• (850) 233-1100
  • 2415 West 15th Street, Panama City, FL

Aftercare & FAQ's

Our artists at Gulf Coast Professional Tattoo want to make sure you have every resource you need to have a comfortable experience! Here you will find frequently asked questions from first timers to experienced clients and important information on how to care for your tattoo.


Why Aftercare Matters

A tattoo is more than just a piece of art and a way to assert your personal style. It’s a medical procedure, because the artist uses a needle to insert the ink underneath your skin. Any time you open the skin, you leave yourself vulnerable to scarring and infections.

Caring for your tattoo can prevent these complications and ensure that it heals properly. Both you and your artist play equal roles in this process. Along with going to a licensed and reputable tattoo artist, you need to take care of your new tattoo at home.

Figuring out how to care for your tattoo can be tricky, though. Review our aftercare instructions below and don't hesitate to ask your artist for clarification if you need it.


How to Care for Your Tattoo

Aftercare starts as soon as your tattoo is done. The artist should apply a thin layer of aftercare product over the tattoo, and then cover the area in a bandage or plastic wrap. This covering prevents bacteria from getting into your skin. It also protects the tattoo from rubbing on your clothes and getting irritated.

Keep the dressing on for a few hours. It will help absorb any fluid or excess ink that leaks from the tattoo.

After a few hours, you can remove the bandage. Wash your hands first with lukewarm water and soap. Then gently wash the tattoo with fragrance-free soap and water.

Pat your skin dry with a soft cloth. Apply a small amount of aftercare product to the tattoo. If you are not sure what kind of aftercare product to use, ask your artist what they recommend. You can keep the bandage off at this point to let your skin breathe.

While your tattoo heals, you should:

•  wash your tattoo with fragrance-free soap and water, then apply a thin layer of your preferred aftercare lotion or ointment 4 to 6 times a day in the first 10 days.
•  wear sun-protective clothing whenever you go outside
•  call your tattoo artist or doctor if you have any signs of infection or other problems

You should not:

•  cover your tattoo with sunblock until it’s fully healed
•  scratch or pick at the tattoo
•  wear tight clothing over the tattoo
•  go swimming or immerse your body in water (showers are fine - and recommended!)



Does Getting a Tattoo Hurt?

Pain is relative! Everyone has a different tolerance for pain. We aren't going to lie - getting a tattoo does hurt but not as much as some people may think. Some have compared it to a "hot scratching feeling." Different parts of the body may hurt more than other parts, depending on your preferred tattoo placement. But, people would not be returning for tattoo after tattoo if it hurt that bad. Most people prefer not to feel pain, of course, but the beauty of a tattoo and the pride associated with wearing it far outweighs a little needle.

Are Tattoos Safe?

As long as you go to a reputable artist that is following all recommended safety precautions, getting a tattoo is perfectly safe. Make sure your artist is aware of any medical conditions that may affect your tattoo experience.

How Much Does it Cost to Get A Tattoo?

Most artists set their own rates. There are often "shop minimums" and the price will vary depending the location of the tattoo, detail, colors, size and how long it will take to complete the piece. You are going to get what you pay for so make sure you look for quality!

Should I Tip My Tattoo Artist?

Tipping is always appreciated and encouraged but never expected. Remember - there is alot of time and effort when creating and applying a tattoo. A tip is a great way to show your tattoo artist that you appreciate the time and effort they have put into your piece.

Are Tattoos Really Permanent?

Yes! Although ink can fade over time depending on the after-care, sun exposure, skin friction like fingers or toes, etc. a tattoo will appear on your skin forever unless you have it professionally removed.

How Do I Decide On What I Want As a Tattoo? And Where Should It Go?

The options are limitless! The beauty of getting a tattoo is that it can be whatever you want. Many shops have "flash art". Flash tattoos are common designs, usually drawn on paper or cardboard and displayed on the walls or in binders in many tattoo studios. You can also create a custom tattoo based on your personal preferences. Don't hesitate to ask your artist for creative suggestions.

Tattoo placement is always up to you, as well. If you're having trouble deciding where to put your tattoo, keep in mind what you do for work and how often you want to be able to show your tattoo off. Some areas of the body are easier to cover than others so just consider your own hobbies and activites.

When Can I Shave after Getting A Tattoo?

If you have a new tattoo on an area that you shave, you will need to make sure your skin is completely healed. Healing time varies from person to person so use your best judgment.

Ready to Get Started?

For more information or to request a consultation on your next tattoo, contact us here and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.