Matéa LeBeau 


hand poked tattoos
in Ithaca, NY





aftercare guide ︎


Tattoo Aftercare <3

Please follow these steps for best healing results :-)

Leave your adhesive bandage on for 12-36 hours.  (24hrs recommended)

During this time, plasma and ink will begin to come to the surface and collect under your bandage.  This is totally normal and good! Plasma is incredibly helpful in the healing process of your new tattoo :-)

While the bandage is on, feel free to shower – the adhesive will keep your tattoo safe from bacteria while allowing your skin to breathe as it begins to heal.  

When it’s time to remove your bandage, take it off under warm running water and slowly peel the adhseive down and away (like you would remove a command strip from a wall) –– pulling the plastic up and over can cause skin irriation and lead to improper healing. Some people are sensitive to these adhesives so just be aware of that and be gentle with your skin. Immediate redness after removal is normal! Sometimes redness can last a few days.

After removing your bandage, cleanse your new tattoo with gentle unscented soap / antibacterial soap and and warm water to remove excess plasma and ink.  Gently pat dry.   Apply thin layer of moisturizer. *

* I like using Aquaphor, but everyone has their own moisturizer preference.  If you choose to use Aquaphor or another oil based moisturizer, make sure to apply very THIN layers, 2x per day max. Overmoisturizing, especially with oil based moistures, can unnecessarily prolong the healing process.
You can also use dermatologist approved lotions – my favorites are CeraVe and Lubriderm.  If you start with this type of lotion immediately after bandage removal, apply thin layers 3x per day max.

Again, thin layers is the key!  Your goal is to maintain your skin’s moisture barrier, but please don’t drown your tattoo! It still needs to breathe.

  • NEVER use petroleum jelly (vaseline) for aftercare – petroleum jelly can trap moisture and bacteria on your skin which can lead to infection and improper healing :-(

After about a week, your tattoo will begin to flake or even peel  – this is just old skin and some bits of excess ink. This is normal and all part of the healing process. Hand poke tattoos don’t really scab since there is very little trauma being done to the skin :-)

  • If you began with Aquaphor, this would be a good time to switch to a less oily moisturizer or lotion if you want!

You will probably experience some itchiness as your tattoo heals. Again, this is normal. But please... DO NOT PICK at excess ink if there is fall out and DO NOT ITCH your tattoo while it is healing!

Most of all, just leave your tattoo alone!  The less you touch your new ink, the less potential of infection and improper healing.  Moisturize as needed, but try not to overdo it.  It’ll alllll be ok, your body knows how to heal itself!

Showers are fine, but refrain from baths or other forms of soaking. NO pools, jacuzzis, or ocean bathing for two - four weeks after your tattoo.

Do not drink alcohol for twenty-four hours following the tattoo.

If you notice signs of infection (pus, redness, and swelling) or increased bleeding at the site of the tattoo, contact your doctor immediately.

Protect your tattoo from direct sunlight so it can stay bright and fresh for many years. Until it is healed, keep your new tattoo out of direct sun to the best of your ability! Use a sun block with a rating of "40" or stronger only once your tattoo has fully healed B-)

Handpoked tattoo typically heal within 2 weeks but may take up to 4. During this time the tattoo will settle and the ink will spread into the skin.

Please keep in mind that these are done by hand and that your tattoo may differ once fully healed – everyone’s skin is different and results vary from person to person.

Enjoy your new tattoo <3!


****** If you experience ink fall out or want a touch up, please email me with photos of your tattoo at least 2-4 weeks after the tattoo was completed and we will set up an appointment for free!