Instructions for After Your Nipple and Areola Tattoo Procedure

This information explains how to care for yourself after your nipple and areola (the circle around your nipple) tattoo procedure.

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1 to 3 Days After Your Procedure

  • Your physician assistant will place Tegaderm plastic dressing on your tattoo right after your procedure. Leave this dressing on for 3 days.
  • You may shower normally with your dressing on. It’s waterproof.
  • Fluid may build up underneath your dressing. This is normal.
  • If your dressing starts to come off or if fluid is dripping from your dressing, put another Tegaderm dressing over the one you have on.
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4 Days After Your Procedure

  • Remove the Tegaderm dressing. Gently clean the area in the shower with warm water and your normal shower soap. Don’t rub the area to get it clean.
  • Leave any scabs that may have formed alone. They will heal and come off on their own.
  • After your shower, dry the area gently. Apply non-scented white lotion (such as Lubriderm®, Aveeno®, or Eucerin®) to the tattooed area until it absorbs.
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5 to 14 Days After Your Procedure

  • Continue applying non-scented white lotion to the area at least once a day.
  • You may apply lotion more than once a day if the area looks dry.
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General Care Guidelines

  • Don’t soak in a pool, bath, or hot tub until your tattoo is completely healed. This usually takes about 2 weeks.
  • If a crust or scab appears on the area, don’t peel it off. This can pull away the ink on your tattoo.
  • Don’t exercise (such as run, do yoga, or cycle) for 1 week after your procedure or while there’s scabbing. If you’re in physical therapy, it’s okay to continue after your procedure.
  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 20 pounds (9 kilograms) for 1 week after your procedure or while there’s scabbing.
  • You can wear a bra at any time.
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When to Call Your Healthcare Provider

Call your healthcare provider if you have:

  • A fever of 101° F (38.3° C) or higher
  • Pain at or around the treated area
  • Increasing redness or warmth at or around the treated area
  • Thick drainage at or around the treated area
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