By Nikita Jeppesen

Tattoo Healing Process - Do’s and Don'ts

After months of saving and patient waiting you’re finally ready to get the tattoo you’ve always wanted. Before you hit the town and show off to all your friends, there’s just a few essential aftercare instructions you should know. 

If you want your new ink to stay fresh, clean and vibrant follow this list of do’s and don’ts for the best tattoo aftercare practices:- 


  1. Choose trustworthy tattoo studios 
  2. Listen to your tattoo artists instructions
  3. Have a healthy, nutritious meal before your tattoo 
  4. Stay hydrated 
  5. Take breaks if needed
  6. Treat your tattoo like a fresh cut/wound
  7. Sanitise your hands before touching the tattoo site
  8. Use Dr Pickles Foaming Tattoo Wash to clean your fresh tattoo 
  9. Prevent infection by applying Dr Pickles Tattoo Balm
  10. Remove Dr Pickles Tattoo Film under warm (not hot) running water
  11. See a doctor if your tattoo becomes more painful or starts to ooze. 


  1. Do not heavily exercise for the first 48 hours 
  2. Do not pick, rub or scratch any scabs that may form or peel off flaky skin. This may invite serious infection and scars may form. 
  3. Do not shave over your tattoo until it is fully healed 
  4. Do not go swimming or soak in a bathtub 
  5. Do not remove Dr Pickles Tattoo Film dry - be sure to remove it under running water. 
  6. Do not expose your new tattoo to direct sunlight whilst it is healing, after it is healed apply SPF 50 Sunscreen to ensure the tattoo does not fade.
  7. Do not use anything other than your hand to wash your tattoo 
  8. Do not leave Dr Pickles Tattoo Film on for over 48 hours.
  9. Do not cover your tattoo in sunscreen or moisturiser until it is completely healed

What you should do:-

Choose a trustworthy studio. Be sure to choose a shop you know is licensed, is diligent about sterilization and operates responsibly. Choose an artist who you know produces quality work and tattoos in the style you are after. 

Listen to your artist’s professional opinion. Before you proceed let them know about any skin conditions, allergies or concerns you may have. 

Use Dr Pickles Foaming Tattoo Wash or a fragrance-free mild soap to clean your fresh tattoo. Sanitise your hands before touching your tattoo, rinse your tattoo with warm water, apply Dr Pickles Foaming Tattoo Wash and allow the wash to absorb for 10-15 seconds. Gently remove all fluids and blood with your hands (do not press down hard) under running water. 

Some symptoms of infection you should keep your eye on include:-

  • A Rash
  • Pus or oozing for extended periods of time
  • Redness and radiating heat from the tattoo
  • Fever
  • Prolonged swelling
  • Hard or raised tissue.

If you have concerns visit your local GP. 

What you shouldn’t do:-

Many tattoo artists will recommend that you wait at least 48 hours before participating in heavy exercise. When you sweat you put your tattoo at a higher risk of infection. 

Try not to pick, scratch or rub your new tattoo, this will only slow down the healing process and could lead to ink fallout/scarring. The same thing goes for shaving over a tattoo, running a razor over your new ink could yank at healing scabs, there’s nothing wrong with being a little hairy until your tattoo heals. Apply Dr Pickles Tattoo Balm anytime you start to get the tattoo itch. 


Submerging your fresh tattoo exposes it to all kinds of bad bacteria, leading to some serious infections. Swimming can lead to irritation, fading or even UV damage. 

Unfortunately your lovely shower loofah has been well-documented to be a reservoir of bacteria. Using anything but your hands to wash a fresh tattoo could get you into trouble. 


Take away:-

A little bit of time making sure you undertake the correct research and tattoo aftercare will make a huge difference on how our new ink-addition will look in years to come.

Dr Pickles has been healing tattoos for over 11 years and we're here to help! Send us an email at or direct message via one of our social media accounts any tattoo questions you may have. 


Published: 1/11/2022 | Author: Nikita Jeppesen