Stick and Poke Tattoo Aftercare: The Ultimate Guide

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.

There are many reasons why people get tattooed, and the trend of stick and poke tattoos is becoming increasingly popular. But what do you know about aftercare? Stick and poke tattoos can be a quick way to try out a new design or test your pain tolerance without committing to something permanent.

However, if you don’t take proper care of your skin after getting inked with these temporary designs, it could lead to an infection. With that being said, here’s everything you need to know about the ultimate guide for stick and poke tattoo aftercare!

Bandaging the tattoo

After you’ve gotten your stick and poke tattoo, the artist will place a piece of paper or plastic down to cover it. When this is being done correctly, there shouldn’t be any air touching the fresh wound on your skin. This prevents bacteria from getting in and making you sick!

If possible, keep the bandage as clean as possible by adding new layers whenever needed with sterile gauze pads. You should also make sure not to touch your freshly tattooed area too much until aftercare has been completed for 24 hours so that infection doesn’t set in – wash hands before touching skin again!

Related: how long do stick and poke tattoos last?

Let the tattoo breathe

Whether it is done with a piercing needle or tattoo gun, both methods of inking will cause the skin to swell up. This can lead to itching and irritation unless you give your body enough time for this natural process of healing.

Use a Tattoo Moisturizer

Using a moisturizer on the tattoo can help to keep it from drying out, which will also reduce the chance of getting an infection.

Avoid using a moisturizer that contains alcohol or benzoyl peroxide as these can dry and irritate your skin. Some people find lotions to be too heavy on their tattoos at first so you may want to try a lighter option for example petroleum jelly, baby oil gel, shea butter or lanolin if you have sensitive skin.

Read more about my favorite tattoo aftercare product that won’t cause any irritation! You can also use vitamin E capsules – just cut open the top with scissors and squeeze onto clean gauze pads before applying on tattoo area. This is helpful in keeping scarring away while healing.

We recommend using a light moisturizer after every shower during the first few weeks until swelling has gone down. Like we mentioned before, don’t use anything that could contain alcohol! Alcohol dries out the skin too much, which may worsen any itchiness or redness from an open wound.

If there isn’t any peeling or flaking involved then you should also pat dry instead of rubbing excess water off your new tattoo as this will disturb the adhesive holding some layers together (such as scabbing).

Dressing Appropriately

It’s important to dress appropriately after giving yourself a stick and poke tattoo because you want the area warm and free of clothing. You should wear garments that cover up your skin, such as leggings or high-waisted pants with an oversize shirt, especially if you’re in public. This will help keep tattoos safe from being exposed to too much sun (which could cause fading) and also avoid any embarrassing moments when people catch sight of it!

If you have sensitive skin then we recommend avoiding hairy fabrics like wool or cashmere for at least 24 hours post-tattoo until healing has taken place. If there is itching present then apply some lotion on the affected areas before putting clothes back on; this will moisturize and soothe dry.


It’s important to avoid submerging the area in water for the next two days after getting a tattoo. This includes going to the beach, pool or gym so it’s best to plan ahead and do your workouts before you get one! We recommend doing activities like biking, yoga, Pilates or walking instead.

Avoid Scratching It

Don’t scratch the tattoo because this can cause scarring and take away from the quality of your tattoo. We recommend using lotion or aloe if there is itching present to relieve discomfort instead.

If you’re not sure how to care for a new stick-and-poke tattoo, don’t worry! Keep reading to learn everything about taking care of your ink as it heals.

Removing the bandage

When removing the bandage, be careful to not touch the tattoo. When you are first removing it, make sure to do so slowly and carefully.

Gently clean away any scabbing or dried blood with a damp washcloth before applying ointment that we mentioned above. Do not use rubbing alcohol because that will dry out your skin and cause more itching!

If there is still excess bleeding after cleaning off all crusts/scabs then continue soaking in warm water until the bleeding has stopped.


We hope that this guide helped you on your journey of stick and poke tattoos! Now, it’s time for us to go back into our workshop and come up with more fresh designs for everyone out there who loves getting creative in their own way.

If you have any other questions about stick & poke then please let us know below in the comment section so we can help as much as possible! Stay tuned because there are a lot more posts coming up soon related to all things tattoo-related.