Congratulations on your new tattoo!
Tattoos are generally very easy to care for, and if you follow our instructions, your tattoo will remain vibrant and colorful for many years to come. Ignore these simple rules, and your tattoo may fade, crack, lose color, continue to bleed, and could become infected.
First, your artist has bandaged your tattoo with plastic wrap and gauze bandages. After 1-2 hours, remove the bandage gently and wash with warm water and mild soap using your fingertips only (no wash cloths) and pat dry with a towel. When you remove it, DO NOT REBANDAGE! From this point on, your new tattoo needs to “breathe” the open air to facilitate healing. Wash one more time before going to bed in the same manner, and twice daily for the remainder of the healing process.
For the next 2 days, simply wash it twice daily, do nothing to your tattoo aside from washing it twice a day. On the 3rd day, get a mild unscented hand lotion like Lubriderm, Curel, or Aveeno, and put a very small amount of this lotion of your tattoo 4-5 times daily. Using too much lotion is bad for your tattoo as well, as any unabsorbed lotion that is left to sit on top of the skin will just attract bacteria. Continue applying lotion to your tattoo for up to 4 weeks after you get it, or whenever you notice it getting dry. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT put any petroleum based product like: A&D ointment, Preparation-H, Neosporin, Batriban, Vaseline, Bacitracian Ointment, etc. on your new tattoo. These products will plug your pores, and not allow your tattoo to breathe, and some of them contain medication so strong that it will actually help your body push out the foreign invasion (your new ink) right out of your skin. Unscented hand lotion only!
Do not pick at, or scratch your new tattoo. Your new tattoo may flake some colored skin after the first few days, much like sunburn, this is normal and is no reason to be alarmed. If your tattoo does happen to scab, picking at it is the best way to COMPLETELY DESTROY YOUR TATTOO!!! Picking at the scabs will cause you to bleed, and will remove all the bright color you paid so much money to have put in. Keep it CLEAN, keep it MOIST, and LEAVE IT ALONE!
Do not soak your tattoo in bathtub, sauna, Jacuzzi, or go swimming while your new tattoo is healing. Soaking your new tattoo in these facilities can be harmful due to bacteria that can enter your fresh wound and cause serious complications. You can get it wet in the shower, briefly, to wash it.
Extreme sun exposure will fade your tattoo. This can be minimized by always using a strong sunscreen, at least SPF 25. If you use a tanning bed, make sure you completely cover your tattoo. Sunscreen is not enough to protect your tattoo from the UV rays in a tanning bed.
Generally it takes between 2-4 weeks for a tattoo to completely heal, however it depends on each individual and how well they take care of it and various other factors. If you follow these instructions, your new tattoo will heal wonderfully, and remain bright and vibrant for years to come.
If you have any questions, please contact your artist!