tattoo can prevent complications and ensure that the tattoo heals properly. These instructions will help you to take care of your new tattoo at home. Aftercare starts as soon as your tattoo is done.
Cover it up
The Tattooist will apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment over the tattoo and then cover the area in a bandage or plastic wrap. This covering prevents bacteria from getting into your skin. It also protects the tattoo from rubbing onto your clothes and getting irritated.
Keep the dressing on for as long as your Tattooist recommends, which may be just a few hours. It’ll help absorb any fluid or excess ink that leaks from the tattoo.
Gently wash the tattoo
After a few hours, you can remove the covering.
First wash your hands with water and soap. Then gently wash the tattoo with warm water and fragrance-free soap. Pat your skin dry with a soft cloth.
Apply a small amount of fragrance-free and alcohol-free moisturizer to the tattoo. You can keep the covering off at this point to let your skin breathe.
Wait for it to heal
While your tattoo heals, you should:
- Wear sun-protective clothing whenever you go outside
- Call your Tattooist or Doctor if you experience any symptoms of infection or other problems
- Cover your tattoo with sunscreen until it’s fully healed
- Scratch or pick at the tattoo
- Wear tight clothing over the tattoo
- Go swimming or immerse your body in water (showers are fine)
How quickly you heal depends on the size of your tattoo and how intricate it is. Bigger tattoos will stay red and swollen longer because they cause more trauma to your skin.
You’ll come home from the tattoo studio with a bandage or plastic wrap over your tattoo. After a few hours, you can remove it.
You should ask your tattooist for specifics about how long to wait. Recommendations will vary and may be based on the type and size of your tattoo.
Once the covering comes off, you’ll probably notice fluid oozing from the tattoo. This is blood, plasma (the clear part of blood), and some extra ink. It’s normal. Your skin will also be red and sore. It might feel slightly warm to the touch.
With clean hands, wash the tattoo with warm water and a fragrance-free soap. Apply a fragrance-free and alcohol-free moisturizer. Leave the covering off so the tattoo can heal.
By now, your tattoo will have a duller, cloudier appearance. This happens as your skin heals. Scabs will start to form.
Wash your tattoo once or twice a day, and apply a fragrance-free and alcohol-free moisturizer.
When you wash, you might notice some ink running into the sink. This is just excess ink that’s come up through your skin.
The redness should start to fade.
You’ll probably notice some light scabbing over the tattoo. The scabs shouldn’t be as thick as the scabs you get when you cut yourself, but they’ll be raised. Don’t pick at the scabs — this can cause scarring.
Keep washing your tattoo once or twice a day. Apply a fragrance-free and alcohol-free moisturizer.
The scabs have hardened and will begin to flake off.
Don’t pick at them or try to pull them off. Let them come off naturally. Otherwise, you could pull out the ink and leave scars.
At this point, your skin may feel very itchy. Gently rub on a fragrance-free and alcohol-free moisturizer several times a day to relieve the itch.
If your tattoo is still red and swollen at this point, you might have an infection. Go back to your tattooist or see a doctor.
In this last stage of healing, most of the big flakes will be gone and the scabs should be going away. You might still see some dead skin, but it should eventually clear up too.
The tattooed area might still look dry and dull. Keep moisturizing until the skin looks hydrated again.
By the second or third week, the outer layers of skin should’ve healed. It may take 3 to 4 months for the lower layers to completely heal.
By the end of your third month, the tattoo should look as bright and vivid as the artist intended.
Once your tattoo has healed, you move into maintenance mode. Though you don’t have to specifically care for it after 3 or 4 months, there are things you can do to prevent the ink from degrading.
Tips for long-term tattoo aftercare:
- Keep it clean. Wash your skin daily with a gentle, fragrance-free soap.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin moisturized.
- Watch what you wear. Wear protective clothing so the sun won’t fade your tattoo. Avoid scratchy fabrics, such as wool, which can damage the art.
- Avoid excess weight gain or loss. Changes in weight could stretch out or distort the tattoo.
I acknowledge by signing this agreement that I have been given the full opportunity to ask any and all questions which I might have about the obtaining of a tattoo and that all of my questions have been answered to my full satisfaction. I specifically acknowledge I have been advised of the facts and matters set forth below and I agree as follows:
- I acknowledge that I have truthfully represented to the Tattooist that I am over 18 years of age.
- I acknowledge it is not reasonably possible for the Tattooist to determine whether I might have an allergic reaction to the dyes / pigments or processes used in my tattoo and I agree to accept that such risks are possible.
- I acknowledge that infection is always possible as a result of obtaining a tattoo particularly in the event that I do not take proper care of my tattoo and I have been advised of the signs and symptoms of infection that indicate a need to seek medical care.
- I acknowledge receipt of the written instructions on this form for proper care of my tattoo and recognise the absolute necessity of following those instructions.
- I agree to follow all instructions concerning the care of my tattoo and that any touch-ups needed because of my own negligence will be done at my own expense.
- I acknowledge that variations in colour and design may exist between any tattoos as selected by me and as ultimately applied to my body.
- I acknowledge that there is a chance I might feel lightheaded/dizzy during or after being tattooed. I agree to immediately notify the Tattooist in the event I feel lightheaded/dizzy at any time.
- I acknowledge that tattooing is a permanent change to my appearance and that no representations have been made to me as to the ability to later change/alter or remove my tattoo.
- I acknowledge that the obtaining of my tattoo is my choice alone and I consent to the application of the tattoo and to any actions or conduct of the Tattooist that are reasonably necessary to perform the tattoo procedure.
- Any questions I had about the tattoo procedure have been answered to my satisfaction.
Tap or click on the signature above to sign