We take great pride in our work, and always do our best to ensure you leave our shop with a tattoo that you love.

However, the manner in which you care for your tattoo after having it done is a vital factor in how it will look for the rest of your life.

Follow these instructions, and always feel free to contact us if you have any questions.



  • When your tattoo is finished, your artist will clean and cover it with a sterile dressing.
  • After two hours, you may remove your bandage.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap before removing the bandage.
  • Gently wash away any residual ink, blood or plasma with mild, fragrance-free soap and warm water.  DO NOT SCRUB!
  • Gently pat dry the tattoo with a clean paper towel.  GENTLY!
  • Apply a very small amount of Aquaphor Ointment 2-3 times a day for the first 3 days, whenever the skin feels tight or dry.
  • Continue washing your tattoo gently and regularly, keeping the area clean and free from dirt.
  • After 3 days, begin using a fragrance-free lotion such as Lubriderm instead of Aquaphor.
  • Continue to moisturize and wash regularly as needed for 2 weeks or as long as it takes to heal completely.
  • Your tattoo may peel or flake like a sunburn.  This is normal.


  • Let your tattoo dry out.
  • Apply too much Aquaphor so your skin can't breathe.
  • Expose the tattoo to direct sunlight or tanning beds while healing.
  • Pick or scratch while the tattoo is peeling!
  • Soak or submerge the tattoo in water, such as in a bath, pool, ocean, etc. until your tattoo is fully healed.
  • Wear tight clothing that may rub or irritate. Go for something loose and preferably a soft cotton or similar.
  • Lastly, don't take advice from non-professionals!  If you have any questions, please contact us.


Your new tattoo will go through the healing process like most small abrasions.  It can take between one to three weeks to  heal completely.

Common experiences while healing include soreness or discomfort sort of like a sunburn, light scabbing, flaking or peeling.  Your tattoo may itch after a few days for several days.  DON'T SCRATCH IT!  These are all normal signs of a healing tattoo.

To combat swelling, your tattoo can be elevated if possible, or a covered ice pack may be applied.  Some over the counter medications may help with pain and swelling but we always recommend a less is more approach and suggest you avoid taking extra meds.

Your body may react differently to different methods and products.  It is important to be aware of how your body is reacting to our suggestions and instructions.  You may need to adjust your healing method to suit your body as needed.  We are always happy to revisit our aftercare conversation and help you move through all stages of healing.

As with any new injury, there is always the possibility of an infection.  The main cause is bacteria.  At Red Rocket Tattoo we maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and sterilization.  The outside world is another story and this is New York City!  Once you leave Red Rocket Tattoo, the burden of healing and protection will be on YOU!  Be cautious for the next two weeks and you'll be good!

SiGNS OF AN INFECTION:  Look for redness or swelling that lasts for more than two days and/or radiates well beyond the tattooed area.  The tattoo area and beyond will feel hot to the touch.  Pain in the area will increase instead of decrease.  In more extreme cases, you may experience a fever or run-down feeling.

WHAT TO DO:  Call us or better yet, come in and show us your concerns.  9 times out of 10 there will be an easy solution by adjusting your healing methods or products.  If we are unable to assist you, please call your doctor for a second opinion.  If you think you may have any of these symptoms, please call or come by right away so we can get you right back on that path towards a fantastic new tattoo!