Tattoo Aftercare  

Good aftercare following a tattoo is essential to promote faster healing and minimise the risk of infection. Healing times will vary from person to person, with factors including your overall health, diet and age - as well as the size and position of your tattoo. For the first few weeks it is normal for the area to be red and tender. 

Golden rule

  • Hand washing is the single most important method of reducing infection.
  • Wash your hands in warm water and antibacterial soap, always dry your hands thoroughly with a clean towel or paper towel.

Recovery time - what to expect 

Week 1


Your body will be responding to the tattoo and you may notice redness, slight inflammation or swelling, or a burning sensation.

Week 2 

Itching and flaking

It’s perfectly natural for your skin to flake. Resist the temptation to scratch or pick scabs. We recommend Yayo Familia aftercare.

Week 3 - 4

Drying out

Your tattoo will start to dry out and the itchiness should start to subside. If it’s still red or inflamed, it could be a sign of an infection, if so, get in touch. 

Months 2 - 6


Your tattoo may looked fully healed, but it’s important to keep up with the aftercare. Keep hydrated, use SPF and ensure the area is kept clean.

Help with healing

There are two methods for healing your new tattoo: 

YAYO Guard - our recommended approach

YAYO Guard is a protective tattoo healing film which acts as a second skin to provide a barrier between your new tattoo and outside germs and bacteria. It is waterproof but permeable on the inside to allow your skin to naturally perspire and the film uses a hypoallergenic acrylic adhesive and is made of polyurethane. YAYO Guard works by locking in your natural healing fluids to allow a healing process that begins from the inside, working out. 

What to expect

  • Your tattoo artist will apply the first guard before you leave the studio on the day of your tattoo, this needs to stay on for 48hrs
  • You then need to remove the first guard carefully (under the shower is the best option) let the luke warm water run over the area and gently pull downwards keeping close to the skin NEVER pull away from the skin as you could damage the skin. 
  • After the guard is removed gently wash the tattoo with YAYO soap until all of the sticky residue has gone, leave the tattoo to air dry once it is fully dry apply the second YAYO guard as shown to you by your artist and leave for another 5 days.
  • Once you have removed the second guard you now need to apply YAYO tattoo cream to your tattoo for approx. 7 days. 
  • When you remove the guard it will look healed BUT the skin is still very delicate at this point as you need to be careful not to scratch or bang the area as it can still damage the tattoo.

Approach for sensitive skin or allergies

If you have very sensitive skin or allergies to adhesives, we suggest an alternative method. 

Depending on the size of the artwork, your tattoo artist will cover your tattoo with either:

  • a sterile, non-adhesive dressing. Keep this on, at least during your journey home, then simply keep the area clean and dry, 


  • plastic film wrap. Your tattoo artist will advise you when to replace this covering. When you do, the new wrap must be clean, taken straight from the pack and used immediately.

Use of aftercare creams

  • Any cream that you apply must be used from an appropriate pot/tube at home for approx. 2 weeks and you should wash your hands before application.
  • We recommend Yayo Familia aftercare which is included in your day session.
  • If you are booked in with a guest artist, you’ll have the option to purchase aftercare before leaving the studio.
  • Do not use antibiotic creams, unless you have been prescribed it by your doctor.

General advice

The first few weeks of healing are really important to the long term look of your tattoo. It’s important to remember:

  • No swimming or soaking in a bath - showering is fine
  • Keep out of the sun, and no tanning! Make sure you wear an SPF 50 product
  • Don’t pick or scratch your tattoo - it could cause permanent damage 
  • Don’t let other people touch your healing tattoo, or you risk infection

Signs of infection

If appropriate aftercare is not followed infection may occur. The signs of infection are:

  • a rash, redness, or bumps in the tattoo area
  • fever
  • worsening swelling
  • increasing pain
  • shaking, chills, and sweats

If you have any of these symptoms please contact the studio to assess what to do next. We may recommend you to seek medical assistance if we feel it needed.