A&D Ointment For Tattoos

  • Written By Dan Hunter on November 22, 2020
    Last Updated: December 31, 2020

There is a wide range of over-the-counter, protective ointments on the market, so much so that you might be wondering which one is right for you.

In your research, you may have discovered A&D ointment. Although commonly used to treat diaper rashes, A&D ointment is also recommended as a cost-effective option for tattoo aftercare. But does it work as well as some may advise?


A&D ointment is an all-purpose, topical skin protectant designed to seal out wetness. It treats and prevents minor skin irritations such as itching, flaking, cracking, rashes and dryness, in addition to minor cuts and burns. This medication features emollient ingredients (Lanolin, Petrolatum, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D) that work together to moisturize and soften the skin.

A&D ointment can aid tattoo healing if you’re looking for an inexpensive aftercare solution. However, depending on your circumstances other products may produce better results for you.

How Does A&D Ointment Help Tattoos?

The main goal in every tattoo aftercare plan should be to keep the tattooed area moisturized. Dryness is the last thing you want after getting a new tattoo, as it delays the healing process, causes excessive scabbing, itchiness and irritation, not to mention dull-looking skin. 

Lanolin and Petrolatum are two of the main active ingredients found in A&D ointment. These ingredients’ primary responsibility is to moisturize by producing oil on the skin’s outer layer, allowing the skin to capture and retain water. 

A&D ointment also contains Vitamin A and D, each offering healing benefits. Vitamin A encourages the formulation of new blood vessels and prevents infection, while Vitamin D is a natural anti-inflammatory with antimicrobial properties.

Overall, the moisturizing ingredients in A&D ointment can help reduce the amount of scabbing that occurs. Fewer scabs lead to less itching or scratching of the area, saving the tattoo wound from reopening and reducing your healing time.

There are mixed opinions about using A&D ointment for tattoos. Listed below are a few benefits and drawbacks to incorporating this product into your aftercare routine. 

Pros 

  • Comes in a range of product sizes for on-the-go use
  • Inexpensive 
  • Seals off the area to protect from bacteria
  • Free of parabens, phthalates and dyes
  • Reduces recovery time
  • Prevents skin irritation
  • Reduces scabbing 
  • Moisturizes effectively 

Cons 

  • Can clog pores when applied too thick or if used too frequently
  • Not designed specifically for tattooed skin 
  • Lanolin is known to cause allergic reactions in some people
  • Lacks antibacterial properties (won’t prevent infection) 
  • Can potentially fade some tattoos
  • The oil within the product can extract some of the tattoo’s ink  

Alternative Tattoo Aftercare Products

If you’re not convinced that A&D ointment is the best choice for you, there are still plenty of tattoo aftercare options available. Some of the commonly recommended products include:

After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion

The best tattoo lotion I’ve ever personally used is a vegan-friendly aftercare product called After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion. This stuff works amazingly well during the healing process; not only by keeping your tattoo really well hydrated but also by soothing any annoying itching and irritation. When using it from the very start of the healing process, this lotion will help to decrease tattoo healing times and work towards eliminating any lingering dryness and scabbing.

Hustle Butter

Hustle Butter is another frequently used cream that contains all-natural ingredients such as shea and aloe butter. This balm is a rich and soothing aftercare solution for new and old tattoos. 

Coconut Oil 

Coconut oil is an excellent option for post-tattoo care. It is vegan-friendly, hypoallergenic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and serves as a natural moisturizer. 

Helpful Tips for Post-Tattoo Care 

It’s important to remember that tattoos are more than masterpieces; they involve a medical procedure that damages the skin. There’s always a possibility of an infection or a complication when the skin is ruptured. Tattoo aftercare should be taken seriously, as it is essential to prevent issues during the recovery process. 

Once you’ve received your tattoo, your artist should apply ointment to the specific area and cover it with a bandage. They may or may not advise you on the best aftercare routine or products, as they aren’t legally obligated to share this information with clients in some states. 

Therefore, depending on what state you live in, you’re on your own the second you leave the tattoo parlor. With the right tattoo artist, of course, free and high-quality advice comes with your new tattoo.

Regardless, as your tattoo begins to heal, you should:

  • Keep the tattoo wrapped for the first few hours following your tattoo appointment.
  • Make sure the tattooed area is covered by loose-fitting clothing, especially when exposed to sunlight.
  • Clean the area at least three times per day using lukewarm water and mild, antibacterial soap 
  • Look at the ingredients before purchasing an ointment product to make sure you aren’t allergic to any of them.  
  • Pat the area dry (do not rub) and apply a thin layer of ointment to the area between 3-5 times per day, for around 3-5 days consecutively. Remember that less is more in this scenario. Be careful not to apply too much ointment, as it can oversaturate the tattoo and lead to excess scabbing. 
  • After 3-5 days of applying the ointment, your tattoo will begin to peel. At this point, switch to using an unscented lotion. 

Doing any of the following tasks can increase your risk of infection and scarring, potentially delaying the healing process. While your tattoo is healing, you should avoid:

  • Swimming or immersing yourself in water (like bathing)
  • Wearing tight clothing around the tattoo
  • Applying sunblock or a non-medicinal substance to the area
  • Excessively touching the tattooed area
  • Sleeping or putting pressure on the tattooed area 

A&D Could Be the Solution For You

Keep in mind that healing time often depends on the size and intricacy of the tattoo. A&D ointment can help your recovery if you are looking for an inexpensive tattoo aftercare solution, although other products may produce better results for you. 

Above all, make sure to follow your tattoo artist’s recommendations if provided and contact your doctor if you start to experience any severe pain, redness, swelling, or other signs of infection.