top of page
Johnny Tattoo Gallo LOGO Square FINAL WEB copy.jpg


Aftercare & Questions About Your Tattoo


You must be 18 years or older with valid NYS ID in order to get a tattoo. NO EXCEPTIONS AND NO PARENTAL CONSENT.

~ Every Tattoo Artist will recommend different healing instructions for their tattoos. Truth is every Artist knows how their tattoo style will heal in skin. Different Artists use different needles, different methods, machines, inks, ointments, etc. The more you get tattooed, the more you'll know how to heal it. The best thing to do is a combination of what the Artist recommends for that particular tattoo, and trying out methods/ointments on your own. 

~ Some tattoos just have problems healing, especially in certain areas.   We offer 1 free touch-up to our tattoos if needed. We will be able to tell if the tattoo did not heal well because of improper aftercare. 




  • WASH YOUR HANDS! Always wash properly before touching your new tattoo. 

  • Wash your tattoo with cool water, use antibacterial soap and delicately wash the whole tattoo. Don’t scrub or rub too hard. If you rub too hard or peel off a scabbed area, you could damage the ink underneath. Rinse and lightly pat dry with a fresh clean towel.

  • NEVER cover your tattoo.

  • Use ointment for the first 3 days – apply very thin coats twice a day. We suggest Aquaphor. 

  • Switch to white unscented lotion after 3 or 4 days. After peeling begins, apply several times a day. 

  • Showering Daily & Cleaning - Wait 1 hour before applying ointment/lotion first 5 days!


What to expect during your tattoo… 

Pre Tattoo 

  • Arrive rested and showered. We advise against partying the night before your appointment. Be sure to have a light snack beforehand and bring water or juice with you.

  • Leave your children and pets at home. We love them too, just not in the shop.

  • You will have to fill out a form asking personal information, provide ID, complete consent form, etc. You must inform the artist of any health issues or medications.

  • The work station will be clean & sterilized before you enter the work area. 

  • The Artist will wait for the client to be present before opening sterile packages.

  • Your skin will be properly cleaned, then an image or transfer of your design will be placed on your skin.


During Tattoo  

  • You will feel slight discomfort, called…PAIN!

  • The first line is usually the worst, especially for first-timers. 

  • Try to keep your mind & body relaxed, keep your breathing steady & slow!

  • Speak up if you’re feeling nauseous, light-headed, etc.


After Tattoo

  • After your Tattoo is finished, your Artist will thoroughly clean your skin then apply Aquaphor and cover your fresh tattoo to avoid infection.

  • Proper personal hygiene is very important throughout the healing process.


Taking care of your Tattoo… 


Directly after leaving the Tattoo Shop… 

  • Leave your Tattoo covered for approx. 3 hours. It’s covered for a reason! This allows your skin to finish bleeding out, let the new open pores close up, and avoid infection & contamination.


1st Day/Night  

  • Remove cover and wash (in the shower), BUT, Be gentle, and avoid direct water & pat dry. ​

  • Wait one hour and apply a thin layer of ointment. Too much will suffocate your tattoo. ​

  • If your tattoo becomes “damp” after applying ointment, wash it again with cool soapy water and let it dry one hour. This will wash away the plasma which causes scabbing. 

  • A loose shirt/pant is ok to sleep in as long as the tattoo will not stick to the material. 

    • If it does become stuck to clothing DO NOT yank it off! You may pull off the top layer of skin and the ink along with it - dampen the material until the tattoo “unsticks”.


Days 2 to 3 

  • Wash it once a day (in the shower, BUT, be gentle, and avoid direct water), pat dry, wait one hour, apply ointment, and leave it. If it itches, don’t scratch!

  • Use the recommended ointment on your new tattoo 2 to 3 times a day, apply a thin layer. Too much will suffocate your tattoo. 


Days 3 to 5  

**Important!!! Switch to a fragrance-free lotion such as Lubriderm**

  • Wash it once a day (in the shower, BUT, Be gentle, and avoid direct water), pat dry, wait one hour, apply lotion, and leave it.

  • WASH YOUR HANDS before applying lotion 3-4 times a day.

  • By this time, your top layer of skin should be flaking off similar to a sunburn. This is completely normal. 


For The Next Week  

  • Continue using fragrance-free lotion such as Lubriderm.

  • Wash it once a day (you may allow more direct contact with water now), pat dry, wait, apply lotion.

  • You’ll now need to lube your tattoo more throughout the day, WASH YOUR HANDS, and apply the lotion whenever it feels tight, dry, or itchy. Work lotion slowly and gently into the skin.

**Remember, Keep it clean and don’t touch it more than needed**


​IF you’re having problems with your tattoo…  

  • If your tattoo is healing improperly, hurts, or scabbed really bad, it was probably from complications with aftercare. It could be a number of things from just minor irritation, acne/pimples, allergic reactions, or a number of possibilities. Consult your Tattoo Artist with any questions, and he will provide you with information on how to correct your problems. Most complications can be corrected and touched up to perfection once again. 

Frequently asked questions we've had about tattoos!​


Does a tattoo hurt? Yes… ​

How long will it take to heal?  ​​Usually in 10 to 14 days and you should be good to treat your tattoo as normal skin.               ​

Is Bruising or Swelling Bad?  Some people just have sensitive skin, so bruising may occur around or outside the tattooed area. Swelling, most tattoos swell up during the application and can remain or re-swell for the next few days, depending on the location (such as the legs). It's pretty normal, keep it clean.     


Can I go in the sun or tan with my new tattoo? No! Avoid all direct sunlight on fresh tattoos. You shouldn’t tan anyway, but if you insist, you must wait at least 4 weeks and always use SPF 30+ sunscreen. Tanning will fade your tattoo. ​

Can I get my new tattoo wet? Yes, with limitations. BUT please shower daily for proper hygiene.

Can I swim or take a bath with a fresh tattoo? No, wait until after the scabbing/flaking period. 2 weeks is recommended or until fully healed. Avoid pools, spas, lakes, rivers, and the ocean.

What can I do if I get a pimple(s) in or around my tattoo? This could be from many things…rubbing, reaction to ointments/soaps/detergents, etc. Chances are if it’s a few to a bunch of little tiny pimples, it’s from shaving and will heal up soon. If it’s a couple of bigger pimples, whiteheads, it’s probably a reaction from you putting on ointment too thick. Keep it clean, use a very small amount of lube and rub it in gently, don’t cover it!           What should I do if I think my tattoo is infected?  Many times people think a tattoo is infected but it’s probably just irritated. Usually, it can be cleared up in a short time and touched up to perfection if necessary. If you think it's infected or you have any concerns, contact the Tattoo Artist immediately, they will then give you instructions on how to correct the problem.

**REMEMBER, your tattoo is only half-finished when you leave the shop, the other half is up to you!**

bottom of page