How to take care of your new tattoo: with tattoo pads

Congratulations on your brand-new tattoo! If you are new to this (or if you have been through it already), tattoo after care can seem a very long and intricate process, but with the right instructions it can become easy to follow. This article will guide you through every single step to help you understand the tattoo aftercare using Tattoo Pads.

At the bottom of the article you can find the Frequently Asked Questions about Tattoo Aftercare.

Tattoo Healing with Tattoo Pads

After many year of experience, we came to the conclusion that the regular healing methods would not be 100% effective or, not as effective as we would like it to be, when healing a full colour tattoo or a big-sized piece due to the considerable amount of fluids the tattoo will produce. Big tattoos often take longer to expel all the excess ink and fluid therefore a more effective healing method must be taken into consideration in order to avoid unwanted issues with your new tattoo.

What are Tattoo Pads?

Tattoo Pads are absorbent sheets used to shield and protect the skin from the outside dirt and UV-light as well as effectively absorbing the excess of fluids that your fresh tattoo will produce.

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Freshly healed tattoo by @pixelcuteman

Tattoo Aftercare with Tattoo Pads

tattoo lounge helsinki healing tattoos aftercare pads big colour tatuointi

Tattoo sleeve covered with Tattoo Pads

Tattoo Aftercare with Tattoo Pads

What to do in order to achieve the best outcome:

1. Once the tattoo is done, the artist will apply on the area a specific pad that will have the function to absorb the excess of ink, blood and plasma during the following hours. This pad will both keep the tattoo dry and protected from the outside, avoiding any possibility of infection or contamination. Keep the pad on your fresh tattoo for about 5 hours or, if you got tattooed in the evening, keep it on until the next morning.

2. When these 5-8 hours have passed, remove the pad, clean your tattoo with warm water and a mild soap, carefully pat the tattoo dry with kitchen paper. Once this step is done, apply a new pad and secure it with skin tape. If you are using a regular paper tape, avoid the tape touching the skin as it might create some irritation. Avoid using cream for the first 3 days.

3. Remove and apply a new pad every 5 hours and make sure the tattoo stays covered and protected to avoid risking contamination and infection. The first 24 hours after the tattoo session are the most critical, follow this process carefully and keep the tattoo as dry and clean as possible.

If you don’t have tattoo pads, you can replace them with cling film, that you can keep on the fresh tattoo for about 4-5 hours. Make sure to not keep the cling film more than the indicated hours to avoid pore clogging.

4. Repeat this process for the first 3 days following the tattoo session as it’s when the tattoo will excrete most of the excess liquid. You can start applying a thin layer of cream every time the skin feels dry or itchy as the wound is now be completely closed.

Scabs and Skin

The tattoo will start to scar after 1-2 days and may start to itch quite a bit. Always avoid rubbing and scratching the tattoo at all costs as it might compromise the healing process and the final result in general. When you start feeling the need to scratch, simply wash your tattoo with mild soap, pat it dry with kitchen paper and apply a thin layer of cream over the area. Repeat this process a few times per day and the itchiness will be gone!

Be careful and always avoid picking the scabs as it will cause permanent damage to the tattoo.

Extra Tips

  • Avoid gym and sauna for 14 days. Excessive sweating can cause ink loss and stretching or moving the tattoo area can damage the tattoo or even cause the wound to re-open.
  • Do not swim for 2 weeks. Bacteria and chlorine can cause irritation and infection.
  • Be extra careful around pets.

Suggestions and Tips for Long-Term Tattoo Aftercare

  • Using SunScreen spf50 will help your tattoo stay brilliant and crispy over the years.
  • Keep your skin hydrated with body lotions. It will help your skin stay elastic and bright.

FAQ / Aftercare with pads


You can always take a shower, even with a fresh tattoo. Be careful to not let your tattoo soak too much under running water and be extra careful with hot water. Too warm water can cause extra swelling and irritation.


Simply replace the Tattoo Pads with cling film! The cling film will still function as a barrier and will protect your tattoo but be careful with the sun as it won’t provide UV-light protection.


The pad comes with a non-stick film on the side that will be in contact with the tattoo avoiding any kind of sticking to the fresh wound.


This healing method is recommended for heavily packed and bigger pieces as in this case the Tattoo Pad will be necessary in order for the tattoo to remain as dry as possible. Pad can be used to heal other kinds of tattoo styles as well but they might not be needed as an easier healing method like the one using second skin will be more than enough!